Male looks at camera, closed mouth smile. Short black hair, glasses, and suit and tie.

Jewoong Moon: All Students Playfully Learn Together

Male looks at camera, closed mouth smile. Short black hair, glasses, and suit and tie.Dr. Jewoong Moon is an Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology at the University of Alabama. He is a recent graduate of Florida State University, where he earned his Ph.D. in Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies. His research focuses on immersive and inclusive e-learning design under data-driven adaptive systems to support students with disabilities. At the recent CIRCLS’21 convening, we spoke to Jewoong and asked him to tell us more about himself and his work. You may connect with Jewoong on Twitter at @JewoongM.

How did you choose your field of study? Was there a pivotal event that sparked your interest?
When I was a doctoral student, I joined my advisor’s research project designed for training social and cognitive skills of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) through a virtual world. I was a training facilitator that guided their social skills practices through 3D simulations. This project gave me insight into how immersive learning environments such as virtual reality (VR) and digital games can support marginalized and underrepresented students with disabilities.

Describe your research in five words.
All students playfully learn together.

Please share a bit more about your research in one to three sentences.
My research lies at the nexus of scholarship on autism spectrum disorder (ASD), inclusive and immersive e-learning design, and STEM+C education. I am interested in studying how immersive and adaptive technologies (e.g., VR and data analytics) can better support learners with disabilities in developing competencies in 21st-century skills for STEM+C education.

What do you hope to learn about as you participate in the Emerging Scholar CIRCLS?
I love working with others. I believe that scholarly collaboration is necessary to make our academic discussion and research findings better. Through this program in CIRCLS, I want to connect with like-minded colleagues to bring about innovative and creative ideas that make our society better.

What are your passions outside of work and research? And why are they important to you?
My hobby is cooking. When I cook something with my wife and friends, I can take all the stress out of my head at that moment. Also, if I have a chance to go to big cities, I love going to art museums. I love seeing good European and American impressionism paintings, which always inspire me to think about how visuals can captivate our feelings.

If you could offer one piece of advice to your past, pre-graduate school self, what would it be?
If possible, plan your short trips. Graduate school is a start of a long journey toward our research goals and accomplishments. We already know we work so hard. But sometimes, you need time for a break to refresh yourself. Breaks help us rest and become even more aware of the direction we are headed in.