Fitsum Abebe

Fitsum Abebe
Fitsum Abebe
Online Instructional Designer
(217) 332-5701
Suite 204 Applied Research Institute


  • PhD in Educational Studies: Instructional Technology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2021
  • MA., Teaching, Learning & Teacher Education: focused in Instructional Design and Technology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2016
  • MSc., Telematics (Information Communication Technology -ICT) Application in Education and Training, University of Twente, The Netherlands, 2002


Fitsum Abebe is the Instructional Designer at the Illinois Applied Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is passionate about applying learning theories, instructional system design theories and adult learning theories in course design and development as well as teaching and training. In her current role she designs and develops online and blended courses. She trains trainers on the use of online instructional platforms and tools for teaching and learning purposes. She also provides oversight of the educational component of the new Learning Management System (LMS) under development.

Academic Positions

  • Online Instructional Designer, Applied Research Institute, The Grainger College of Engineering (March 2021 - present)
  • Assistant Director of Online Education Services (August 2020 - March 2021); Instructional Designer and Technology Specialist (IDTS), , Doane University, Nebraska, Lincoln, NE (December 2018 - August 2020 )
  • Graduate Assistant for Canvas/Blackboard admin and support, Information Technology Systems, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE (August 2015 – December 2018)
  • Lecturer, Information Communication Technology (ICT) in Education, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (January 2004 – June 2011)
  • Lecturer, computer science, MicroLink Information Communication College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (September 2002 - December 2003)

Research Interests

  • User interface design and user experience research
  • Application of learning theories, cognitive psychology, and brain science in educational technology
  • Application of artificial intelligence in education
  • Analysis, design, development, and evaluation of e-learning and Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR)

Research Areas

  • Algorithm and Software Development

Selected Articles in Journals

Articles in Conference Proceedings

  • Olmanson, J., Abebe, F., Jones, V., Kyle, E., Lucas, L., Robbins, K., Rouamba, G., Liu, X. (2015). Caught in the Tractor Beam of Larger Influences: The Filtration of Innovation in Education Technology Design. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, International Science Index 103, International Journal of Social, Behavioral, Educational, Economic and Management Engineering, 9(7), 1942 - 1946.
  • Liu, X., Yu, A., Deng, Q., Kang, L., Abebe, F. & Trainin, G. (2022). Non-cognitive Precursors of technology integration for Chinese Language Teachers: Grit and Resistance. In E. Langran (Ed.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 1425-1428). San Diego, CA, United States: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved February 14, 2023 from