Instructional Design & Technology Programs

Master of Science, Instructional Design & Technology

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Graduate Certificate in eLearning and Online Teaching

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Department of
Instructional Design & Technology


Dusti Howell, Professor




PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1995

MA, California State University, Los Angeles, 1990

BA, Ambassador College, 1987



I was an active college student, playing on the college basketball team and starting a chess club but was surprise to find myself placed on probation because of my 1.5 GPA. I was perplexed. I had beaten the University of Michigan’s (Ann Arbor) top chess player in a seven-hour match at the Intercollegiate Chess Championships, but I couldn’t succeed in the classroom. I was forced to take an incredibly boring study skills class in order to remain in school and for some reason my GPA did improve. This experience was life changing. I then embarked on a mission to make boring content come alive.  

My educational background has motivated me to find ways to help students become successful. I earned a Ph.D. Major in Educational Communications and Technology and a Ph.D. Minor in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-at Madison in 1995, from programs that were ranked number one by US News and World Report. Helping schools use technology successfully is my greatest strength. A second asset I bring to any school is my 11,000 hours devoted to study skills, individual differences and academic success research. As a keynote presenter I have given learning and motivation presentations all over the world, even in the Royal Palace High School in Bangkok.

I have taught every grade from first grade through graduate school. In 1985, I was chosen from over three hundred applicants to teach English to Buddhist monks in middle schools in Thailand and Sri Lanka. In 1989 and 1990, as a sixth grade teacher, I coached mathletes to sweep all the top awards in competitions in LA County against over 70 teams. In 1995, I set up the curriculum and taught the high school computer classes at the International School of Beijing.  Since 1997, I’ve been a university professor in the Instructional Design and Technology (IDT) Department at The Teachers College at Emporia State University teaching graduate and undergraduate classes.

My wife and I have written a dozen books on educational technology and academic success. Our Vocabbusters series on the iPad, Kindle and Nook, is a great way to learn tough vocabulary words combining keyword mnemonics (cartoons) with semantic context (great examples of words used in real life).


Areas of Research and Teaching

  1. Media Development: multimedia design, video production, digital storytelling

  2. Media Literacy: critical theory, protecting kids from the side effects of technology

  3. Teaching and Learning: individual differences, learning strategies, learning motivation, pedagogy, first-year experience


Courses Taught

IT 343  Learning and Motivation

IT 371  Advanced Instructional Technology for Teachers

IT 700  Foundations in Instructional Technology

IT 713  Digital Game-Based Learning

IT 718  Powerful PowerPoint for Educators

IT 743  Digital Storytelling

IT 743  Directing and Producing Multimedia

IT 743  Electronic Storytelling, Scriptwriting & Storyboarding

IT 743  Video, Audio, and Lighting

IT 744  Directing and Producing TV

IT 744  Video Production Techniques

IT 810  Multimedia Design

IT 343  Teaching, Technology and Thailand (Study Abroad)


Featured Publications

Howell, D., Tseng, D.C., & Colorado-Resa, J.T. (2017). Fast Assessments with Digital Tools Using Multiple-Choice Questions. College Teaching, 65(3), 145-147.

Foyle, H.C., Lyman, L and Howell, D. (2015). Defeat the Technology Penalty with Innovative Expert Strategies. National Social Science Technology Journal, 5(2), pp.1-4.

Holland, J. & Howell, D. (2013). Examining Web 2.0 E-Learning Tools: Mixed Method Classroom Pilot. In P. Isaías & M.B. Nunes (Eds.), Information Systems Research and Exploring Social Artifacts: Approaches and Methodologies. Hershey, PA: IGI Global, pp. 294-313.

Howell, D. (2010). The riddle of the smart machines. TechTrends, 54(1), 33-37.

Colorado, J.T. & Howell, D. (2010). The Role of Individual Learner Differences and Success in Online Learning Environments. In T. Kidd (Ed.), Online Education and Adult Learning: New Frontiers for Teaching Practices. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Howell, D.D., Howell, D.K. and Childress, M. (2006). Using PowerPoint in the Classroom. Corwin Press: Thousand Oaks, CA. [2nd edition]

Howell, D.D., and Howell, D.K. (2003). Digital Storytelling: Creating an eStory. Linworth Publishing: Worthington, OH.

Howell, D. (2001). Elements of Effective E-Learning: Three Design Methods to Minimize Side Effects of Online Courses. College Teaching, 49(3).


Featured Presentations

Howell, D. (2017, May 18). A Humorous Look at Facebook’s Shadows. The 5th International SEARCH (Southeast Asia Research Centre for Communications and Humanities) Conference: Social Media in Focus; Taylor University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Howell, D., Stinson, B. and McCroddan, J. (2015, Nov.). HighFiveInIt! with preschoolers in the digital world of learning. NAEYC, Orlando, FL.

Howell, D., Foyle, H. and Lyman, L. (2013, October 31). Attack Technological Change with Innovative Expert Strategies. AECT, Anaheim, CA.

Tseng, Daphne C.Y., Gutsch, Seung, Howell, D. (2013, June & November). What are You Dying to Play? When flow experiences in game-based learning cross the line to addiction. AECT-ICFER (International Conference on the Frontier in e-Learning Research), Taichung City, Taiwan & AECT, Anaheim, California.

Howell, D. (2013, May). OER (Open Educational Resource) Initiatives for Academic Success. OCWC (Open Courseware Consortium), Bali, Indonesia.

Howell, D. (2013, May). Helping Kids Navigate Through the Darkness of Facebook. ICCMTD (International Conference on Communication, Media, Technology and Design), Famagusta, Northern Cyprus.

Zhang, Q., Tseng, D.C.Y., Hamzani, N., Howell, D. (2012, Nov.). Creating Apple Apps 101: Things I wish I knew before I built my first app. AECT, Louisville, KY.

Howell, D. (2012, April). Buddhist Monks, Media Literacy and the Killing Fields. NSSA (National Social Science Association), Las Vegas, NV.

Howell, D. & Holland, J. (2011, November). Creating Cool Classroom Content For iPads. AECT, Jacksonville, FL.

Howell, D. (2012, Oct.). Change Screen Monsters to Motivated Readers. KAECT & KASL (Kansas Association of School Librarians), Salina, KS.

Howell, D. (2011, June).  [KEYNOTE] The Riddle of Technology: Controlling the good, the bad and the ugly sides of technology. 15th Annual Technology and the Classroom, KAECT Regional: Pittsburg,KS

Howell, D. (2006, August). [CONVOCATION]  Million Dollar Rookie Mistakes. Emporia State University.



Howell, D. (PD), Kern, J. (Co-PI), Seimears, C.M. (Co-PI). Ag-ACS (Agricultural Applications of Computer Science). NSF-STEM + Computer Partnerships: Computer Science for All (Exploratory Integration). Starting Date 09/01/2017 and Ending Date 08/31/2020 for $454,356.

Seimears, C.M. (PI), Howell, D. (Co-PI), Pettit, C. (Co-PI), & Kern, J. (Co-PI). FAN - STEM – I (Fredonia, Altoona‐Midway, Neodesha – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics ‐ Initiative) ITQ grant submitted on January 15, 2016 for $194,820 & accepted February 16, 2016.

Howell, D. (PD), Pettit, C., Kern, J. and Seimears, C.M. STEM Makes Academic Success Happen (SMASH); Submitted on January 12, 2015; 18 month grant, 2/5/15-915/16 (Low cost robotics, hands on science and math, academic enhancement materials in a quasi-experimental proposal to improve teaching.) evaluated on Feb. 5, 2015; $197,867. ITQ (Improving Teacher Quality).

Seimears, C.M. (PD), Pettit, C. (co-PD), Howell, D. (co-PD), Howe, M. and Kern, J.  Western Kansas – STEM Experiences for All (WK-SEFA). Kansas Board of Regents; 4/1/13-9/30/14; $264,112 (NCLB Teacher Quality Grant to train teachers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).


Curriculum Vitae Summary




Phone: 620-341-5082


Office Location: Visser Hall, 328