Jered Borup has used his interest in online learning as the basis of his doctoral research
Three years ago, Jered Borup and his wife came to BYU to pursue graduate degrees. While his wife earned her master’s degree in exercise science, Jered started the Ph.D. program in the Department of Instructional Psychology and Technology in the McKay School of Education.
Jered grew up in Fillmore, Utah. Both of his parents were teachers, his mother at the local high school and his father at Weber State University. Through their influence Jered earned his undergraduate teaching degree in social studies at BYU-Idaho.
After graduation, he taught history at a junior high school in Idaho Falls for six years. During that time he received his master’s degree from Idaho State University in secondary education with an emphasis in social studies.
“[Using technology in the classroom] was kind of a weakness of mine when I started teaching,” Jered said. “Although I learned the value of teaching with technology and began using it in almost all of my lessons, I felt like there was a better way [to use it].” For example, Jered created a course website for students to access course material and used Google Earth to take students on virtual field trips. With a personal interest in online learning and the shift toward online learning that was occurring in Idaho, the IP&T program was a good fit.
Once in the program, Jered found a subject that could satisfy his curiosity. “Dr. Charles Graham, who [researches] blended learning, is one of the top researchers in that field, so he became my advisor and I started researching,” he said. “I have also been lucky to research with Dr. Rick West, who has been doing great work with online learning communities.”
Jered’s research is exploring the effects of the interactive roles parent, instructor, and peer interaction on student engagement in virtual high schools like the Open High School of Utah. His work has been shared at several national conferences and was recognized with a national award by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology for his doctorate research proposal.
“Technology can make teaching more effective. It can be more transformative and really change what teachers and students do in the classroom,” Jered said. “When it is used well, it really helps students learn.” After he earns his doctorate degree next year, Jered hopes to teach and do research at a university that prepares teachers to teach online.
In his spare time Jered likes to hike, cross-country ski, and play bocce ball with his wife. Their six-month-old daughter also keeps them very busy.
September 13, 2012