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Academic Degrees

  • B.B.A. Business Management. College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA
  • M.A. Educational Psychology. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Ph.D. Educational Psychology. Concentration: Instructional Design & Technology. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.


Dr. Diane Wilcox earned her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Educational Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied instructional design and technology with Wallace Hannum, one of the founders of the ISD Model and one of Robert Gagné’s first doctoral students at Florida State University. Her thesis and dissertation research used fractions software (designed and produced by her husband, Tom) to investigate the effect of 3-dimensional graphics and animation on children’s learning of fraction concepts and rules. After graduating from UNC, Dr. Wilcox launched a software startup (Mindforge) with Tom Wilcox and provided the instructional design for the company’s product, Mindforge Fractions (1998), a modified drill-and-practice application based on her dissertation research that used fuzzy logic, gaming elements, 3-D animated graphics, sound effects, and avatars to teach basic fraction concepts to children. After Mindforge, she worked for Autodesk, a large graphics and CAD software company, as a Training Manager, Instructional Design Manager, and Business Process Manager. While at Autodesk, she designed, implemented and evaluated training programs for enterprise systems to enable employees to develop competence with the different software systems. Dr. Wilcox joined James Madison University in 2004 as an Assistant Professor and since that time has routinely taught courses in instructional technology, instructional design, and visual literacy. Currently, she is a Professor  for Learning, Technology & Leadership Education. Her research interests include innovative uses of technology in teaching and learning, the use of virtual reality to develop spatial ability, and the effective use of media elements in e-learning.

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