Christian D Schunn

Christian D Schunn
University of Pittsburgh | Pitt · Psychology

PhD

About

367
Publications
80,264
Reads
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12,252
Citations
Citations since 2016
141 Research Items
7746 Citations
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Introduction
Designer and researcher interested in four partially overlapping areas: 1) engagement and learning; 2) STEM reasoning and learning; 3) neuroscience of complex learning; and 4) web-based peer interaction and instruction. The last area is now embodied in a company, Panther Learning.
Additional affiliations
May 2016 - present
University of Pittsburgh
Position
  • Managing Director
June 2005 - present
University of Pittsburgh
Position
  • Professor
June 2001 - present
University of Pittsburgh
Position
  • Professor
Education
September 1990 - July 1995
Carnegie Mellon University
Field of study
  • Psychology
September 1987 - May 1990
McGill University
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (367)
Article
Amid calls for integrating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (iSTEM) in K-12 education, there is a pressing need to uncover productive methods of integration. Prior research has shown that increasing contextual linkages between science and mathematics is associated with student problem solving and conceptual understanding. However,...
Article
Educational Badges are touted as an alternative assessment that can increase learner motivation. We considered two distinct models for educational badges; merit badges and videogame achievements. To begin unpacking the relationship between badges and motivation, we conducted a study using badges within an intelligent-tutor system for teaching appli...
Article
One approach to writing instruction that has been shown to improve secondary students' academic writing without increasing demands on teachers' time is peer review. However, many teachers and students worry that students' feedback and assessment of their peers' writing is less accurate than teachers'. This study investigated whether Advanced Placem...
Article
Engaging in science as an argumentative practice can promote students’ critical thinking, reflection, and evaluation of evidence. However, many do not approach science in this way. Furthermore, the presumed confrontational nature of argumentation may run against cultural norms particularly during the sensitive time of early adolescence. This paper...
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Background Skill integration is vital in students' mastery development and is especially prominent in developing code tracing skills which are foundational to programming, an increasingly important area in the current STEM education. However, instructional design to support skill integration in learning technologies has been limited. Objectives Th...
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ABSTRACT Research in a range of disciplines shows that many undergraduate students struggle with aggregating complex knowledge components into a complete picture and incorporating research literature into the learning process. To build and improve on the practice of project-based approaches to teaching cell biology, we transformed an undergraduate...
Article
Approximately 2 million students take Advanced Placement (AP) examinations annually. However, departmental policies that allow students to replace introductory courses with AP credit greatly vary within and across universities, even across relatively similar universities. This study examines the impact of AP credit policies on second‐course success...
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Background Motivational factors are one active area of research that aims to increase the inclusion of women in physics. One of these factors that has only recently gained traction in physics is intelligence mindset (i.e., the belief that intelligence is either innate and unchangeable or can be developed). We studied 781 students in calculus-based...
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Physics is a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics discipline in which women are severely underrepresented. Prior work has identified motivation-based explanations for low participation and retention rates of women in physics. Among various motivational factors, intelligence mindsets (i.e., having fixed or growth mindsets) have been rar...
Article
Gender disparities in retention in pathways to science continue to vary widely by course. Undergraduates intending to study prehealth and premedicine often represent a majority of students enrolled in introductory science courses, contribute to a large number of eventual science degree earners, and are a population that typically includes a high nu...
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Teacher learning is a huge challenge in instructional change, but relatively little work has carefully examined the mechanisms by which teachers learn, in contrast to the extensive work on programs that help teachers learn and the high-leverage instructional practices that are strong predictors of student learning. Specifically, relatively little i...
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This study investigated the longer-term impacts (i.e., into the next semester) of trained peer feedback in comparison with teacher feedback on students’ writing development and writing motivation. Sections of an EFL writing course were randomly assigned to either teacher feedback or trained peer feedback conditions across two semesters. In the firs...
Article
Across disciplines and educational levels, peer feedback has emerged as a broadly useful pedagogical strategy. However, the value of peer feedback depends upon students being willing to provide each other substantial feedback. We develop a novel application of game theory to study whether students’ experiences with interaction inequality in peer fe...
Article
The success of peer feedback approaches to instruction depends upon students contributing in-depth feedback to their peers. Prior researchers have examined the role of general attitudes towards peer feedback, but how experiences, especially the performance information during peer feedback, influence the subsequent amount of feedback that students p...
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Prior research suggests that students endorsing a science identity are more likely to participate in optional science experiences and choose STEM careers. Science identity is a topical identity, which refers to an identity related to a topic rather than a social or cultural group. However, studies of topical identities typically examine them in iso...
Article
This study investigated the revision effectiveness of peer feedback in comparison with teacher feedback, before and after a peer feedback training intervention that was designed to be implementable in large teaching load contexts and with EFL students. Fifty-six EFL students across two different class sections received teacher or peer feedback befo...
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Economics continues to struggle with gender representation throughout the education pipeline. One reason that has been highlighted for this problem is the presentation of economics in introductory courses. In contrast to prior interventions that were primarily messaging centered around “who” economists are (e.g., nudging messages, instructor gender...
Article
We researched students’ peer feedback motivation types and how the instructional context would influence feedback motivations. Participants were 138 undergraduate management majors (female = 41%; mean age = 20 years, SD = 0.5 years) taking a programming course in two options: optional (n = 47), compulsory (n = 91). The students utilised an online p...
Preprint
Approximately two million students take Advanced Placement (AP) examinations annually. However, departmental policies that allow students to replace introductory courses with AP credit greatly vary within and across universities, even across relatively similar universities. This study examines the impact of AP credit policies on subsequent course s...
Article
The value of online peer feedback in education has been widely established, and the use of online peer feedback tools is rapidly growing in practice. However, effect sizes appear to vary widely across studies, suggesting implementation details matter substantially. Further, there remain open questions about exactly which aspects of the multi-facete...
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Implementing peer feedback in revisions is a complex process involving first planning to fix problems and then actual implementing feedback through revisions. Both phases are influenced by features of the peer feedback itself, but potentially in different ways, and yet prior research has not examined their separate role in planning or the mediating...
Preprint
The lack of diversity and the under-performance of underrepresented students in STEM courses have been the focus of researchers in the last decade. In particular, many hypotheses have been put forth for the reasons for the under-representation and under-performance of women in physics. Here, we present a framework for helping all students learn in...
Article
Accuracy of peer review continues to be a concern for instructors in implementing computer-supported peer review in their instructional practices. A large body of literature has descriptively documented overall levels of reliability and validity of peer review and which factors across different peer review implementations impact overall reliability...
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Background Differences in post-secondary academic outcomes along dimensions of gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status are a major concern. Few studies have considered differences in patterns of academic outcomes and underlying mechanisms driving disparities across different STEM disciplines. Using data from about 4000 undergraduates in in...
Article
Peer review is regularly found to be a powerful and efficient technique for assessment and feedback, but many students are inexperienced and sometimes struggle to provide meaningful feedback. It is considered best practice to provide students with some training on how to be a good reviewer, but few classes can afford to devote much time to such tra...
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Background Large achievement and motivation gaps exist in science between students from higher and lower socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds. Middle and high school are an important time to address these disparities, as science motivation typically declines for all students at this time, leading to particularly low science interest and achieveme...
Article
Large lecture classes in higher education continue to be a context in which large performance differences between underrepresented minorities and their White and Asian peers are observed. In the current study, we sought to develop a package of interventions that may reduce this gap in a multi-section Micro Economics course. The focus of this interv...
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This study examines and compares how developers designed two primary science curricula to support teacher adaptation and enable use of innovative materials at scale. The two cases—Literacy Science (a science and literacy curriculum for grades 2–5) and Science as Inquiry (a curriculum focused on matter for grades 3–5)—were selected because the curri...
Article
Research has shown that engaging students in peer feedback can help students revise documents and improve their writing skills. But the mechanistic pathways by which skills develop have remained untested: Does receiving and providing feedback lead to learning because it produces more extensive revision behavior or is such immediate implementation o...
Article
Prior research on the complex process of revision based upon peer feedback has focused on characteristics of each piece of feedback in isolation. Multi-peer feedback allows for feedback to be repeated (or not), which could be a signal of feedback quality or be especially persuasive to peers. Separately, little research has examined how well peers s...
Article
This research is focused on how to support students’ acquisition of program construction skills through worked examples. Although examples have been consistently proven to be valuable for student’s learning, the learning technology for computer science education lacks program construction examples with interactive elements that could engage student...
Article
Process oriented guided inquiry learning (POGIL) is a specific type of active learning centered on a learning cycle where students first explore a concept through scientific models, followed by a concept invention, and finally a concept application phase. In spite of POGIL's research-based design and the many studies showing it increases learning o...
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Self-efficacy is an aspect of students’ motivation that has been shown to play a critical role in students’ engagement, participation, and retention in academic careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Since women are underrepresented in STEM domains such as physics, we studied female and male students’ self-efficacy and...
Preprint
Full-text available
There is a significant underrepresentation of women in many Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) majors and careers. Prior research has shown that self-efficacy can be a critical factor in student learning, and that there is a tendency for women to have lower self-efficacy than men in STEM disciplines. This study investigates ge...
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Although a variety of learning benefits of peer assessment have been documented, many concerns remain regarding its reliability and validity, especially for peers at early learning stages and for English as a foreign language (EFL) learners in general. Such concerns may prevent adoption of peer assessment for instruction. To help localize the appro...
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Gender differences in students’ physics identity in introductory physics courses can influence students’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and their career decisions. Exploring the components that influence these identities is critical to developing a better understanding of the underrepresentation of women in physics co...
Article
While gender parity has been achieved in overall science degree earning, large gaps still exist within many science disciplines. Further, studies addressing gender inequity in science often ignore a large source of undergraduate science degree earners: those who enroll in science courses intending to pursue careers in health or medicine. This study...
Article
While pointing out important features of cognitive science, Núñez et al. (2019) also argue prematurely for the end of cognitive science. I discuss problematic analytic features in the application of hierarchical cluster analysis to journal citation data. On the conceptual side, I argue that the research programs framework of Lakatos may not be so w...
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To maximize learners’ performance promotion in flipped classroom, this research redesigns a flipped classroom with four integrated practices: speed response questions, teacher face-to-face counselling, independent practices and team projects. Using questionnaire (N = 66) and interview (N = 20) data, the model is tested in two undergraduate introduc...
Article
Science consists of a body of knowledge and a set of processes by which the knowledge is produced. Although these have traditionally been treated separately in science instruction, there has been a shift to an integration of knowledge and processes, or set of practices, in how science should be taught and assessed. We explore whether a general over...
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Students’ intentions to persevere and their career choices in science, technology, engineering, and math fields can be impacted by their physics identities. Women are severely underrepresented at all levels in physics and engineering. Physics in particular has stereotypes about being a discipline for brilliant men. Therefore, it is particularly dif...
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This paper explores the use of science learning activation to understand how various types of visitors engage with different exhibits. In particular, we examined how learners engaged in two very different resource‐rich exhibits using two distinct analytic techniques. Regression analyses revealed that learners’ prior science learning activation can...
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Science education communities around the world have increasingly emphasized engaging students in the disciplinary practices of science as they engage in high levels of reasoning about scientific ideas. Consistently, this is a critical moment in time in the USA as it goes through a new wave of science education reform within the context of Next Gene...
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Ages 10–14 mark a period in which children develop a strong sense of whether science is ‘for them,’ a time that typically coincides with the start of middle school in the United States and their first exposure to more rigorous science classes and testing. Experiences with science in and out of school can shape children's motivation to choose scienc...
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Implementation of reform curricula requires teachers to adopt new approaches to teaching. Research has provided promising results about the influence of educative curriculum on teachers’ learning and instruction. However, this approach generally focuses on teachers as isolated learners. Using a design-based research approach, the authors developed...
Article
Women take qualifying exams and enter medical school at substantially lower levels than predicted by their interest in medical degrees at the end of high school. We examined how science course experiences contribute to gendered attrition in premed using a multicohort data set of 8,253 undergraduates taking the traditional premed sequence of introdu...
Article
Being able to understand and evaluate arguments in different modalities and in different disciplines is thought to be a key component of students’ academic success in college. However, many students do not receive explicit instruction in the basic concepts and rules of argumentation. Using a difference-in-differences approach with a multicohort lon...
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Purpose Computational thinking (CT) is widely considered to be an important component of teaching generalizable computer science skills to all students in a range of learning environments, including robotics. However, despite advances in the design of robotics curricula that can teach CT, actual enactment in classrooms may often fail to reach this...
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Peer feedback has become a common practice in MOOCs for its capacity to scale formative assessment and feedback on higher-order abilities. Though many practices for improving peer assessment have been examined, there is a lack of knowledge of how instructional design and platform features affect the quality of peer assessment and the relative frequ...