I am interested in teaching Educational Psychology and Educational Technology at the university level and pursuing a research program that focuses on the design, development, and assessment of Cognitive Flexibility Hypermedia (CFH) learning environments and how they can support the deep understanding of complex concepts across multiple ill-structured domains. My current work is focused on the following topics: helping nurse practitioners understand essential content to successfully and effectively participate with a patient in the diagnostic process for psychiatric disorders; supporting the learning and teaching of U.S. history, political communication, and core democratic values; and developing an online program that integrates learning theory and new media in order to demonstrate how 21st century challenges are interrelated.
2009 PhD. Educational Technology and Educational Psychology, Michigan State University. Advisor: Rand J. Spiro. Title: The Design and Development of a Theoretically Grounded Hypermedia Learning Environment: EASE History.
2001 M.A. Educational Technology, Michigan State University.
1994 P.B.A. World History/U.S. History Teaching License, University of Dubuque.
1991 B.A. Dual major: History/Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Spiro, R.J., Collins, B.P., Ramchandran, A.R. (2007). Reflections on a Post-Gutenberg Epistemology for Video Use in Ill-Structured Domains: Things You Can Do With Video to Foster Complex Learning and Cognitive Flexibility. Video Research in the Learning Sciences. Goldman, R., Pea R., Barron B., and Derry, S. (Eds.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Collins, B.P., Spiro, R.J., Ramchandran, A.R., Ruggiero, C.C. (2007). Comparing and Contrasting U.S. Presidential Campaign Ads from the Cold War. NCSS Bulletin: Exemplary Social Studies Lessons that Infuse Technology. Bennett, L. and Berson, M. (Eds.) National Council for Social Studies.
Palincsar, A., Spiro, R., Kucan, L., Magnusson, S., Collins, B., Hapgood, S., Ramchandran, A., Defrance, N., Gelpi-Lomangino, A. (2007). Research to Practice: Designing a hypermedia environment to support elementary teachers’ learning of robust comprehension instruction. Instructional strategies. McNamara, D. (Ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Spiro, R.J., Collins, B.P., Ramchandran, A.R. (2006). Modes of Openness and Flexibility in Cognitive Flexibility Hypertext Learning Environments. Flexible Learning in an Information Society. Khan, B. (Ed.) Hershey, PA: Idea Group.
Collins, B., Spiro, R. & Ramchandran, A. (2005). EASE History: An Online Learning Environment that Supports Historical Understanding. In P. Kommers & G. Richards (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2005 (pp. 4193-4195). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.
Spiro, R.J., Collins, B.P. Thota, J.J., & Feltovich, P.J. (2004). Cognitive flexibility theory: Hypermedia for complex learning, adaptive knowledge application, and experience acceleration. In Kovalchick, A. & Dawson, K. (Eds.), Educational Technology: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO (pp. 107-113). [Reprinted from Educational Technology, 2003.]
Spiro, R.J., Collins, B.P., Thota, J.J. Feltovich, P.J. (2003). Cognitive Flexibility Theory: Hypermedia for Complex Learning, Adaptive Knowledge Application, and Experience Acceleration. Educational Technology. 43(5), 5-12.
2008-present Project Designer and Developer, Nursing Education Online CFH program. This project is interested in helping nursing practitioners understand essential content, reflected in short video clips, to successfully and effectively participate with a patient in the diagnostic process for psychiatric disorders. This HRSA PMHNP funded project is a collaborative effort between Michigan State University and the University of Wyoming. Duties: Designing and developing the Cognitive Flexibility Theory-based hypermedia system.
2006-present Project Leader, Interlinked Challenges. This project is interested in how an online learning environment that employs CFT principles and new media might support the understanding of how 21st century challenges are interrelated. Duties: I initiated the Interlinked Challenges project and have led the design and the development of the system. The project was launched May 2009. The site can be viewed at http://interlinkedchallenges.org/
2004-present Project Leader, EASE (Experience Acceleration Support Environment) History. This project is interested in how a CFH system can support the teaching and learning of U.S. history. EASE History is an online environment that prepares learners to become more flexible and critical thinkers by encouraging certain habits of mind like placing events in context, looking at situations from multiple perspectives, and making connections between cases– all habits that are essential for an active and engaged citizenry. Duties: I initiated the EASE History project and have led the design, the development, and the assessment of the system from the start. My dissertation is based on the project. EASE History was named by Macromedia as one of the top 8 most innovative higher education websites. The site can be viewed at http://www.easehistory.org/
2003-2005 Research Assistant, Teaching Literacy Strategies with Video. Supported by Rand Spiro. The project involved scaling expert knowledge and practice for teaching elementary school students. The project integrated four research programs: Reciprocal Teaching, Questioning the Author, and the Theory of Cognitive Flexibility, and the use of text in science education. Controlled experiments compared two models of professional development, one of which features the use of a hypermedia tool and the second of featured the same information, presented via linear video-based cases. Duties: I analyzed video of classroom teaching and teacher interviews and developed theme-codings from this analysis. I co-developed the online CFH environment EASE-Comprehension (EASE-C) that was used in the professional development workshops. Principal Investigators: Rand Spiro, Michigan State University, and Annemarie Palinscar, University of Michigan. The Interagency Education Research Initiative (IERI), a collaborative effort jointly sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Education Sciences in the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in the National Institutes of Health, funded this project.
2002-2004 Research Assistant, Digital Video Cases. Supported by Rand Spiro. The project was interested in how a CFH environment could support learning across multiple domains. More specifically, the project was interested in how a CFH learning environment could use classroom video of a Learning By Design (LBD) balloon car unit to deepen understanding of the complexities of classroom teaching for pre-service teachers in science education. Duties: I co-developed a CFH learning environment to support learning in science education and across multiple domains. I also analyzed classroom video of the LBD unit, created themes, edited the videos, and populated the environment. Principal Investigators: Rand J. Spiro, Michigan State University, Sharon Derry, University of Wisconsin, and Janet Kolodner, Georgia Tech University. This project was funded through the U.S. Department of Education Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology program (PT3), and the Joyce Foundation.
Collins, B.P., Spiro, R.J., Ramchandran, A.R. (2007). Cognitive Flexibility Hypermedia Systems and Adaptive Learning. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.
Collins, B.P., Spiro, R.J., Ramchandran, A. R. (2006). Historical Understanding and Cognitive Flexibility. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA.
Collins, B.P., Spiro, R.J., Ramchandran, A.R. (2005). EASE History: An Online Learning Environment that Supports Historical Understanding. Paper presented at ED-MEDIA 2005, World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications. Montreal, Canada.
Collins, B.P., Ramchandran, A.R., Spiro, R.J. (2005). Supporting Historical Understanding with Flash. Flash Forward Conference. New York City, New York.
Spiro, R.J., Collins, B.P., Ramchandran, A.R. (2005). Fostering Teacher Expertise: Theory Methods and Tools. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Canada.
Dickson, P.W., Phillips, M.M., Bouck, E.C., Collins, B.P., Kidwai, K., Yadav, A. (2004). Top Twelve Educational Psychology Doctoral Programs: What Their Web Sites Say About Them. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA.
Palincsar, A.S., Spiro, R.J., Magnusson, S.J., Collins, B.P., Hapgood S., Ramchandran, A.R., Sheltrown, N. (2004). Development in Reading Comprehension Instruction Using Reciprocal Teaching: Developing Complex Understanding and Adaptive Flexibility with EASE Learning Environments. Paper presented at the National Reading Conference, San Antonio, TX.
Spiro, R.J., Collins, B.P., Thota, J., Ramchandran, A.R., Feltovich P.J. (2003). Exploiting and Expanding Cognitive Bandwidth in Learning from Digital Video Cases: Accelerating Experience. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.
Spiro, R.J., Collins, B.P., Thota, J., Ramchandran, A.R., Michigan State University; Derry, S. (2003). New Directions in the Presentation of Cases: Augmenting Video to Enable the Comprehension of Complexity. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.
Spiro, R.J., Collins, B.P., Thota, J. (2002). Case-based hypermedia and adaptive flexibility: New media make possible a new cognitive message. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.
2006-2009 Instructional Technology EDSS 620 Instructor: Social Studies and Technology. New York, NY. This course is designed to promote the use of new technologies that might help students develop skills and thinking processes of historians. Students develop curriculum materials that will promote collaborative and interdisciplinary activities and incorporate state and national standards in social studies education. I taught all sessions and assessed student understanding. Sections were taught online and face to face.
2007-2009 Teacher Education EDUC 372 Instructor: Strategies Utilizing Instructional Technologies in Social Studies. New York Institute of Technology. New York, NY. This course is designed for pre-service elementary teachers. Students developed strategies to use learning theory and technology to work with social studies content. I taught all sessions and assessed student understanding. Sections were taught online and face to face.
2007-2009 Instructional Technology EDIT 603 Instructor: Foundations. New York Institute of Technology. New York, NY. This course examines research on the integration of digital technologies in teaching, training, and learning. Students explore, through literature and new media, instructional technology within education, corporate, personal, and societal contexts. I taught all sessions and assessed student understanding.
2006-2009 Instructional Technology EDIT 620 Instructor: Technology and Leadership. New York Institute of Technology. New York, NY. This course is designed for school technology leaders. Students develop a school action plan for a school wide technology initiative, examine computer ethics, review new media, and analyzed future technology trends. I developed a hybrid course that included a classroom and an online component. I taught all sessions and assessed student understanding.
2006 Educational Psychology 816 Instructor: Technology, Teaching, and Learning Across the Curriculum. Michigan State University. East Lansing, MI. This course is designed to bring together current understandings of technology and how it can be used for learning across K-16 content areas. Three threads are woven together in this course: technology, teaching, and learning. Students examine a collection of technologies in this course, including educational software, web pages, and handheld technologies that exemplify characteristics of technology and affordances for learning made possible by technology. I developed the course with Rand Spiro and assessed student understanding.
2005-2006 Teacher Education 150 Instructor: Reflections on Learning. Michigan State University. East Lansing, MI. This is an introductory course required for all candidates in the Teacher Preparation Program at MSU. The primary goal of the course is to help prospective teachers learn to use important ideas from the field of educational psychology in their professional reasoning about teaching and learning. I developed a hybrid course with a classroom and an online component. I taught all sessions and assessed student understanding.
1998-2001 Social Studies Teacher, Fukuoka International School, Fukuoka, Japan
1997 Social Studies Teacher, Lincoln School, San Jose, Costa Rica
1995-1996 History Instructor, Universidad de Mariano Galvez, Guatemala City, Guatemala
1995-1996 Social Studies Teacher, Colegio Americano, Guatemala City, Guatemala
1995 Social Studies and English Teacher, Wisconsin Institute for Torah Study, Milwaukee, WI
Awards and Fellowship
Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2006)
American Educational Research Association (AERA)
International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
National Council for Social Studies (NCSS)
Reviewer, International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
Reviewer, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Reviewer, Tech Trends
Palincsar, A., Spiro, R., Kucan, L., Magnusson, S., Collins, B., Hapgood, S., Ramchandran, A., Defrance, N. (2004). Research to Practice: Supporting elementary teachers to engage in robust comprehension instruction. Reading Strategies Workshop. Memphis, TN.