April 3, 2020

Dr. Florence Martin Professor in Learning, Design and Technology

Dr. Florence Martin is a champion for online learning. She is a professor and program coordinator for our Ed.D. concentration in Learning, Design and Technology (LDT) program, program director for our PCER in University and College Teaching and has been with the University for six years. She is passionate about her students and the role education plays in their lives. “I believe that ‘to teach is to touch and change a life forever,’” she said. 

“I teach graduate courses in Learning, Design and Technology, 100% online,” said Dr. Martin. “My favorite aspect of teaching is that I am able to support my students to find and excel in the job roles they desire.” 

Already at the forefront of the campus online learning community, Dr. Martin played an important role in assisting other faculty to take their courses online due to COVID-19. “Being a faculty expert on online teaching, it has also become important for me to step up and support others who are transitioning to teaching online,” she said. “I was able to support the creation of a repository of teaching online resources with experts from the Center for Teaching and Learning, and colleagues in my program. We have been doing workshops for colleagues on campus on best practices and strategies for online teaching. I have also been invited to support our K-12 teachers in transitioning to online learning. Instructors are doing their best to transition their courses to the online environment and support their student learning.”

She said that at the core of her belief system surrounding online learning, is the idea that “online learning is effective when it is well-designed.” 

“Instructional design and facilitation strategies that work well for the online environment are different from face-to-face courses. Hence, it is important for instructors to take the time and get the support they need to create online courses grounded in research and include strategies for online delivery,” said Martin.

As a professor during the COVID-19 crisis, Dr. Martin is working with her students, who are using the skills from their program to implement online education practices in their careers, on due dates and expectations. “Through my courses, I support the LDT program in preparing technology facilitators, instructional designers, online learning specialists and similar roles,” said Martin. “Several of them are working from home, some are juggling work, school work with families at home. Students and alumni from the LDT program are leading some of the transition efforts to online learning in their workplaces. In addition, there is added stress from the current situation.  I have to be flexible in terms of due dates and extensions and support them in any aspect I can.”

“Participating in the online courses gives students the flexibility to manage their schedule and complete the program,” said Martin. “I teach mostly asynchronously online and this allows the students to participate in the courses from ‘anywhere’ at ‘anytime’ and provide control and pace for their learning. Through online instruction, I am able to teach many students who are not local to Charlotte but are still able to participate in student-centered online learning.”

Dr. Martin engages in research focusing on the effective design of instruction and integration of digital technology to improve learning and performance. Her research has resulted in over 60 publications and 100 presentations. She has conducted several studies focusing on designing and integrating online learning environments to improve educational outcomes. She is currently investigating digital citizenship for K-12 students, roles for online instructors and synthesizing research on online learning. She has received over 1 million dollars in funding from the National Science Foundation for her research. 

Dr. Florence Martin received her Doctorate and Master’s degrees in Educational Technology from Arizona State University. Prior to her current position, she was a tenured Associate Professor at University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She teaches courses on Learning, Design and Technology 100% online and has received Quality Matters Certification for six of her courses. She was the first place winner of the Crystal Award from the Division of Distance Learning in Association of Educational Communications and Technology in 2015. She was the inaugural winner of the Thomas L. Reynolds Leadership Award for Graduate Program Direction in 2019.

Dr. Martin was a fellow with the Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning (IELOL), served as the first teaching fellow for the College of Education, Associate Quality Matters Fellow through Center for Teaching and Learning and Digital Learning Fellow for the Senior Associate Provosts Office at UNC Charlotte. Dr. Martin served as the President of Multimedia Production Division in 2012-2013 and as the President of the Division of Distance Learning in 2017-2018 for Educational Communications and Technology. She also served as the Vice President for Marketing and Communications with ISPI Charlotte and is currently serving as Director-at-Large for International Board of Standards for Training, Performance and Instruction and on the advisory council for North Carolina Virtual Public Schools.