scientific inquiry;, science learning and assessment;, computational thinking;, equity;, virtual environments;, professional development

My research interests center on improving student learning and engagement with science through increasing access, particularly in urban contexts, to scientific inquiry experiences and through raising self-efficacy in science. I look specifically at the use of virtual environments to deliver scientific inquiry curricula and science assessments to students in the classroom and at professional development to help teachers integrate scientific inquiry into their curricula. Most recently, I am exploring the integration of computational thinking into elementary science education through preservice and inservice teacher education.

I hold certification in secondary school science, and was a science curriculum specialist and teacher (science and math) for grades 5-12 for 12 years. Prior to that, I conducted immunology basic research for 2 years. I received a B.S. in Bio-Medical Sciences from Brown University, an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Virginia and my doctorate in Learning and Teaching from Harvard University. I was an Assistant Professor of Curriculum, Instruction and Technology in Education at Temple University for 5 years prior to coming to the University of Maryland in 2011.

  • 11th Annual University-Wide Celebration of Scholarship and Research, honoree, 2018

  • Best App-based Game (Weather Trouble Module/SAVE Science), ECGBL game design competition, 2015
  • Graduate Student Teacher Award, Temple University College of Education, 2011
  • Best Paper Award, AERA ARVEL SIG, 2011

Recent Publications

Ketelhut, D.J., and Tutwiler, M.S. (2018). Ed Psych Insights: Science Learning and Inquiry with Technology. Routledge.

Mills, K., Ketelhut, D.J., Gong, X. (Accepted). Change in Teacher Beliefs, but not Practices, following Integration of Immersive Virtual Environment in the Classroom. Journal of Educational Computing Research 57(7).

Hestness, E., Ketelhut, D.J., McGinnis, J.R., & Plane, J. (2018). Intersecting Discourses within an Elementary Teacher Professional Development Experience on Computational Thinking in Science Education. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education 26(3), 411-435.

Ketelhut, D.J., & Nelson, B. (2018). Designing, Implementing and Researching the Effects of Narrative-Based Assessment in Virtual Environments. In H. Jiao & R. W. Lissitz (Eds.), Technology Enhanced Innovative Assessment:  Development, Modeling, and Scoring from an Interdisciplinary Perspective. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publisher. p. 53-70.

Ketelhut, D.J., Nelson, B., Schifter, C.C., & Kim, Y. (2013). Improving science assessments by situating them in a virtual environment. Education Sciences 3(2), 172-192.

Ketelhut, D.J., & Schifter, C. (2011). Game-Based Learning and Teachers: Improving understanding of how to increase efficacy of adoption. Computers and Education 56, 539-546.

Ketelhut, D.J., and Nelson, B. (2010). Designing for Real-World Scientific Inquiry in Virtual Environments. Educational Research 52(2), 151-167.

Ketelhut, D.J. (2010). Assessing gaming, computer and scientific inquiry self-efficacy in a virtual environment. In L.A. Annetta and S. Bronack (Eds.), Serious Educational Game Assessment: Practical Methods and Models for Educational Games, Simulations and Virtual Worlds. Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Sense Publishers. p. 1-18.

Ketelhut, D.J., Clarke, J., and Nelson, B. (2010). The development of River City, a multi-user virtual environment-based scientific inquiry curriculum: historical and design evolutions. In M. J. Jacobson and P. Reimann (Eds.), Designs for Learning Environments of the Future: International perspectives from the learning sciences. Springer Publishing Company. p. 89-110.

Ketelhut, D.J. (2009). Rethinking Science Learning: a needs assessment. An NAS-commissioned paper.

Ketelhut, D. J. (2007). The Impact of Student Self-Efficacy on Scientific Inquiry Skills: An Exploratory Investigation in River City, a Multi-User Virtual Environment. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 16(1), 99-111.

  • The Bessie Coleman Project - Using Computer Modeling and Flight Simulation to Create STEM Pathways, 2018-2021.
    • Subcontract Principal Investigator (Grant PI: Dr. Jackie Leonard, University of Wyoming), National Science Foundation, ITEST Program, $120,447.50
  • Exploring the Integration of Computational Thinking into Preservice Elementary Science Teacher Education (CT→PSTE) Supplement, 2018-2020.

    • Principal Investigator, National Science Foundation, STEM+C Program, $180,154

  • Exploring the Integration of Computational Thinking into Preservice Elementary Science Teacher Education (CT→PSTE), 2017-2019.
    • Principal Investigator, National Science Foundation, STEM+C Program, $1,241,908.71
  • SAVE Science: Situated Assessment using Virtual Environments for Science Content and Inquiry, 2008-2015
    • Principal Investigator, National Science Foundation, Discovery Research K-12 Program, $2,772,482
  • Educating middle-grades teachers for challenging contexts,E=mc2, 2007-11
    • Co-Principal Investigator, Department of Education, Transition to Teaching Program, $3,014,360
  • Science in the City: a Proposal for Developing Future Scientists, 2006-10
    • Co-Principal Investigator, National Science Foundation, Academy for Young Scientists Program, $799,125