About Cat

Assistant Professor, Curriculum & Instruction

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

CREATE and DELTA Programs


  • My research investigates how distributed scaffolding supports dialogic, collaborative meaning-making in classrooms and museums through design-based research (DBR).
  • I specifically analyze the ways in which people provide support in conjunction with scaffolds embedded in the learning context.
  • I’m interested in the intersection between teacher education and museum education, and the ways these fields come together to innovate best practices in teaching.
  • I leverage a combination of qualitative, quantitative, and computational approaches to dig into scaffolding, collaboration, and learning at multiple grain sizes using diverse data sources.
  • Much of my research takes place in CSCL contexts, including museum exhibits, K-12 classrooms, and online courses.


Some methods I use on a regular basis include:

  • Sociocultural discourse analysis
  • Quantitative discourse analysis
  • Interaction analysis
  • Informed grounded theory
  • Parametric and nonparametric statistical tests
  • Regression and ANOVA/ANCOVA
  • Social network analysis
  • Association analysis
  • Sequential pattern mining
  • Markov models
  • Natural language processing (NLP)

Some programs I use on a regular basis:

  • RStudio
  • Python
  • Gephi
  • Orange3
  • Jmol/JSmol


Outside of Work

  • Running, lifting, and indoor rock climbing.
  • Hunting for street art.
  • Visiting science, art, and design museums.
  • Learning to love the Oxford comma.


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