Susan Yoon

Associate Professor

Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Division

Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania

Phone: 215-746-2526

Email: yoonsa@gse.upenn.edu

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Yoon’s research in the Learning Sciences uses multiple theoretical lenses to study learning and interaction in designed interventions. In one line of research she studies how student and teacher populations can improve understanding and instruction about complex systems in middle and high school science courses. Using varying learning tools such as mobile technologies and multi-agent computational models, she investigates how abilities in important scientific practices, such as theory building, evidence-based decision-making and argumentation, can increase. This work also assesses how understanding of complex systems processes and states change through participation in curricula and activities that integrate these learning tools in classrooms. Furthermore, she examines educational system affordances and constraints (e.g., teacher learning trajectories, professional development, school-level contextual factors) that enable or impede adoption of progressive learning tools and approaches. 

In another line of research, Dr. Yoon studies how conceptual knowledge and cognitive understanding of science and engineering content can be supported in informal learning environments. In the past she has worked with after-school venues (in the School District of Philadelphia) and informal science organizations (e.g., Philadelphia Zoo) to increase student interest and achievement in and access to science. In partnership with the Franklin Institute Science Museum, currently she researches how augmented reality (AR) technology can enhance visitors’ learning experiences.  Building on research on visualization tools and the use of scaffolds, she and her team have designed experiences that promote learning through AR interactions, peer-to-peer collaboration, and deep engagement with science topics. A central focus of her informal science learning research is the goal of understanding and preserving the unique characteristics of informal participation that make learning in these environments so engaging such as self-direction, experimentation, and play. 

Other areas of research include investigating how theoretical and practical frames and outputs of social networks can improve student and teacher learning in complex learning environments, design considerations for professional development in reform oriented projects, and developing curricular and instructional approaches that incorporate cutting edge science (e.g., nanotechnology and imaging) and cognitively-rich pedagogies (e.g., problem-based learning). Collectively, Dr. Yoon’s research aims to develop and implement educational theories, methodologies, and tools that identify and reveal patterns of information that may not be accessible or understood through traditional means. 

Dr. Yoon received the 2009 Jan Hawkins Award for Early Career Contributions to Humanistic Research and Scholarship in Learning Technologies from Division C of the American Educational Research Association. She is in-coming Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Learning Sciences (JLS) for the period 2017-2020, and currently sits on the Editorial Boards of Educational Researcher (ER) and the American Educational Research Journal (AERJ). She was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Learning Sciences (ISLS) for the period 2013-2019, co-chairs the ISLS Membership Committee, and has been an integral contributor to the development of the ISLS initiative, Network of Academic Programs in the Learning Sciences (NAPLES).

Currently funded research includes:

App Inventor for Socioscientific Issues to Build Engagement in STEM, an in-school science project for middle school students (University Research Fund and the Milken Foundation, 2016-2017).

Previously funded research includes:

BioGraph: Graphical Programming for Constructing Complex Systems Understanding in Biology, an in-school project for high school biology students and teachers (NSF-DRK12, 2010-2015).

ARIEL — Augmented Reality for Interpretive and Experiential Learning, an informal science project to enhance museum visitor experiences (NSF-ISE, 2008-2014)

SPARK — Igniting Interest and Achievement in STEM through Engineering Design, an out-of-school time project for youth in grades 4-8 (NSF-AYS, 2006-2010).

Nanotechnology and Bioengineering in Philadelphia Public Schools, an in-school project for high school science students and teachers (NSF-ITEST, 2008-2012)

A Penn-West Philadelphia/Philadelphia Public School Partnership to Develop Innovative and Sustainable Ways for Technology to Positively Impact Learning (Lenovo Foundation, 2011-2012) 

Headstart to High School Science in West Philadelphia Schools, a summer project focused on socioscientific issues for middle school students (Lindback Foundation, 2006-2008)

Selected Publications

Books

Yoon, S.A., & Baker-Doyle, K. (Eds.) (under contract). Networked by design: Interventions for teachers to develop social capital. Routledge Press.

Journal Articles

Yoon, S., & Hmelo-Silver, C. (in press). What do learning scientists do? A survey of the ISLS membership. Journal of the Learning Sciences.

Yoon, S., Koehler-Yom, J., Yang, L., Liu, L. (in press). The effects of teachers' social and human capital on urban science reform initiatives: Considerations for professional development. To appear in Teachers College Record.

Yoon, S., Anderson, E., Koehler-Yom, Evans, C., Park, M., J., Sheldon, J., Schoenfeld, I., Wendel, D., Scheintaub, H., Klopfer, E. (in press). Teaching about complex systems is not simple matter: Building effective professional development for computer-supported complex systems instruction. Instructional Science

Yoon, S., Lin J., Anderson, E., & Elinich, K. (2017). How augmented reality enables conceptual understanding of challenging science content in a science museum: A case of Bernoulli’s Principle. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 20(1), 156-168.

Yoon, S., Anderson, E., Klopfer, E., Koehler-Yom, J., Sheldon, J., Schoenfeld, I., Wendel, D., Scheintaub, H., Oztok, M., Evans, C., Goh, S. (2016). Designing computer-supported complex systems curricula for the Next Generation Science Standards in high school science classrooms. Systems, 4(38), 1–18. Retrieved from http://www.mdpi.com/2079-8954/4/4/38/html

Yoon, S., Elinich, K., Wang, J., Van Schooneveld, J., & Anderson, E. (2016). Scaffolding informal learning in science museums: How much is too much? Virtual Issue: Building Capacity for Research at the Intersection of the Learning Sciences and Informal Science Education. Science Education. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/%28ISSN%291098-237X/homepage/custom_copy.htm

Yoon, S., Anderson, E., Koehler-Yom, J., Sheldon, J., Schoenfeld, I., Wendel, D., Scheintaub, H., Klopfer, E., Oztok, M., & Evans, C. (2015). Design features for computer-supported complex systems learning and teaching in high school science classrooms. Journal of Research in STEM Education, 1(1), 17-30.

Yoon, S., Koehler-Yom, J., Anderson, E., Lin, J., & Klopfer, E. (2015). Using an adaptive expertise lens to understand the quality of teachers’ classroom implementation of computer-supported complex systems curricula in high school science. Research in Science and Technology Education, 33(2), 237-251.

Yoon, S., & Wang, J. (2014) Making the invisible visible in science museums through augmented reality devices. Tech Trends. 58(1), 49-55, 2014.

Yoon, S., Elinich, K., Wang, J., Van Schooneveld, J., & Anderson, E. (2013). Scaffolding informal learning in science museums: How much is too much? Science Education, 97(6), 848-877.

Wang, J., & Yoon, S. (2013). Scaffolding visitors’ learning through labels. Journal of Museum Education, 38(3), 320–332.

Yoon, S., Elinich, K., Wang, J., Steinmeier, C., & Van Schooneveld, J. (2012). Learning impacts of a digital augmentation in a science museum. Visitor Studies, 15(2), 157-170.

Yoon, S., Elinich, K., Wang, J., Steinmeier, C., Tucker, S. (2012). Using Augmented Reality and Knowledge-Building Scaffolds to Improve Learning in a Science Museum. International Journal of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, 7(4), 519-541.

Yoon, S. (2011). Using social network graphs as visualization tools to influence peer selection decision-making strategies to access information about socioscientific issues. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 20(4), 549-588.

Lasky, D & Yoon, S. (2011). Making space for the act of making: Creativity in the context of engineering design. Science Educator, 20(1), 34-43.

Baker-Doyle, K. & Yoon, S. (2011). In search of practitioner-based social capital: A social network analysis tool for understanding and facilitating teacher collaboration in a professional development program. Professional Development in Education, 37(1), 75-93.

Yoon, S., Liu, L., Goh, S. (2010). Convergent adaptation in small groups: Understanding professional development activities through a complex systems lens. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 18(2), 319-344.

Perna, L., Lundy-Wagner, V., Drezner, N., Gasman, M., Yoon, S., Bose, E. & Gary, S. (2009). The contribution of HBCUs to the preparation of African American women for STEM careers: A case study. Research in Higher Education, 50(1), 1-23.

Yoon, S. (2008). Using memes and memetic processes to explain social and conceptual influences on student understanding about complex socio-scientific issues. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 45(8), 900-921.

Yoon, S. (2008). An evolutionary approach to harnessing complex systems thinking in the science and technology classroom. International Journal of Science Education, 30(1), 1-32.

Yoon, S., Pedretti, E., Bencze, L., Hewitt, J., Perris, K., & Van Oostveen, R. (2006). Improving elementary preservice science teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs through the use of cases and case-methods. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 17(2), 1-21.

Yoon, S., & Klopfer, E. (2006). Feedback (F) fueling adaptation (A) network growth (N) and self-organization (S): A complex systems design and evaluation approach to professional development. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 15(5-6), 353-366.

Klopfer, E., Yoon, S., & Um, T. (2005). Teaching complex dynamic systems to young students with StarLogo. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 24(2), 157-178.

Klopfer, E., Yoon, S., & Perry, J. (2005). Using palm technology in Participatory Simulations of complex systems: A new take on ubiquitous and accessible mobile computing. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 14(3), 285-298.

Klopfer, E., & Yoon, S. (2005). Developing games and simulations for today and tomorrow's tech savvy youth. Tech Trends, 49(3), 33-41.

Referred Proceedings

Park, M., Anderson, E., Yoon, S. (2017). Learning biology coherently through complex systems: A model supported with scientific practices and agent-based simulations. To appear in the proceedings of the International Conference for Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Noushad, N., Shim, J., Yoon, S. (2017). Integrating social problem solving with programming to enhance science agency among middle school students through the creation of mobile apps. To appear in the proceedings of the International Conference for Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Yoon, S., Koehler-Yom, J., Anderson, E., Evans, C. (2016). Validating a model for assessing teacher’s adaptive expertise with computer supported complex systems curricula and its relationship to student learning outcomes. In the proceedings of the International Conference of the Learning Sciences, Singapore.

Yoon S., & Hmelo-Silver, C. (2016) What do learning scientists do: A survey of the ISLS membership. In the proceedings of the International Conference of the Learning Sciences, Singapore.

Yoon, S., Koehler-Yom, J., Oztok, M., Anderson, E., Schoenfeld, I., Scheintaub, H., Wendel, D., Sheldon, J., Klopfer, E. (2015). Impacts on student understanding of scientific practices and crosscutting themes through an NGSS-designed computer-supported curriculum and instruction project. In the proceedings of the International Conference for Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Yoon, S., Anderson, E., Koehler-Yom, J., Sheldon, J., Schoenfeld, I., Wendel, D., Scheintaub, H., Klopfer, E., Oztok, M., & Evans, C. (2015). Design features for computer-supported complex systems learning and teaching in high school science classrooms. In the proceedings of the International Conference for Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Yoon, S., Koehler, J., Wang, J., & Anderson, E., Klopfer, E. (2014). Using an adaptive expertise lens to understand the quality of teachers’ classroom implementation of computer-supported reform curricula in high school science. In the proceedings of the International Conference for the Learning Sciences, Boulder, CO.

Yoon, S., Wang, J., Anderson, E., Elinich, K. (2014). Using AR to scaffold learning about conceptually challenging science content in a science museum. In the proceedings of the International Conference for the Learning Sciences, Boulder, CO.

Wang, J., & Yoon, S. (2014). Learning with multiple visualizations in the science museum. In the proceedings of the International Conference for the Learning Sciences, Boulder, CO.

Yoon, S., Quintana, C., Lyons, L., Perry, J., Osterweil, S., & Lindgren, R. (2013). Promises and perils of using digital tools in informal science learning environments: Design considerations for learning. In the proceedings of the Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, Madison, Wisconsin.

Yoon, S., Klopfer, E., Wang, J., Sheldon, J., Wendel, D., Schoenfeld, I., Scheintaub, H., & Reider, D. (2013). Designing to improve biology understanding through complex systems in high school classrooms: No simple matter! In the proceedings of the Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, Madison, Wisconsin.

Yoon, S. (2012). Investigating Emergent Dynamics to Understand Interactions in Small Professional Development Groups. In the proceedings of the International Conference for the Learning Sciences, Sydney, Australia.

Goh, S., Yoon, S., Yang, Z., Wang, J., & Klopfer, E. (2012). Investigating the relative difficulty of various complex systems ideas in biology. In the proceedings of the International Conference for the Learning Sciences, Sydney, Australia.

Liu, L., & Yoon, S. (2011). Using online mediation tools to mediate curriculum development as a collaborative process. In the proceedings of the annual conference of the International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, Hong Kong, China.

Yoon, S., & Liu, L. (2010). Complexity, robustness, and trade-offs in evaluating large scale STEM education programs. In the Proceedings of the International Conference for the Learning Sciences, Chicago, IL.

Goh, S., & Yoon, S. (2010). Investigating teacher growth in the context of content innovation. In the Proceedings of the International Conference for the Learning Sciences, Chicago, IL.