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Melissa Jones

Florida State University
Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies
Orlando, FL
My primary area of research is in how we can create inclusive and equitable spaces for students in online learning environments. Situated between studies in both the cognitive and affective domains, my work explores the ways in which marginalized learners understand their identities, form meaningful communities, and engage with their courses as online students. Specifically, my research is focused on LGBTQ+ students, a group that has, historically, been especially reliant upon the creation of supportive networks and safe spaces both on and off university campuses. In addition to my primary research, my professional roles in faculty development and instructional design have been rooted in human performance improvement. At the university level, we often implement various practices, technologies, and processes that are intended to improve teaching and learning. However, without a focus on systemic analysis, and with the sometimes siloed nature of higher education, we tend to see gaps in performance. While these two areas may not at first appear to be connected, I believe that work in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion should be holistic and should take place not in departments, but at the institutional level. I have worked in higher education for 15 years and faculty development for the last decade. I am currently a doctoral candidate at Florida State University in the Instructional Systems and Learning Design program. I can also talk about my almost-16-year-old pug, Luna, for a rather unreasonable amount of time.