Shai Goldfarb Cohen
Shai Goldfarb Cohen is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, Digital Media, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests include how informal learning communities use digital tools to learn Jewish texts. In her dissertation she will focus on how literature, reading, and learning of Jewish texts can be taught collaboratively using digital tools. For example, in what ways do people learn to become participants in an online Jewish studies community? If technology changes the way we learn and teach, how will that affect Jewish studies in the future?
Different online learning tools may also reflect the ways in which the social and textual act of interpretations built a community of readers and writers, a community of learners and teachers with the Jewish sacred texts in the center. The implications of this research may provide a deeper understanding of Jewish education in the 21st century.
During the summers of 2015 and 2016 she worked as a research assistant in the Poetic Media Lab at Stanford, qualitatively coding interviews, surveys, and classroom observations from courses using Lacuna Stories (an online learning platform designed at Stanford University) to understand the pedagogical and educational learning processes using this platform. This work showed her the potential for digital platforms to accommodate new formal and informal learning environments surrounding Jewish texts, as well as the opportunities for researches to track and qualify learning that is documented in digital spaces. Using similar techniques, she hopes to assess how learners approach Jewish texts using online platforms.