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The following is a list of research projects and research labs (or groups) within the Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences Department at Utah State University (USU).

Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences (ITLS) is an interdisciplinary field devoted to developing a deep understanding of how people learn across settings in order to design innovative technology to support learning and instruction impacting education, business, industry, and government. The faculty and students in ITLS come with a variety of backgrounds, including education, computer science, human-computer interaction (HCI), information sciences, engineering, media studies, cognitive science, and psychology. Our faculty members are influential in areas such as instructional design theory and application, innovative science teaching methods, distance education, adult education, digital libraries, instructional game design, simulations, virtual tutors, educational psychology, technology in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education, and so much more.   

The Instructional Architect

ia logo The Instructional Architect (IA) provides educators with a tool to find, use, and share learning resources from the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) and the Web in order to create engaging and interactive educational web pages. The Instructional Architect team is lead by three outstanding professors and a variety of amazing graduate students. For more information, please e-mail:

VITAL Collaborative

vital logoThe VITAL Collaborative focuses on studying visualizations, interactions, technology, and learning largely with an emphasis on K-12 learning environments. They design classroom activities and instructional sessions with students in order to understand changes in knowledge and understanding, often through the collection and analysis of video records. Current projects include research and development of physical activity data collection technologies for use with elementary school students, studying technology use and reasoning about mechanical systems among experienced athletes, and engaging high school students in the design and development of their own digital pets. More information is at or send an e-mail to:

Validity in Problem-based Learning Research

For this project validity/reliability evidence is reported in problem-based research to determine the extent to which effect sizes of Problem-based Learning may be over or under-estimated. For more information, please contact

STE2M Education Initiative

ste2mSTE2M Center at USU strives to increase the number of STEM educators and professionals in the region, conduct innovative research in STEM education, increase the number of students entering STEM careers and so on. For more information contact

Educational Data Mining Approaches for Digital Libraries

DLM Mining The DLMining project is investigating how digital library and online learning resources can be instrumented in order to apply web usage data mining strategies and Educational Data Mining (EDM). For more information, please e-mail:

Digital Library Connect

dlc logo The DL Connect projects are collaborations focusing on NSDL dissemination within school settings through professional development workshops and tool development. Through a design-based program of workshop development and deployment, the projects are expected to directly impact elementary, middle, and high schools in Utah, New York, and Michigan. For more information, please e-mail:


Canvalytics The overall goal of our research project is to apply computational approaches from data sciences and educational data mining research to mine and understand usage data collected by Canvas, the Learning Management System (LMS) used by Utah State University. By applying innovative data mining algorithms to this complex dataset, we will better understand how instructors and students use Canvas and explore what usage patterns lead to more or less productive learning outcomes.

Playful Exploration Lab (PEL)

PEL logoPlayful Exploration Lab (PEL) focuses on projects that explore women's persistence in CS majors and investigates different models that enhance girls’ interest in and capabilities to pursue CS programs and occupations. For more information, please visit PEL website or email:

EAGER Grant: Culturally Responsive Making

Culturally Responsive Making: Developing High-Low Tech Maker Activities in Local and Mobile Spaces for Supporting American Indian Youth is a two-year, National Science Foundation funded project in collaboration with Arizona State University and the University of Pennsylvania. The goal of this project is to develop culturally responsive making activities and makerspaces with two Indigenous communities, one in Utah and one in Arizona. We are interested in how these spaces and activities impact youth, teacher, and community conceptions of and interest in STEM learning. For more information, please e-mail or

Learn, Explore, Design Lab (L.E.D.)

LED logo Researchers in the L.E.D. Lab explore how people learn by and collaborate through making, designing, and producing physical and digital artifacts across in and out-of-school contexts. We partner with various organizations and community members to design and co-design accessible and equitable activities, technologies, and spaces that support and promote interdisciplinary, multimodal design experiences for learners. For more information, please e-mail the L.E.D. Lab director, Breanne Litts, or visit the L.E.D. Lab website.