Anushka Sajani Karunaweera wins first place in uOGRADflix competition

Faculty of Education
Research projects
Winner with prize and two professors
Ambition and creativity came together in Anushka Sajani Karunaweera's explainer video Using Online Assessment in the Age of COVID-19: An Exploratory Study of Cognitive Load, which earned first place in the 2022 uOGradflix competition. Enrolled in the Master of Arts with a concentration in Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Education, Sajani’s award is an impressive accomplishment for a young researcher.

In celebration of research, the contest aims to help graduate students promote their projects and communicate effectively with target audiences. Keeping that in mind, Sajani created an original 60-second video highlighting her research about teaching challenges during pandemic school closures. This research focuses on the complexities of a teacher's use of technologies against the backdrop of emergency remote teaching.  

On what motivated her participation, Sajani explained “Thanks to the uOGRADflix competition, I was provided with a unique challenge that I, as a master’s student had not yet experienced in my studies. This presented me with the incentive and motivation to prepare for a great opportunity to not only present my work in a different context, but to allow for my project to reach a wider scope of people.” 

The competition required participating students to create innovative ways of showcasing the essence of their projects in concise, clear, and informative formats in order to share with an array of audiences including non-specialist cohorts. 

“The preparation of the script was by far the most challenging in the process of participating in this competition," she said. "To produce a 60-second video, the script required to be around 150 words maximum. Preparing this script required me to cut down my project to its most essential details but to also maintain an entertaining and simple aspect to it that required less elaboration. Personally, refining the script so it included the essential elements of my project, while also limiting the words so as I can pause to take breaths, emphasize certain elements, and convey emotion when presenting, was a notable achievement.” 

As a means of developing research brands and amplifying the visibility of projects, uOGRADflix is also a platform for the University of Ottawa to proudly acknowledge the impressive research conducted by graduate students.  

“As a master’s student, especially in the middle of a pandemic, I was starting to get used to the mundane routines of virtual lessons and basically living in front of my laptop. This competition breathed life into my project by introducing a new challenge to break from the routines and help me add color to a thesis writing process that can become a little too black and white sometimes,” indicated Sajani. “I want to thank the uOGRADflix team and my thesis committee for all the support they provided me in improving my project and hope this competition continues to motivate other students who, like me, are looking for ways to add some color to the invaluable work they do at uOttawa.”  

The Faculty of Education community extends its sincere congratulations to master’s candidate Anushka Sajani Karunaweera for this pride-worthy achievement.