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Christian Schunn

Professor, University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychology

Senior Scientist, Learning Research & Development Center

Research Interests

  • STEM learning
  • Peer interaction and instruction
  • Engagement and learning
  • Improvement science for education reform

Xiong, Y. & Schunn, C.D. (2021). Reviewer, essay, and review process characteristics that predict errors in web-based peer review. Computers & Education.

Apedoe, X.S., Ellefson, M.R., & Schunn, C.D. (2021). "Chapter 4 Supporting Conceptual Change in Chemistry through Design-Based Learning." In I. Henze & M.J. de Vries (Eds.). Design-Based Concept Learning in Science and Technology Education, (vol. 17, pp. 49-74). Brill | Sense.

Kalender, Z. Y., Marshman, E., Schunn, C. D., Nokes-Malach, T. J., & Singh, C. (2020). Damage caused by women's lower self-efficacy on physics learning. Physical Review Physics Education Research.

Vincent-Ruz, P., Meyer, T., Roe, S.G. & Schunn, C.D. (2020). Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of POGIL in a Large-Enrollment General Chemistry Course. Journal of Chemical Education.

Bodnar, K., Hofkens, T.L., Wang, M. & Schunn, C.D. (2020). Science identity predicts science career aspiration across gender and race, but especially for white boys. International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, 12(1), 32-45.

Wu, Y. & Schunn, C.D. (2020). When Peers Agree, do Students Listen? The Central Role of Feedback Quality and Feedback Frequency in Determining Uptake of Feedback. Contemporary Educational Psychology.

Wu, Y. & Schunn, C.D. (2020). The Effects of Providing and Receiving Peer Feedback on Writing Performance and Learning of Secondary School Students. American Educational Research Journal.

Drayton, B., Bernstein, D., Schunn, C., & McKenney, S. (2020). Consequences of curricular adaptation strategies for implementation at scale. Science Education.

Miller-Cotto, D. & Schunn, C. (2020). Mind the gap: How a large-scale course re-design in economics reduced performance gaps. The Journal of Experimental Education.

Liu, A.S. & Schunn, C.D. (2020). Predicting pathways to optional summer science experiences by socioeconomic status and the impact on science attitudes and skills. International Journal of STEM Education.

Whitcomb, K. M., Kalender, Z. Y., Nokes-Malach, T. J., Schunn, C. D., & Singh, C. (2020). Laying a foundation for success in engineering coursework: A predictive curriculum model. International Journal of Engineering Education, 36(4).

Kalender, Z. Y., Marshman, E., Nokes-Malach, T., Schunn, C. D., & Singh, C. (2020). Beliefs about competence: The story of self-efficacy, gender, and physics. In A. Murrell (Ed.), Diversity across disciplines: Research on people, policy, process and paradigm. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Blatt, L., Schunn, C. D., Votruba-Drzal, E., & Rottman, B. M.(2020). Variation in which key motivational and academic resources relate to academic performance disparities across introductory college courses. International Journal of STEM Education7(1), 1-25.

Zong, Z., Schunn, C.D., & Wang, Y. (2020). Learning to improve the quality peer feedback through experience with peer feedback. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education.

Betancur, L., Rottman, B. M., Votruba-Drzal, E., & Schunn, C. (2019). Analytical assessment of course sequencing: The case of methodological courses in psychology. Journal of Educational Psychology. 111,91-103.

Elizondo-Garcia, J., Schunn, C. & Gallardo, K. (2019). Quality of peer feedback in relation to instructional design: A comparative study in energy and sustainability MOOCs. International Journal of Instruction, 12(1), 1025-1040.

Witherspoon, E. & Schunn, C. D. (2019, online). Teachers' goals predict computational thinking gains in robotics. Information and Learning Sciences.

Witherspoon, E. B., Vincent-Ruz, P., & Schunn, C. D. (2019). When making the grade isn’t enough: The gendered nature of premed science course attrition. Educational Researcher.

Quintana, R., & Schunn, C. (2019). Who benefits from a foundational logic course? Effects on undergraduate course performance. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 12(2), 191-214.

Nokes-Malach, T., Kalender, Y., Marshman, E., Schunn, C., & Singh, C. (2019). Prior preparation and motivational characteristics mediate relations between gender and learning outcomes in introductory physics. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pittsburgh.

Kalender, Y., Marshman, E., Schunn, C., Nokes-Malach, T., & Singh, C. (2019). Gendered patterns in the construction of physics identity from motivational factors. Physical Review Physics Education Research.

Vincent-Ruz, P., & Schunn, C. (2019). Identity Complexes and Science Identity in Early Secondary: Mono-topical or in Combination with Other Topical Identities. Research in Science Education.

Dorph, R., Cannady, M., & Schunn, C. (2019). What Drives Engagement in Exhibits? The Interaction between Visitor Activation Profiles and Exhibit Features. Curator the Museum Journal.

Cannady, M.A., Vincent-Ruz, P., Chung, J.M., & Schunn, C.D. (2019). Scientific sensemaking supports science content learning across disciplines and instructional contexts. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 59, 1-15.

Schunn, C.D. (2019). What should cognitive science look like? Neither a tree nor physics. Topics in Cognitive Science, 1-8.

Christian Schunn spoke about "Scientific Literacy" as a guest speaker on the first episode of the student led The Pitt Pulse Podcast.

October 12, 2020


Christian Schunn and Paulette Vincent-Ruz, along with their co-authors, were mentioned in The Hechinger Report's article, "A Study on Teaching Critical Thinking in Science," based on their study, "Scientific Sensemaking Supports Science Context Learning Across Disciplines and Instructional Contexts."

January 13, 2020


Paulette Vincent Ruz, Eben Witherspoon, and Chris Schunn's paper, "When Making the Grade Isn’t Enough: The Gendered Nature of Pre-med Science Course Attrition" is mentioned in the May 2 Chronicle of Higher Ed online article, " How a Math Class Sparked Students’ Engagement in Their Community" under the heading "Why Women Leave Pre-med."

May 2, 2019


The Institute for Learning (IFL) and the Center for Urban Education (CUE) in Pitt’s School of Education have received a 5-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Award has received press coverage in multiple news outlets, including Education Week (IFL mentioned bullet point 7), and the Dallas News (IFL mentioned paragraph 6).

September 5, 2018


Research conducted by LRDC graduate student Paulette Vincent-Ruz and faculty advisor Chris Schunn is featured on an infographic on the Wiley International Women's Day website. Their research on gender differences in STEM fields is highlighted under "Affirm her competency,” taken from the original article "The Increasingly Important Role of Science Competency Beliefs for Science Learning in Girls.”

March 13, 2018


Canadian Science Publishing posted a blog related to a physics paper by Tim Nokes-Malach, Chris Schunn, Chandralekha Singh, and co-authors Emily Marshman and Zeynep Y. Kalender, titled "The Experiences of Female Students in an Introductory Physics Course" on December 29, 2017. The paper referred to in the article is "A Longitudinal Analysis of Students’ Motivational Characteristics in Introductory Physics Courses: Gender Differences."

December 29, 2017


The James S. McDonnell Foundation has awarded a five-year, $2.5 million grant to Principal Investigator Mary Kay Stein, LRDC Associate Director for Educational Research and Practice, and Co-Investigators Chris Schunn, Lindsay Clare Matsumura, Jennifer Russell, and Richard Correnti for their research, entitled "Teacher Learning to Enact Productive Discussions in Mathematics and Literacy."

December 15, 2017


Meghan Bathgate, Chris Schunn, and Rip Correnti’s research on Childrens’ responses to science across settings is featured in the May 2016 Relating Research to Practice Brief, a website supported by the National Science Foundation.

May 31, 2016


“Do the Best Ideas (Really) Come from Conceptually Distant Sources of Inspiration?" authored by Chris Schunn, his former graduate student Joel Chan, and Steven Dow, has been awarded the Design Studies Award 2015.

April 11, 2016


Tim Nokes-Malach, with colleagues, has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for "Build, Understand, & Tune Interventions that Cumulate to Real Impact." This interdisciplinary project includes LRDC researchers Christian Schunn, Benjamin Rottman, Kevin Binning, and Center Associates Chandralekha Singh and Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal and other Pitt faculty across the disciplines of biology, chemistry, and physics.

August 21, 2015


Chris Schunn is interviewed about his research for the Canadian Broadcasting System (CBC) "Eureka!: Mapping the Creative Mind." Chris's section begins at 35:20.

March 23, 2015


Christian Schunn and Joel Chan's research included in the Innovation Excellence blog, number 12 "Being a 'genius' requires hard work, not talent."

March 16, 2015


Chris Schunn was mentioned in the OZY article "Bridging Tech's Gender Gap...With Dance."

January 15, 2015


Joel Chan and Christian Schunn's research was discussed in the OZY article "The Productivity Secret You Don't Want to Hear."

December 2014


Panther Learning Systems, Inc. won Ed Tech Company of the Year at the Pittsburgh Technology Council Tech 50 awards. Panther Learning Systems licenses Peerceptive, (SWoRD), which is a web-based peer review system to support writing instruction, developed at LRDC by Christian Schunn.

October 2014

Joel Chan and Christian Schunn's research on analogies was used in the article "How to Think Like an Engineer" from Design News.

October 2014

Chris Schunn and Muhsin Menekse, with Robin Shoop of CMU, have received a National Science Foundation grant for "Changing Culture in Robotics Classrooms." This is a continuing grant that has been approved on scientific/technical merit.

September 2014

A list of recent LRDC award recipients is on page 18 of the August 28 issue of the University Times. Einat Heyd-Metzuyanim, Melissa Libertus, Diane Litman, Charles Perfetti, Christian Schunn, Natasha Tokowicz, Tessa Warren, and Jingtao Wang were all mentioned.

August 2014

Congratulations to Christian Schunn, Diane Litman, and Amanda Godley. "An Intelligent Ecosystem for Science Writing Instruction," was awarded a The National Science Foundation (NSF) grant.

July 2014

Joel Chan and Christian Schunn's research was mentioned in class the Business Insider, "This Cognitive Tool Helped Thomas Edison Discover His Inventions."

July 2014