WV Resident Receives National And International Recognition For Her Doctoral Research

December 17, 2004

Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education applauds Dr. Kammi Kai Hefner who was recently selected as the winner of the Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) International Outstanding Dissertation Award. PDK International is an international association for professional educators. The biennial award recognizes a scholar who shows promise for noteworthy contributions to educational research.  

Dr. Hefner's dissertation, Assessing the Factors Affecting West Virginia Pre K-12 Teachers' Use and Non-Use of Lesson Plans Published on the Internet, investigated whether or not teachers use lesson plans published on the Internet? Teachers from 42 counties in West Virginia were invited by their principals to access The Lesson Plan Study Web Site (http://www.thelessonplanstudy.org/) to complete a Web-based questionnaire. Dr. Hefner's data suggest that 82% of the 600 teachers who submitted a questionnaire use lesson plans published on the Internet. Teachers feel that lesson plans published on the Internet are of value. Many teachers are even publishing their own lesson plans on the Internet for other teachers to utilize. These findings advocate that funding should be continued to maintain access to computers and to the Internet.  

“We send our congratulations to Dr. Hefner and are pleased to know that her research shows the need for funding and the usefulness of programs like the West Virginia Department of Education’s Reinventing Education initiative,” said President of the West Virginia Board of Education Barbara Fish.  

Reinventing Education is a partnered effort with IBM to develop technology solutions designed to help support school reform efforts and raise student achievement. West Virginia’s nationally recognized program is designed to drive higher-quality training for West Virginia teachers by creating a first-of-its-kind collaboration between teacher education programs and the public schools they serve.  

In West Virginia, the program was designed to address concrete, identifiable challenges within the state educational system by utilizing the knowledge and experience of classroom teachers as it engaged them in the development of curricular materials. The material development process used in the Reinventing Education program requires that these materials integrate the use of technology, specifically the Internet, address state standards, provide relevant assessments and take into account the degree to which access to technology varies across classrooms. At its most basic level, the goal of this program was to create a body of technology-rich classroom materials that could be used by teachers in diverse classrooms across the state to address deficiencies in student learning as identified through state testing. On a deeper level, however, the program recognizes that to meet project goals Reinventing teachers would be constructing materials that integrate pedagogy, practices and tools of inquiry that many had not previously considered or experienced.  

Additionally, Dr. Hefner was notified that after rigorous peer review that her paper has also been accepted for publication by the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education.  

Dr. Kammi Kai Hefner is a native of Clarksburg and currently resides in Fairmont, West Virginia. Dr. Hefner has worked for Electronic Warfare Associates, Inc. (EWA) in Fairmont for the past twelve years as a Senior Software Engineer. She received her Educational Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Computer Education from West Virginia University in June 2004. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Science (1987) and a Master of Science degree in Software Engineering (1999) both from WVU. She graduated in 1985 from Fairmont State College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She is a member of Bridgeport Senior High School's Class of 1980.

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