Post Doctoral Fellow

Human-Computer Interaction Institute


Seeking a postdoctoral researcher in educational technology design to work with the director of the Learning Media Design Center (LMDC) in the Human Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to conduct design based learning research and evaluation studies. This role is primarily dedicated to study design, novel instrument development, data collection, and analysis of learning science and evaluation data to inform the design and development of the NSF-AISL Award No. 1516149 “Learning to See, Seeing to Learn: A Sociotechnical System Supporting Taxonomic Identification Activities in Volunteer-Based Water Quality Biomonitoring” project. Additional responsibilities include project management and coordination between research collaborators and partner citizen science organizations, as well as contributing to smaller design research and evaluation projects taken on by the LMDC. Candidates will also have the opportunity to serve as a co-instructor in HCI learning media methods and design courses, and participate in grant writing activities to build the Center.

Project Summary:

The primary goal of Learning to See, Seeing to Learn is to develop a new cyberlearning genre approach to field guides that better support learning scientific observation and identification skills in citizen science and environmental education activities. This project builds, an IxDA award-winning multiscalar digital collection of annotated aquatic macroinvertebrates designed to improve the identification of freshwater insects of which serve as vital indicators of water quality. Working with organizations that train volunteers to identify aquatic macroinvertebrates (Trout Unlimited, Senior Environmental Corp, MD StreamWaders, ALLARM, and Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy), expert entomologists from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Clemson University, and educational professionals in aquatic macroinvertebrates ID training from Stroud Water Research Center, and technology platform development with the CREATE Lab at CMU, we are co-designing a new open educational resource—an online platform and supporting training materials—to aid taxonomic identification in water quality assessment activities, research to understand expertise development and learning of scientific observation skills and practices, as well as studies to determine the learning design factors which influence volunteer confidence, engagement and accuracy in biomonitoring tasks. The implications of this learning science and evaluation research will inform the design and development of this technology-based learning system.


  • Project management including planning, scheduling and conducting research activities, modifications of IRB protocols as needed for conducting research with participating sites
  • Organizing regular meetings with participating organizations and project team members to monitor implementation progress and work products; maintaining effective project team communications
  • Novel study and instrument design with associated qualitative and quantitative data collection, processing, and analysis, including engaging with volunteers, trainers of citizen scientists, and other members of the volunteer water quality monitoring and academic entomology fields
  • Producing individual case studies of implementation results with five volunteer biomonitoring organizations, and supporting the delivery of annual reports and communications to the NSF Foundation, advisors and project stakeholders
  • Presentation of research results to project team, advisors, and professional audiences at project workshops, professional and academic conferences, and in peer-reviewed publications
  • Provide guidance and mentoring to masters’ undergraduate research assistants in human-computer interaction, learning sciences, and learning media design
  • Ability to work with diverse professional and interdisciplinary collaborators from different and sometimes non-overlapping fields
  • Collaborating on new research projects and grant writing with LMDC director and other project team members
  • Potential opportunities to serve on department or university committees and/or serve as co-instructor or teaching assistant for courses appropriate with the candidate’s training and experience


  • Experience in design-based learning research with educational technology, formative evaluation and assessment background in environmental education, formal and/or informal learning settings
  • Experience with HCI user research, participatory design methods and analysis products
  • Quantitative data collection, analysis, and presentation skills, including the ability to quickly learn new software programs and work with data in different environments and formats
  • Qualitative and mixed methods data collection, analysis and presentation skills, including instrument design, coding and demonstration that intervention best practices have been maintained.
  • Well developed communication skills (written and presentation) to effectively engage experts and non-experts from a range of professional fields and academic disciplines
  • Familiarity HCI, citizen science and informal science education fields with evidence of publication and participation in field-related journals, conferences, and professional activities with strong letters of recommendation

This is a full-time, temporary (1-2 year, renewable contract) postdoctoral research position that requires a recently graduated PhD in Learning Sciences, Science/Environmental Education, or an Human Computer Interaction /Educational Technology or a related field. The successful candidate must obtain all background clearances as may be required by Pennsylvania Act 153.
Compensation is negotiable based on experience and qualifications.

More Information:

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