Purdue learning design and technology professor selected as new director of Discovery Learning Research Center

February 19, 2015  


James Lehman

James Lehman
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Longtime Purdue learning design and technology professor James Lehman has been selected as the new Jerry and Rosie Semler Director of the Discovery Learning Research Center in Discovery Park.

Lehman, who has been at Purdue as a professor in the College of Education's Department of Curriculum and Instruction since 1983, replaces Brenda Capobianco, a Purdue science education professor who served as interim director after chemistry professor Gabriela Weaver left in June 2014 for a post at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

His appointment is effective immediately, Alan Rebar, executive director of Discovery Park and senior associate vice president for research at Purdue, announced Thursday (Feb. 19).

"Professor Lehman brings an impressive set of skills gained from his more than 30 years at Purdue as a researcher, teacher and leader," Rebar said. "We're excited about his ability to guide this key Purdue center as it seeks innovative ways to translate research into education by helping teams develop large-scale interdisciplinary projects that impact learning and the science of learning."

Lehman, who will be phasing out of his role as associate dean for discovery and faculty development in the College of Education, teaches classes on the educational applications of computers, technology integration in the classroom, educational software design, interactive multimedia and distance learning.

"The DLRC occupies a unique position in Discovery Park, connecting the innovative research done in the Park with the fundamental education mission of the university," Lehman said. "I am excited to help the DLRC bring together internal and external stakeholders to tackle important problems of teaching and learning with a special focus on translating STEM education research into practice at the university and beyond."

His research has focused on the integration of personal computers in education, particularly in the sciences. Lehman also has examined interactive multimedia design and computer-mediated distance education, as well as teacher professional development to equip teachers to use problem-centered, inquiry-based science in the classroom.

"Professor Lehman's selection is important for this center, which is celebrating its fifth year in the Hall for Discovery and Learning Research, a campus building designed to help us understand how learning spaces can continue to adapt to meet the global challenges of the 21st century," said Maryann Santos de Barona, dean of the College of Education.

"The College of Education has a crucial role in advancing research and understanding about how students learn, especially in STEM subjects," she said. "We look forward to deepening our ties with Discovery Park as we continue our research efforts in support of Purdue's mission to advance STEM learning and research efforts."

Lehman received his bachelor's and master's degrees in biology and doctoral degree in science education, all from Purdue.

The Discovery Learning Research Center is one of the centers comprising Purdue's innovative Discovery Park, an interdisciplinary research enterprise committed to advancing science, engaging industry, enhancing educational and work environments, and improving the quality of life.

Since its inception in 2003, the DLRC has generated more than $80 million in funded research focused on identifying, developing, and nurturing interdisciplinary teams and projects that integrate, synthesize and promote discovery, learning and engagement.

The center is located in the $25 million Hall for Discovery and Learning Research, which opened in April 2010 as a primary home for Purdue's interdisciplinary research for bringing experts in academia, industry and K-12 education to improve learning, especially in the STEM fields. 

Writer: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu

Sources: Alan Rebar, 765-496-6625, rebar@purdue.edu

Maryann Santos de Barona, 765-494-2336, msdb@purdue.edu

James Lehman, 765-494-8474, lehman@purdue.edu 

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