Watson Chronicle


Watson College News

WCE Professor Mahnaz Moallem Receives National Education Award

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Mahnaz Moallem has received an Annual Achievement Award from the Association for Educational Communications and Technology for her exemplary leadership developing integrated STEM curriculum and problem-based learning programs. The award was presented at the AECT annual convention in Jacksonville in November.

Moallem is a professor of Instructional Technology and Research at WCE. She is also WCE’s grant coordinator and program coordinator for UNCW’s new integrated STEM certificate program.

AECT president Brad Hokanson wrote to notify Moallem of her selection for the award in October. “You have my sincere congratulations,” he wrote. “Your efforts in the field of STEM education are valuable to us all.”

Also in November, Moallem was an invited keynote speaker at the 2017 Social Learning Conference sponsored by OpenLearning in partnership with the Malaysian eLearning Council for Public Universities. The conference, held at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia on Nov. 27-28, brought together educators, researchers, instructional designers, technology specialists and government officials from Malaysia, Australia, the U.S. and other countries around the world. The title of her keynote was “Rethinking Assessment.”

“We are proud of the work that Mahnaz has done that is recognized in the award from AECT,” said Van Dempsey, dean of the Watson College. “Her work sits at the intersection of critical scholarship on learning, including instructional technology, STEM and problem-based learning. She has had a sustained impact as evidenced in her career work as well as this prestigious recognition.”

As a learning science researcher, Moallem studies applications of various learning and instructional design theories and models for learning and human performance improvement. She has a special interest in the application of problem-based/project-based learning and assessment of complex learning outcomes such as problem-solving and critical thinking for STEM fields. During her career, she has designed, developed and successfully implemented and evaluated several programs that have been using PBL as their pedagogical framework. In addition, within the last 15 years, she has coordinated innovative projects funded by the National Science Foundation and Department of Education on the integration of PBL with computer modeling and simulation.

Moallem has worked with a number of international colleagues and serves on the editorial board of a number of prestigious national and international journals. She has been the recipient of a number of teaching and research awards and has served as a rotating scientist (IPA) for two years at the National Science Foundation. Moallem introduced the Instructional Technology master’s degree program at the Watson College in 1998 and served as MIT program coordinator for nearly two decades. Her research specialties include program evaluation and design.

About UNCW’s iSTEM Certificate Program

UNCW will introduce a new iSTEM Post-Baccalaureate Certification program in 2018. The program, one of the first of its kind in the nation, is designed for secondary mathematics, science and computer science teachers who want to lead STEM education programs in their schools and districts. UNCW’s Graduate School is currently accepting applications for the program.