Sinem Siyahhan is an Assistant Professor of Educational Technology at California State University San Marcos. She is also the Founding Director of Play2Connect, an initiative that aims to support family learning, communication, and connection through gaming. Before joining CSUSM, Siyahhan worked as an Assistant Research Professor at Arizona State University.
She earned her PhD in Learning Sciences/Educational Psychology with a minor in Inquiry Methodology from Indiana University in 2011. At Indiana University, Siyahhan worked as a graduate research assistant on multiple NSF and MacArthur Foundation funded projects including a design project called Grinding New Lenses that focuses on creating modular, digital design focused curricula that promote systems thinking dispositions in young people, a 3D multi-user learning and teaching environment called Quest Atlantis that immerses children (ages 9-13) in educational tasks, and a research project that aims to understand the nature of parent-child interaction around shared problem solving tasks through a series of lab and museum studies.
Siyahhan’s scholarship uses design-based research to understand the affordances of digital media technologies for human interaction, learning, and social change in the context of formal and informal learning environments. As such, her research considers learning and technology with respect to three interrelated goals: designing online tools to connect and facilitate continuous learning among youth and adults; designing learning experiences around existing technologies such as video games to support meaningful social interactions, deep engagement with content, and development of 21st century skills; and understanding how these designs influence individual and collective learning, and how they can be improved to better support academic and social outcomes.