Dr. Sinem Siyahhan is an Associate Professor of Educational Technology and Learning Sciences, Associate Director of the Center for Research and Engagement in STEM Education (CRESE), and the Co-Director of the Educational Leadership Joint Doctoral Program with UC San Diego at California State University San Marcos. Before joining CSUSM in 2014, Siyahhan was an Assistant Research Professor at Arizona State University and worked at the Center for Games and Impact for three years. She earned her Ph.D. in Learning Sciences with a minor in Inquiry Methodology from Indiana University in 2011.
Siyahhan’s scholarship focuses on broadening participation in STEM through understanding the affordances of digital media and computing technologies for human-computer interaction, teaching, 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 playful learning environments to facilitate interactions between youth and adults; designing tools 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. Throughout the last 15 years, Dr. Siyahhan developed many lessons, activities, and curricula to support STEM teaching and learning for young children, elementary and middle school students, and teacher candidates.
At Indiana University, Siyahhan worked as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center for Research on Learning and Technology for five years on multiple National Science Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and MacArthur Foundation-funded research and design projects including Grinding New Lenses (PIs: Melissa Gresalfi, Kylie Peppler, Nicole Pinkard, & Katie Salen) and Quest Atlantis, the 3D online educational game platform (PI: Sasha Barab). She designed, implemented, and researched Family Quest, a virtual game environment and after school program for families. As an Assistant Research Professor at Arizona State University, she helped create the Games and Impact Undergraduate Certificate Program, and implemented Families@Play, series of family gaming events held at schools, museums, and libraries to help parents develop strategies to utilize popular commercial video games at home with their children, and use play as a context for strengthening home-school-community connections. Siyahhan also developed and led teacher professional development workshops on how to integrate video games, coding, computational thinking, and systems thinking into the curriculum to support STEM learning in schools, and continues to do so in North County San Diego.