Ömer Arslan

How Did You Join the ISLT Program at FSU?

At a time when I was about to earn my master’s degree back in Turkey, I was looking for a PhD program. I was hoping to get accepted to a program abroad and mostly looking for programs in the USA. Some of the professors in my university were aware of ISLT at FSU and they recommended that I apply to the program. I was also familiar with the scholarly knowledge produced by some of the ISLT faculty.

I decided to apply to the program and thankfully (and surprisingly) got accepted. I was not expecting to get accepted to such a high quality program and work with one of the leading scholars in the field of online learning. I started my PhD journey here at ISLT in 2018 and it has been full of (online) learning, so far!


I am a doctoral candidate in the Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies program at Florida State University. Before joining the program, I worked as a research assistant in Computer Education and Instructional Technology department at Tokat Gaziosmanpaşa University, Turkey. This is where I also had a chance to work with a research team and started to learn about research. While working as a research assistant, I enrolled in masters of education in the same program at Amasya University and earned my degree in 2018.

Here at FSU, I have been teaching EME2040: Introduction to Educational Technology since 2019. Teaching EME2040 and working with an instructional team that Dr. Dennen advises has been such a rewarding experience for my professional development and academic career.  

Recently, I am working on my dissertation and planning to graduate from ISLT in the summer of 2022. I hope to work in a higher education context and support teaching-learning activities with my expertise and experiences in the field of instructional design. I also hope to engage in research activities that will help inform instructional practices and improve the quality of teaching-learning processes.

In addition to working for my dissertation, teaching, and research collaborations, I like going to coffee shops and enjoy the coffee while I study. I also enjoy spending time with Lilly – my roommate’s lovely dog. Should I dedicate my dissertation to Lilly?

Research Interests

I am interested in design, development, and operationalization of online courses in higher education contexts. In my dissertation, I focus on student perceptions of and preferences for online instructor course introductions using social presence theory and instructor self-disclosure.

I am also interested in online profiles and how people in an instructional context (and sometimes outside of the learning context) navigate online worlds and manage their online presence and identities.


I am collaborating with some of my professors and colleagues in my research group that is facilitated by Dr. Dennen. Most of the research projects that I am involved in focus on online course design, development, and facilitation as well as technology mediated communication, learning and performance. Below, I provide more details about each of the research team that I am a part of and knowledge that we produce.

  1. Othering research team

In this research project, I work with a fellow doctoral candidate Dan He and an alumni Dr. Choi. We look at international graduate students’ online course experiences and their feelings of othering in online learning contexts in the USA. We shared initial findings in a few conferences and got some great feedback from online learning professionals as well as instructors whose classes involve international students. This is an ongoing research project and we are planning to publish study results in a peer-reviewed, online learning related journal to contribute to the literature and inform online teaching practices. Below are links to two of the conferences that we shared initial findings of this research project.

TCC 2020: https://2020.tcconlineconference.org/20039/

TCC 2021: https://2021.tcconlineconference.org/21059-2/

  • Digital badges research team

In this research project, I work with Dr. Dennen and Dr. Bong. We designed a digital badging system and integrated this system into an online graduate course. We focus on badging system design and engage in instructional design processes. We also look at the role of the badging system on student motivation and their perceptions of badge related course activities. We presented initial findings of this research project in TCC 2022 Worldwide Online Conference. You can find paper abstract and the presentation recording in the link below.

TCC 2022: https://2022.tcconlineconference.org/22053-2/

  • Webcam use research team

In this research project, I work with Dr. Dennen and Kari Word. We look at learning professionals’ webcam use experiences. More specifically, we look at how our perceptions and use of webcams have developed during the pandemic through webcam practices and norms that surround the use of this important learning and communication technology. This is an ongoing research project in which we collected quantitative and qualitative data. We presented initial findings in a webinar that is organized by training magazine network. You can find paper abstract and the presentation recording in the link below. We also published a research brief and you can also access to it using the link below.

Training Magazine Network Webinar: https://www.trainingmagnetwork.com/events/2821

Research Brief: https://diginole.lib.fsu.edu/islandora/object/fsu:763399


Dennen, V. P., & Arslan, Ö. (2022). The visual performance of online identity: Instructor presence and persona across tools and settings. Studies in Technology Enhanced Learning. https://doi.org/10.21428/8c225f6e.9e975efc

Dennen, V. P., Bagdy, L. M., Arslan, Ö., Choi, H., & Liu, Z. (2022). Supporting new online instructors and engaging remote learners during COVID-19: A distributed team teaching approach. Journal of Research on Technology in Education54(sup1), S182-S202. https://doi.org/10.1080/15391523.2021.1924093

Choi, H., Arslan, Ö., Adolfson, D, & Screws, B. (2021). The international other in online learning: Four stories from a graduate program. In Paul G. Nixon & V. Dennen (Eds.), Reshaping International Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Universities in the Information (pp. 151-167). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429278075 

Social Media

Twitter: @omer_arslan_oa

Google Scholar: Ömer Arslan


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