Zahira Merchant is an Assistant Professor of Instructional Technologies in the Graduate College of Education at San Francisco State University (SFSU). Before joining SF State, Merchant was the project manager and postdoctoral research associate in Knowledge for Algebra Teaching and Equity, a National Science Foundation-funded project studying the use of innovative 3-D virtual environment technology in the classroom. Merchant is originally from India, where she served as a human resource trainer, teacher, teacher educator, curriculum developer, principal, and program evaluator for over ten years.
Merchant’s research interests are in game-based learning environments, learning assessment using digital tools, visuo-spatial cognition, research methods in the field of instructional/educational technology, ill-structured problem solving strategies, and mobile technologies.
Merchant won the Certificate of Merit Award from the Association of Educational Communication and Technology Organization for a game she designed and developed for nursing education. She is also the recipient of the Robert Gagne Award of the Association of Educational Communication and Technology Organization for outstanding dissertation. Merchant’s research has been published in top-tier peer-reviewed journals in the field of educational technology.
- Ph.D., Texas A&M University, Educational Technology, 2012
- M.S., Texas A&M University, Educational Human Resource Development, 2007
- Postgraduate Diploma, South Indian Education Society, Mumbai, India, 2001
- Postgraduate Diploma, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai, India, 1999
- B.Commerce, Mithibai Motiram Kundanani College, Mumbai, India, 1995
- Merchant, Z., Goetz, E., Keeney-Kennicutt, W., Cifuentes, L., & Davis, T, J. (2014). Effectiveness of virtual reality-based instruction on students learning outcomes in K-12 and Higher Education: A meta-analysis. Computers & Education, 70, 29- 40.
- Merchant, Z., Goetz, E., Keeney-Kennicutt, W., Kwok, O., Cifuentes, L., & Davis, T, J. (2013). Exploring 3-D Virtual Reality Technology for Spatial ability and Chemistry Achievement. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 29, 579 - 590.
- Merchant, Z., Goetz, E., Keeney-Kennicutt, W., Kwok, O., Cifuentes, L., & Davis, T, J. (2012). The learner characteristics, features of desktop 3d virtual reality environments, and college chemistry instruction: A structural equation modeling analysis. Computers & Education, 59, 551- 568.