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  Karah Hagins, 1st Year PhD Student
Welcome to my portfolio! My name is Karah Hagins, and I am a third year doctoral student in the Learning, Design, and Technology program at The University of Georgia. I am interested in exploring characteristics of efficient digital learning spaces. For the purpose of my doctoral studies, I have chosen to focus on the concept of digital identity. The way that technology has changed how we communicate, I think it is important to understand how supra-digital natives best learn and interact in online learning spaces. I am choosing to look beyond the superficial exterior of digital learners to discover who they are as they approach an educational learning space as opposed to how they approach other digital spaces. My core study is focused upon defining, identifying, and applying digital learning identity for online course design. My study incorporates interdisciplinary fields of philosophy, sociology, psychology, and an emerging field entitled techno-self studies.

I believe that creating awareness amongst educators as to the nature and subjective perspectives of digital learners, they will gain a new perspective regarding how to communicate with these learners and how learners are approaching the educational space. This will enable educators to create an engaging, student-centered, and intentional learning space. My research will focus on asynchronous online courses due to the increasing demands for flexible and accessible learning and resultant of my position at the Office of Online Learning. There are fundamental aspects of designing online courses that can make the difference between a successful online course and a course that students detest. In studying which online designs best facilitate student interaction, engagement, and the creation of communities of learning, I hope to identify the fundamental aspects digital learning identity and use this to inform online instructional design, development, and delivery. 


In addition, I believe that today's students are no longer satisfied with passively absorbing information. In a digital age where information is vast, faculty and teachers need to re-imagine their roles to be more facilitative and intentional in the learning process. Students are more successful and motivated if they have the opportunity to take ownership of learning methodologies and choose pathways of learning specific to individual expectations and needs.


This is where I am currently in my learning journey. It is my hope that I can contribute to the field of Learning, Design, and Technology in a meaningful, relevant, and authentic way.