Text-only version of this website Skip to content

Cavanaugh, Catherine

Research Scientist and Chief Technology Officer,
Lastinger Center for Learning

College of Education
University of Florida
Room 2-068 Norman Hall
PO Box 117052
Gainesville, FL 32611
Phone: 352-273-4103
Fax: 352-392-3505

Research Biography

The core of my research is understanding contexts and conditions for effective online, blended, and digital learning environments. My specific interests include virtual schooling, collaborative learning environments, and professional and leadership development in K-12 online programs.


Ph.D. – University of South Florida. 1998. Curriculum and Instruction

M.Ed. – University of Central Florida. 1988. Science Education

B.A. – University of the Virgin Islands. 1984. Elementary Education

Key Professional Appointments

Research Scientist and Chief Technology Officer, University of Florida, 2020-Present

Principal Program Manager for Education Analytics and Professional Development, Microsoft, 2018-2020

Head of Digital Transformation, Catholic Education Western Australia, 2016-2018

Director of Teaching and Learning, Microsoft, 2013-2018

Associate Director, Higher Colleges of Technology, United Arab Emirates, 2011-2013

Associate Professor, University of Florida, 2007-2011

Activities and Honors

International Society for Technology and Learning Making IT Happen award, 2016

Outstanding Customer Focus award, Microsoft Corporation, 2015

Fulbright Senior Scholar, 2010-2011

Reviewer for Journal of Online Learning Research

Reviewer for International Review of Research in Online and Distance Learning

Reviewer for International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education

Reviewer for Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia

Reviewer for Journal of Distance Education


  • Dawson, K., Cavanaugh, C., & Ritzhaupt, A. (2010). The Florida Digital Educator Program: Research and Evaluation of the Title II-D Competitive Enhancing Education through Technology Funds. $1.4M.
  • Cavanaugh, C., & Dawson, K. (2010). Online Medical Education Degree (OnMED): Andragogic Skills for 21st Century Clinical Medical Educators. Florida Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE)/US ED. $299,342.
  • Dawson, K., & Cavanaugh, C. Exploring science content: Digital strategies for science teaching and learning. Role: Co-Principal Investigator. Funding Agency: Florida Department of Education, Math/ Science Partnership Grants. Funded for July 2007- August 2008. Total funding amount: $127,487.

Selected Publications


Rogers-Estable, M., Cavanaugh, C., Simonson, M., Finucane, T., & McIntosh, A.  (2018). Virtual learning design and delivery. Lumen Learning.

Book Chapters

Cavanaugh, C. (2019). A quality digitally enhanced learning environment. In T. McDonald (Ed.), Classroom management. Oxford University Press. https://www.oup.com.au/books/higher-education/education/9780190303853-classroom-management

Cavanaugh, C., & Hargis, J. (2018). Mobile learning transformation in a national higher education system. In H. Crompton & J. Traxler (Eds.), Mobile learning and higher education: Case studies in practice. Routledge. https://www.routledge.com/Mobile-Learning-and-Higher-Education-Challenges-in-Context/Crompton-Traxler/p/book/9781138238770

Cavanaugh, C., Maor, D., & McCarthy, A. (2018). Mobile learning. In K. Kennedy & R. E. Ferdig (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (2nd ed., pp. 574-591). ETC Press.

Ferdig, R., Cavanaugh, C., & Freidhoff, J. (2015). Research into K-12 online learning. In T. Clark & M. Barbour (Eds.), Online and distance education in schools: Global perspectives on policy and practice. Stylus.

Journal Articles

Cavanaugh, C., & DeWeese, A. (2020). Understanding the professional learning and support needs of educators during the initial weeks of pandemic school closures through search terms and content use. Journal of Technology in Teacher Education 28(2). https://www.learntechlib.org/primary/p/216073/

Cavanaugh, C., & Roe, M. (2019). Developing pedagogy and course design skills in novice virtual school teachers. Journal of Online Learning Research 5(1) 5-22. https://www.learntechlib.org/primary/p/182244/

Cavanaugh, C., Mayberry, J., & Hargis, J. (2016). Participation in the virtual environment of blended college courses: An activity study of student performance. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 17(3). http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/1811

Cavanaugh, C., Sessums, C., & Drexler, W. (2015). A call to action for research in digital learning: Learning without limits of time, place, path, pace…or evidence. Journal of Online Learning Research 1(1) 9-15. https://www.learntechlib.org/p/149851

Cavanaugh, C., Gajer, E., O’Connor, B., & Hargis, J. (2015). Kilimanjaro: A case of meaningful adventure and service learning abroad. Journal of International Students, 5(4), 420-433.

Selected Links