Dr. Jennifer Jenson is Professor of Pedagogy and Technology in the Faculty of Education and Director of the Institute for Research on Digital Learning at York University, Canada. She is currently co-editor of Loading: The Journal of the Canadian Game Studies Association and the past-President of the Canadian Game Studies Association. She has published extensively on gender and technology, digital games and learning, digital games and gender, online learning, and technology practices and policies in K-12 and post-secondary education.
Dr. Jenson’s research trajectory has included a number of projects that explore multiliteracies and multimodal learning opportunities in K-12 and Post-Secondary educational settings. Literacy today is best understood as a convergence between traditional print literacies and computationally-based, digital literacies. Research in this area has included having folks design games as pathways to computational understandings and competencies. This has meant a shift from ‘natural’ languages to more machine-based languages – coding to object oriented programming to wearable and other networked, tangible and intangible technologies.
Working with Professor Suzanne de Castell (University of Ontario Institute of Technology), Dr. Nicholas Taylor (NC State University) and a team of students in her CFI-funded Play:CES (Play in Computer Environments) lab, she has designed a series of educational games including: “Contagion”, “Epidemic: Self-Care for Crisis”, a Baroque music game, and an iPad game for early readers, Compareware. She has completed 2 longitudinal studies of gender and digital gameplay, and is currently the Principal Investigator of a large Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grant, “Re-Figuring Innovation in Games” (Re-FiG), which supports and studies pathways to support women and others who wanted to play and make games.
MMOGs and Gameplay Culture
She also completed a 3-year, mixed methods study of massively multiplayer online games and their players in partnership with SRI International, SImon Fraser University and Nottingham University, UK. The project was the first, extensive lab-based study of MMOG gameplay – it has resulted a number of paper publications.
Pedagogy and Technology
She has considerable experience working on and with teachers in relation to technology, pedagogy and curriculum, and authored a report for the Ontario Ministry of Education entitled “21st Century Skills, Technologies and Learning“. She has also worked with school boards, colleges, and technology companies to support the integration and implantation of technologies in the K-12 and post-secondary sectors and she has considerable experience designing online learning experiences in higher education.