Jina Kang

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Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, 2017


My work focuses on analytical approaches to understand the use of new technologies and methodologies in diverse learning environments, aiming to support educational practices and advances for all stakeholders. My research explores how students learn complex skills in open-ended learning environments. In particular, I study diverse approaches of understanding multimodal data derived from different learning environments that could lead to novel insights into learners’ unique behaviors such as solution paths to problems and actions in either physical or digital environments, and better designing learning environments including pedagogical approaches and materials. I completed my doctoral work at the University of Texas at Austin in 2017 and my postdoctoral work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2018. I also earned B.S. and M.S. in Astronomy and Space Science in Korea.

Why UT?

I decided to join the LT program because of the Alien Rescue project, which is right in line with my background in Astronomy and Space Science. Working on the project helped me build up the beautiful story of my professional life!

Life after UT

I am an Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences at Utah State University (USU). Prior to USU, I spent one year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a postdoctoral research associate.

Advice for Students

While having time management skills is necessary for getting through the program, I believe the most critical thing is taking care of yourself, both physically and mentally. I also recommend building a story of your professional life before you go out for searching jobs. My last piece of advice would be to keep trying to find your goal for the next couple of years, and beyond, which will eventually help you build the story.