Zahira Merchant is an Associate Professor of Instructional Technologies Program at San Francisco State University (SFSU). She received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (Emphasis in Education Technology) and MS in Educational Human Resource Development from Texas A&M University. Dr. Merchant has served as the PI, Co-PI, Senior Personnel on several federally and non-profit funded grant projects from agencies such as National Science Foundation (NSF), California Teaching Commission (CTC), and IDEA. Before joining SF State, she was the project manager and postdoctoral research associate of an NSF project studying the effects of using 3-D virtual reality technologies in training mathematics educators. Dr. Merchant’s engages in research focusing on virtual reality, game-based learning environments, learning analytics, digital literacy, computer science for K-12, advanced quantitative and qualitative research methods, mixed research methods. Dr. Merchant’s research is published in top-tier peer-reviewed journals and is highly cited by scholars nationally and internationally. She is currently the member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Formative Design in Learning.
Dr. Merchant is the winner of the Robert Gagne Instructional Design Award (2012) awarded by the Association of Educational Communication and Technology Organization (AECT) for her outstanding dissertation. She has been the recipient of the Presidential Service Award three times from for her exceptional service to the AECT’s Design and Development Division, where she served in the leadership for four consecutive years. Dr. Merchant was the finalist of the PacifiCorp Design and Development Competition (2012). She also won the Certificate of Merit Award (2012) for a game she developed for students of nursing education.