Postdoctoral Associate, Human Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)

CMU Learning Media and Design Center in Pennsylvania

Deadline Open until filled
Date Posted August 20, 2015
Type Post-doc
Salary 42,000-47,000
Employment Type Full-time

About Digital Promise and the Learning Media Design Center

Digital Promise is an independent, bipartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization authorized by Congress to spur innovation in education for all levels of learners. Positioned at the intersection of educators, entrepreneurs, and researchers, Digital Promise identifies, develops, and promotes strategies to improve all levels of education and provide Americans with the knowledge and skills needed to compete in the global economy.

The Learning Media Design Center (LMDC) is an initiative of Carnegie Mellon University to support research-to-practice partnerships with formal and informal learning institutions through design-based learning research and evaluation.

About the Position

The LMDC in the Human Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University has a postdoctoral scholar position open for a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded project to work in close collaboration with Digital Promise, and a regional group of school district leaders, teachers, and technology partners to develop assessment and feedback methods that improve educational technology product pilots with stakeholders.

This project aims to develop a scalable set of protocols and supporting instruments that enable school districts to conduct short-cycle evaluations of educational technology product pilots, and engage in a productive feedback loop process with learning product developers to improve product efficacy, design and decision-making.


The postdoctoral research fellow (postdoc) affiliated with LMDC in the Human Computer Interaction Institute will support the project in the following areas:

  • Project management including planning, scheduling, development and execution of IRB protocols for conducting research with participating school districts and companies
  • Preparing for and conducting interviews with district staff to understand pilot goals and implementation strategy; creating assessment instruments, overseeing data collection and analysis, and providing as needed research-related help to facilitate school pilots
  • Organizing regular calls with three participating districts to monitor their implementation, data collection activities and analysis practices throughout the pilots
  • Providing technical assistance to district staff as needed regarding data collection, instrument/tool use, data management, and interpretation activities
  • Providing insights to district throughout the pilot process, conducting summative data analysis and developing insights for public communication at the close of the project
  • Develop effective feedback strategies to communicate findings and product improvement suggestions with participating educational technology companies
  • Producing individual case studies of each product efficacy pilot (up to six), and a final report or Digital Promise, the Gates Foundation and the project stakeholders. 
  • Work with the LMDC Director and Digital Promise to share promising practices for assessing needs, conducting effective pilots, and evaluating technology products

The candidate must be comfortable working with diverse stakeholders based in multiple locations, often conducting meetings by phone. The candidate will be expected to travel to participating school districts for meetings and data collection; access to a car is preferred for convenience, but not required. The candidate will be expected to travel and present at two national convening's (associated travel costs will be covered). The candidate, with the LMDC Director and Digital Promise, will be expected to disseminate the results of the product efficacy pilot processes and instruments developed, as well as share the best practices and methods established for providing constructive feedback to educational technology developers through conference presentations, webinars, and social media.


The preferred candidate will hold a PhD in a relevant field (e.g. learning sciences, educational technology, educational psychology, program evaluation, and social science research methods), have a strong commitment to improving education for K-12 learners in U.S. public schools, and demonstrate excellence in some or all of the following areas:

  • Experience with design-based learning and implementation research, formative evaluation and assessment background with educational technology in K-12 school settings
  • Quantitative data collection, analysis, and presentation, including the ability to quickly learn new software programs and work with data in different environments and formats
  • Qualitative data collection, analysis and presentation, including instrument design and coding and demonstrate intervention observation best practices
  • Research project management experience
  • Effective communication skills with experts and non-experts
  • Strong writing and presentation skills

The successful candidate must obtain all background clearances as may be required by Pennsylvania Act 153.

How To Apply

You can apply for this position online at