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Priya Sharma

Dr. Priya Sharma

Associate Professor of Education (LTD)

Phone: 814-865-4374

314C Keller Building
University Park, PA 16802


  • Learning and Performance Systems


  • Learning, Design, and Technology


My research and teaching broadly focus on developing and using emerging technologies for teaching and learning in formal and informal contexts. In formal contexts, I am interested in the design and integration of emerging technologies, including new web technologies, learning analytics, and machine learning to support student learning and engagement and help facilitators be responsive in their teaching. In informal contexts, I am interested in exploring how participants’ patterns of interaction and discourse support engagement in practice and knowledge sharing, especially in online affinity spaces and communities of practice. I use both qualitative and quantitative methodologies for my work, including social network analyses, discourse analyses, ethnographic methods, and design research-informed methods.

I am currently accepting students for the following projects:

  • Learning analytics group: In this collaborative project with faculty in IST, we are developing a learning analytics dashboard undergirded by machine learning and artificial intelligence to support instructors and students in assessing interaction and engagement in online courses. We currently have a prototype of the instructor dashboard with visualizations and are working on refining the machine learning model and coding discourse data. The next steps include engaging in human-centered design to gather insights from faculty and students on the design and utility of the dashboard as well as ongoing refinement and development of dashboard modules.
  • Interaction and knowledge sharing in online spaces: This theme covers two projects — the first, in collaboration with Dr. Susan Land, focuses on exploring the patterns of participation and types of discourse in online affinity spaces, including roles taken on by key actors in these spaces. A second related project in collaboration with faculty members in the College of Agriculture looks at hybrid and online communities of practice and explores community interaction in online spaces such as Twitter and Whova, with the goal of conceptualizing, designing, developing, and implementing an online community space.
  • Conceptualizing places of learning: In collaboration with faculty in the college of architecture at Kansas State and TLT at PSU, this project seeks to theoretically conceptualize the notion of “places” of learning and translate those conceptions into the design of online learning places.

Areas of Expertise


Equity and Diversity
Instructional Methods and Design
Learning Sciences
Media Literacy/Education


Computer Technology
Instructional Design

Education Levels

Adult Education
Professional Education

Education Types

Continuing Ed
Distance Ed

Individual Difference

Learning Processes

Methodological Research

Discourse Analysis
Interpretive Research
Multiple Methods
Qualitative Research
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