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Vanessa Svihla

Assistant Professor
Organization, Information & Learning Sciences

Dr. Vanessa Svihla is a learning scientist, meaning her research seeks to understand how  people learn. Her research focuses on:

  1. How people learn when they design
  2. Ways technology can embed authentic assessment without pausing learning

She is particularly interested in how people find and frame design problems, and how these activities relate to identity, agency, and creativity. She applies a range of research methods (regression modeling, network analysis, interaction analysis, data mining, design-based research) to understand learning in real world, interdisciplinary and Computer-Supported Collaborative settings.

She directs the Interaction and Disciplinary Design in Educational Activity (IDDEA) Lab (https://sites.google.com/site/iddealab/). Related to this, she is documenting the evolution of the OILS Learning Lab. Dr. Svihla also holds an appointment in Chemical & Biological Engineering.

Her research has been supported by the NSF, NIH and USDA. She was selected as a 2014 National Academy of Education / Spencer Postdoctoral Scholar. She is currently co-PI on UNM's NSF-funded Revolutionizing Engineering Departments project, FACETS, and on the NM CS for All project. 

Dr. Svihla received an MS in Geology and a PhD in Science Education from The University of Texas at Austin. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines (1998-2000), was a post-doctoral scholar in the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley and interned at the Learning in Informal and Formal Environments (LIFE) Center, University of Washington. She previously chaired the American Educational Research Association special interest group, Learning Sciences (2010-2011).

Dr. Svihla also enjoys fashion design and photography, drawing upon these as a source of inspiration for her understanding of designing and creativity.

Selected Publications

 Books

  • Svihla, V. & Reeve, R. (Eds.). (2016). Design as scholarship: Case studies from the learning sciences. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Petrosino, A, Martin, T., and Svihla, V. (Eds.). (2007). Developing student expertise and community: Lessons from How People Learn. New Directions in Teaching and Learning. (Vol. 108). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 

Related to design learning & problem framing

  • Svihla, V. & Reeve, R., (2016). Facilitating problem framing in project-based learning, Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning10(2). http://dx.doi.org/10.7771/1541-5015.1603
  • Svihla, V., Reeve, R., Collins, J., Lane, W., Field, J., Stiles, A., (2016). Framing and reframing: decision making in project-based unit, International Journal of Designs for Learning. 7(1), 19-36. https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/ijdl/article/view/19427/2...
  • Crayton, J. & Svihla, V. (2015). Designing for immersive technology: integrating art and STEM learning. The STEAM Journal. 2(1). http://scholarship.claremont.edu/steam/vol2/iss1/8/
  • Svihla, V., Reeve, R., Sagy, O., & Kali, Y. (2015). A fingerprint pattern of supports for teachers’ designing of technology-enhanced learning. Instructional Science, 43(2), 283-307. 

Related to engineering education

  • Svihla, V., Gomez, J., Datye, A., Law, V., & Bowers, S. (2016). Mapping Assets of Diverse Groups for Chemical Engineering Design Problem Framing Ability, in the Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education 123rd Annual Conference and Exhibition.  Best Diversity Paper Award.
  • Svihla, V. (2016). Fundamental Research: Characterizing Underrepresented Students’ Interest in Engineering Careers. In the Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education 123rd Annual Conference and Exhibition.
  • Svihla, V., Petrosino, A. J., & Diller, K. (2012). Learning to design: Authenticity, problem posing and problem solving. International Journal of Engineering Education. 28, (4), 1-17.
  • Svihla, V. (2010). Collaboration as a dimension of design innovation Journal of CoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts, 6(4), 245-262.
  • Svihla, V. (2010). Contingent Identification in a Biomedical Engineering Classroom. In K. Gomez, L. Lyons & J. Radinsky (Eds.), Learning in the Disciplines: Vol. 1, p. 913-920. International Society of the Learning Sciences.
  • Svihla, V., Petrosino, A. J., Martin, T., & Diller, K. R. (2009). Learning to design: Interactions that promote innovation. In W. Aung, K.-S. Kim, J. Mecsi, J. Moscinski & I. Rouse (Eds.), Innovations 2009: World Innovations in Engineering Education and Research (pp. 375-391). Arlington, VA: International Network for Engineering Education and Research.
  • Svihla, V., Marshall, J., & Petrosino, A. J. (2008). K-12 engineering education impacts (Commissioned Paper): National Academy of Engineering Committee on Understanding and Improving K-12 Engineering Education in the United States.
  • Petrosino, A. J., Svihla, V., & Brophy, S. P. (2008). Engineering skills for understanding and improving K-12 engineering education in the United States (Commissioned Paper): National Academy of Engineering Committee on Understanding and Improving K-12 Engineering Education in the United States.

Related to CSCL

  • Svihla, V., Kvam, N., Dahlgren, M., Bowles, J., & Kniss, J. (2013). We Can't Just Go Shooting Asteroids Like Space Cowboys: The Role of Narrative in Immersive, Interactive Simulations for Learning. Proceedings of Games, Learning, Society, 9.
  • Svihla, V., Kvam, N., Dahlgren, M., Bowles, J., & Kniss, J. (2013). Extending Inquiry and Surfacing Questions: Collaborative Learning with Immersive, Interactive Projection. In M. Kapur, M. J. Nathan & N. Rummel (Eds.), To See the World and a Grain of Sand: Learning across Levels of Space, Time, and Scale: Vol. 2: p. 365-366. International Society of the Learning Sciences.
  • Svihla, V. (2011). Formulating WISE Learning Experiences. In H. Spada, G. Stahl, N. Miyake & N. Law (Eds.), Connecting computer supported collaborative learning to policy and practice. Vol. 1, p. 232-239. International Society of the Learning Sciences.
  • Weusijana, B. K. A., Svihla, V., Gawel, D. J., & Bransford, J. D. (2009). MUVEs and Experiential Learning: Some Examples. Innovate: Journal of Online Education.

Related to authentic assessment

  • McKay, T., Jimenez, E.Y., Svihla, V., Castillo, T., Cantarero, A. (2016). Teaching professional practice: Using Interactive Learning Assessments to simulate the nutrition care process (NCP), Topics in Clinical Nutrition. 31(3), 257-266.  
  • Liu, L., Ryoo, K., Sato, E., Svihla, V., & Linn, M.C. (2015). Measuring knowledge integration learning of energy topics: A two-year longitudinal study. International Journal of Science Education. 37(7), 1044-1066.
  • McKay, T., Cantarero, A., Svihla, V., Yakes Jimenez, E., & Castillo, T., (2014). Becoming a Professional through Virtual Practice. Learning and Becoming in Practice: Penuel B., Jurow, S. and O'Connor, K. (Eds.), Vol. 2. International Society of the Learning Sciences.
  • Svihla, V., Yakes, E., Castillo, T., Cantarero, A., Valdez, I., & Dominguez, N. (2013). Interactive Learning Assessment: Providing Context and Simulating Professional Practices. Proceedings of Games, Learning, Society 9.
  • Svihla, V., & Linn, M. C. (2011). A Design-based Approach to Fostering Understanding of Global Climate Change. International Journal of Science Education, 34(5), 651-676.
  • Svihla, V., Gawel, D. J., Brown, M., Moore, A., Vye, N. J., & Bransford, J. D. (2010). 21st Century Assessment: Redesigning to Optimize Learning. In K. Gomez, L. Lyons & J. Radinsky (Eds.), Learning in the Disciplines: Vol. 2, p. 474-475. International Society of the Learning Sciences.
  • Svihla, V., Vye, N. J., Brown, M., Phillips, R., Gawel, D. J., & Bransford, J. D. (2009). Interactive Learning Assessments for the 21st Century. Education Canada, 49(3), 44-47.
  • Svihla, V., Phillips, R., Gawel, D. J., Vye, N. J., Brown, M., & Bransford, J. D. (2009). A tool for 21st century learning and assessment. In A. Dimitracopoulou, C. O'Malley, D. Suthers & P. Reimann (Eds.), CSCL Practices: Vol. 2, p. 46-48. International Society of the Learning Sciences.
  • Gawel, D. J., Phillips, R., Svihla, V., Vye, N. J., & Bransford, J. D. (2008). Considerations for the development of a Preparation for Future Learning Assessment. In P. A. Kirschner, F. Prins, V. Jonker & G. Kanselaar (Eds.), International Perspectives in the Learning Sciences: Cre8ing a learning world: Vol. 1, p. 273-280. International Society of the Learning Sciences.

Related to research methods

  • Svihla, V., Wester, M., & Linn, M. C. (2015). Revisiting: An analytic for retention of coherent science learning. Journal of Learning Analytics2(2), 74-100. 
  • Reeve, R., & Svihla, V. (2013). Design in the world AND our work. In M. Kapur, M. J. Nathan & N. Rummel (Eds.), To See the World and a Grain of Sand: Learning across Levels of Space, Time, and Scale: Vol. 2: p. 337-338. International Society of the Learning Sciences.
  • Svihla, V. (2014) Advances in design-based research in the learning sciences. Frontline Learning Research, 2(4), 35-45.
  • Svihla, V. and Linn, M.C., (2012). Distributing Practice: Challenges and Opportunities for Inquiry Learning. In van Aalst, J., Thompson, K., Jacobson, J., Reimann, P. (Eds.), The Future of Learning. Vol. 1., p. 371-378. International Society of the Learning Sciences.
  • Svihla, V. (2009). Methods for triangulation and revealing interaction. In A. Dimitracopoulou, C. O'Malley, D. Suthers & P. Reimann (Eds.), CSCL Practices: Vol. 2, p. 43-45. International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Vanessa Svihla

Contact Information

Phone: (505) 750-0263
Office: Zimmerman Library 242
 

Classes

OILS 601 Advanced Instructional Design
OILS 543 Instructional Design

Research Interests

Design learning
Authentic assessment
Engineering Education