Student News

Kari Lee Siko awarded first place for presentation at University’s Research Day

Kari Lee Siko, a fourth-year Ph.D. student in Culture, Curriculum and Change, was awarded first place in the Best Graduate Student PowerPoint Presentation category at UNC-Chapel Hill’s University Research Day on March 4.  The award-winning presentation, titled “WebQuests in the English classroom: How do they affect student learning?,” is Siko’s dissertation research.

In her mixed-methods study, Siko examined if and how students learn when completing a WebQuest, a Web-based activity commonly used in schools. Prior to her study, no researcher had examined whether or not WebQuests affect student learning. The study shows that more research needs to be done before drawing conclusions regarding the effectiveness of WebQuest as a classroom learning tool. Additionally, teacher education programs need to investigate more closely the types of technologies taught to future teachers to ensure that classroom technology activities are of educational value for students.

Originally from Latrobe, Pa., Siko has lived in Wilmington, N.C., for the past 10 years. She successfully defended her dissertation on February 25, 2008 and will graduate from the School of Education in May. She is seeking an academic position in either English Education or Educational Technology.

Faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students are invited to present at University Research Day, which is sponsored by UNC’s Graduate and Professional Student Federation. Presentations are judged by volunteer faculty members. Approximately 50 graduate students presented at this year’s event.