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Learning Designer | Researcher

Ph.D. Learning Sciences and Technologies,
University of Pennsylvania

︎: Email
︎: Twitter
︎: Google Scholar

📣 Recent updates:
  • I will attend ISLS 2024 in Buffalo in this June.
  • I will attend AERA 2024 in Philadelphia in this April.
  • I will attend CSCW 2023 in Minneapolis in this October.  [︎preprint]
  • I will attend ISLS 2023 in Montreal this summer [︎preprint]

Xinran Zhu 

I’m a Ph.D. candidate in the Learning Sciences and Technologies at the University of Pennsylvania. I’m working as a research fellow at the Penn Wonder Lab led by my advisor Dr. Bodong Chen. I will join the Learning Design & Leadership program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2024. 

My research interests lie at the intersection of Learning Technologies, Learning Sciences, Learning Analytics, and Human-Computer Interaction. Grounded in research-practice partnerships,  I design pedagogical, technological, and analytical innovations to support and evaluate learning and collaboration in authentic settings. By integrating media design, software engineering, and data science methods, I seek to advance infrastructures for learning which harness the full potential of emerging technologies while integrating them with evidence-based pedagogical strategies.

My research program follows three main avenues:
(1) Designing pedagogical and technological innovations for computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL)
(2) Conducting computational research and developing learning analytics applications to derive actionable insights for education practice.
(3) Investigating the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) tools in augmenting human knowledge creation within collaborative learning environments.

My current projects:

  1. Leveraging social annotation technologies to deepen online discussions of course matreials in higher education. #social_annotation
︎ Zhu, X., Shui, H., & Chen, B. (2023). Beyond reading together: Facilitating knowledge construction through participation roles and social annotation in college classrooms. The Internet and Higher Education, 100919.
︎ Zhu, X., Chen, B., Avadhanam, R., Shui, H., & Zhang, R. (2020). Reading and connecting: Using social annotation in online classes. Information and Learning Sciences, 121(5/6), 261-271. 

2. Facilitating the creation and sustained refinement of students’ ideas in CSCL to foster productive interation and higher-level knowledge practices. #tech_innovation  #HCI
︎ Zhu, X., Shui, H., & Chen, B. (2023). The Synthesis Lab: Empowering collaborative learning in higher education through knowledge synthesis. Proceedings of Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW’23 Companion) (pp. 245-248).

3. Learning analytics applications that captures the dynamic and emergent nature of collaborative learning. #learning_analytics #natural_language_processing  #network_sciences
︎ Zhu, X., & Chen, B. (2023). Understanding idea creation in collaborative discourse through networks: The Joint Attention-Interaction-Creation (AIC) framework. Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning - CSCL 2023 (pp. 155-162).
︎ Chen, B., Zhu, X., & Shui, H. (2022). Socio-semantic network motifs framework for discourse analysis.
Proceedings of the 12th International Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference - LAK 2022 (pp. 500-506). 

4. Investigating the role of AI in augmenting human knowledge creation/building within collaborative learning environments. #AI
︎ Chen, B., Zhu, X., & del Castillo, F. D. (2023). Integrating generative AI in knowledge building. Computers and Education: Artificial Intelligence, 100184.

Professional experiences:

    • Teaching Assistant | Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania
    • Instructional Designer | College of Design, University of Minnesota
    • Graduate Instructor | College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota

When I have no idea about my data and/or writing, I do:
    • Road trips
    • Amateur filmmaking
    • Photography