Dr. Lilly Lu

Dr. Lilly Lu is an assistant professor of Art Education and Media Arts in the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. With a background in Instructional Technology, she focuses her research on virtual worlds pedagogy, gaming (video games, game design, and play/game pedagogy), digital visual culture, and integrating new media/technology into art education and education. 

Since 2000, Dr. Lu has been one of the few pioneer researchers and art educators in 3D virtual worlds and game design research. To fund her research, Dr. Lu was awarded four research/venture grants within five years (2007-2012), including a highly competitive externally funded research grant awarded by the National Art Education Foundation, the affiliated organization of the National Art Education Association. These grants, totaling $41,309, have supported her research activities that break new ground in art education and explore innovative pedagogy in highly interactive virtual environments in secondary and higher education.

In 2015, Dr. Lu was awarded an additional external research grant ($8,250) from the National Art Education Foundation (NAEF), an affiliation of the National Art Education Association (NAEA), for the research project, Empowering the Digital Generation through Creating Highly Interactive Virtual Environments (HIVEs). Also, Dr. Lu and her colleague, Professor Russ Nordman, were awarded a teaching grant ($20,000) for a project titled Creating New Generation Blended Learning Environments for the Media Arts Program from the 2015 Kelly Endowed Fund, which is held and operated by the University of Nebraska. 

Based on her research projects, Dr. Lu demonstrated that virtual worlds and digital games can serve as new media of artistic expression, new means for teaching and learning, and parts of the emerging digital visual culture/curriculum content in contemporary art education. Her research findings have resulted in two teaching models and curricula as best practices available in her conference presentations and publications. 

Dr. Lu’s work has been published in premier journals in art education: Studies in Art Education, Visual Arts Research, Art Education, Journal of the International Society for Education through Art, and Visual Culture and Gender. She has also published her work in the peer-reviewed journals of the two major Technology in Teacher Education Associations: the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE) and the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). 

Selected publications in Art Education include: “Creative expression in 3D virtual worlds: Embracing creativity, imagination, and innovation in a virtual age” in Zimmerman’s & Bastos’ book Creativity and art education (2015), “3D virtual worlds as art media and exhibition arenas: Students’ responses and challenges in contemporary art education” in Studies in Art Education (2013), “Teaching 21st century art education in a virtual age: Art Café@Second Life” in Art Education Journal (2010), and “Demystifying three-dimensional virtual worlds for art education” in Journal of International Society for Education through Art (2010). 

Selected publications in Technology in Teacher Education include: “Art education avatars in action: Preparing art teachers for learning and teaching in a virtual age” in Journal of Technology and Teacher Education (2011), and “Knowledge construction in in-service teacher online discourse: Impacts of instructor roles and facilitative strategies” in Journal of Research on Technology in Education (2006). 


Last Updated: 18 April 2016