September 8, 2020

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Dr. E-Ling Hsiao Earns VSU’s 2020 Presidential Excellence Award for Research

Dr. E-Ling Hsiao, a professor in the Department of Leadership, Technology, and Workforce Development, is the recipient of Valdosta State University’s Presidential Excellence Award for Research.

VALDOSTA — Dr. E-Ling Hsiao is the recipient of Valdosta State University’s Presidential Excellence Award for Research.

The Presidential Excellence Award for Research recognizes a faculty member with a strong record of creative scholarship.

Hsiao, a professor in the Department of Leadership, Technology, and Workforce Development, joined the VSU faculty in 2011. In less than a decade she has amassed 50 scholarly works, including 20 publications, 29 conference presentations, and a co-edited special issue of TechTrends, the top practitioner journal for professionals in the educational communication and technology field.

Reflecting upon her scholarship, Hsiao said her work can be characterized by three major research threads — online education, instructional design technology, and topics related to her students’ dissertations.

“I have an enthusiasm for exploring possible instructional strategies to support peer learning,” she said. “I believe that peer learning is a critical component of online education. Through peer learning, students won’t feel isolated when they study online.”

Hsiao has rich experience in multimedia design to support student learning. Collaborating on a project with a colleague at the Indiana State University Scott College of Business, she helped research methods for establishing a multimedia-rich e-learning environment to enhance experiential learning and engage students in applying course content in real-world settings. Students were satisfied with the multimedia content she built and perceived that it provided them authentic learning experiences in online courses.

“I am interested in applying new technologies to support instruction,” she said.

Collaborating with a colleague at Ohio University, Hsiao tackled the concept of educational games, including arcade-style games and their limitations for promoting mastery in the conceptual learning domain. The research distinguishes between two types of concepts and provides game designers guidance for selecting concepts related to their instructional content.

“Arcade-style gameplay is primarily a function of presenting concepts to players and continually requiring them to respond with finer responses,” she said. “The degree to which a concept is malleable determines how large its range is in gameplay.”

Outside of her own intellectual pursuits, Hsiao enjoys helping her students achieve excellence inside and outside the learning environment. She has chaired 16 student dissertation committees and served on nine student dissertation committees as a researcher and 11 as a reader. As of January, she has produced seven articles and three presentations with her students.

“I enjoy learning about a wide range of topics outside my field of interest,” she said. “After my doctoral students complete their dissertations, I actively work with them for academic publications and presentations. I believe that this helps my students apply the research skills and knowledge they learned from the program to real-world settings.”

The Presidential Excellence Award for faculty is an annual tradition at VSU, one that recognizes the diverse talents and contributions of the university’s innovative and active faculty. Dr. Richard A. Carvajal, president of VSU, presents the highly coveted awards in five categories — teaching, research, service, online teaching, and scholarship of teaching and learning.

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