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Athabasca University

Dr. Andrew Chiarella

Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology



I joined Athabasca University in 2009 following the completion of my doctorate in educational psychology at McGill University. I mostly coordinate and tutor undergraduate courses in educational psychology (EDPY 200, EDPY 310 and PSYC 310) and those that focus more on uses of educational technology (EDPY 480). As well, I coordinate one of two introductory psychology courses (PSYC 289).

My research focus is on the empirical study of learning and instruction in traditional school subjects, and the development of educational technologies. My current research focuses on the study of social annotation systems. I designed and programmed a software application – called CoREAD – which aggregates the annotations of a community of readers and adds text signals to the text based on this community consensus. Principles and characteristics of complex, self-organizing systems were used to design CoREAD.

Current Research Interests

How can social software be used to create self-organizing, digital artifacts that scaffold learners? In particular, how can social annotation systems be developed to support readers?

  • Learning and Instruction; Educational Technology
  • Complex Self-Organizing) Systems & Emergence
  • Distributed Cognition, Collective Behaviour, Mass Collaboration
  • Learners' use and comprehension of digitally augmented resources

Selected Publications and Presentations

Chiarella, A. F. & Chmiliar, L. (2013, April). Deriving social text signals from individual annotations of a digital text. Poster presented at the Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA.

Chiarella, A. F. & Chmiliar, L. (2012). Reading together: Indirect collaboration through a social software application. Proceedings of the World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (pp. 1772-1776). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Chiarella, A. F. (2012, April). The influence of self-organized, social text signals on readers' behaviour: Collective intelligence or unchecked imitation? Paper presented at the Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. 

Chiarella, A. F. & Lajoie, S. P. (2010, June). Social annotation: Emergent text signals through self-organization. In Proceedings of the World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2010 (pp. 1456-1462). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Chiarella, A. F. & Lajoie, S. P. (2010). A self-organising systems approach to history-enriched digital objects. In D. Ifenthaler, P. Pirnay-Dummer & N. M. Seel (Eds.). Computer-Based Diagnostics and Systematic Analysis of Knowledge (pp. 131-158). New York: Springer.

Updated May 01 2015 by Student & Academic Services

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