Dr. Vanessa Paz Dennen

Dr. Vanessa Paz Dennen

Contact Information

Office Location
3205H Stone Building
(850) 644-8783

Dr. Vanessa Dennen is a Professor of Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies in the Department of Educational Psychology & Learning Systems. She joined the faculty at FSU in 2003.

Vanessa’s research investigates the cognitive, motivational, and social elements of computer-mediated communication. Specifically, she concentrates on three major issues: (1) learner engagement in online discussion activities; (2) identity development, knowledge management, and knowledge brokering within online networks and communities of practice; and (3) ethical issues related to computer-mediated learning.  Her research is situated in both formal and informal learning environments and focuses on communication technologies ranging from discussion forums to social media to mobile technologies. She has authored more than 50 journal articles and book chapters, which have appeared in publications such as Instructional Science; Distance Education; Computers in Human Behavior; Educational Research Technology & Development, The Handbook of Distance Education; and The Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology among others. Additionally, in 2013 she co-edited (with Jennifer B. Myers) a book, Virtual Professional Development and Informal Learning in Online Environments.

Vanessa currently serves as co-Editor in Chief of The Internet and Higher Education. Additionally, she is a member of the editorial board for Educational Researcher and has edited special issues for Distance Education and Technology, Instruction, Cognition & Learning. She is serving a 3-year term (2016-2019) on the board for the American Educational Research Association’s Instructional Technology special interest group.

She teaches courses on learning theory and instructional design and research methods for new and emerging technologies. She has received six teaching and mentoring awards at FSU since 2013. In 2014, with the assistance of a group of graduate students at Florida State University, she designed and taught the Social Media for Active Learning MOOC, a professional development offering for educators and instructional designers.

As a practitioner, Vanessa has worked as an instructional designer and evaluator in corporate, government and higher education settings. Consulting projects have ranged from evaluating online learning programs to designing SCORM-compliant Web-based training programs to developing online community supports. She has delivered professional development workshops and webinars internationally for instructors and instructional designers on topics such as developing online presence, social media integration in the classroom, and instructional design for active learning.

Vanessa has a PhD and MS from Indiana University (Instructional Systems Technology, 2001; Educational Psychology, 1999) and an MS from Syracuse University (Instructional Design, Development & Evaluation, 1995). She received her BS in Radio-TV-Film from Northwestern University.

Courses Frequently Taught

EDF 6499 Discourse and Conversation Analysis
EDP 5216 Theories of Learning & Cognition
EME 5077 Mobile Learning
EME 6356 Learning & Web Analytics
EME 6414 Web 2.0-based Learning & Performance
EME 6476 Internet Inquiry
EME 2040 Introduction to Educational Technology (faculty supervisor)


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Visit Dr. Dennen's project website