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Claire Christensen

Education Researcher, SRI Education

Claire Christensen, PhD, is an education researcher in SRI International’s Education Division. She is an expert in digital learning media and she specializes in early childhood media in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and social-emotional learning. She has led randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental evaluations, and mixed-methods formative evaluations of educational media.

Christensen’s SRI projects include the Ready To Learn Initiative, for which she coleads summative and formative evaluations of PBS KIDS apps and videos. Christensen leads a mixed-methods formative evaluation for Sesame Workshop, to inform the development of media resources for families. She also coleads a project investigating the use of artificial intelligence to understand children’s media exposure. Christensen contributed to formative evaluation studies for The Jim Henson Company. She has led two mixed-methods formative evaluations of the usability and feasibility of educator-facing online tools for EdSurge. Christensen was co-PI on evaluations of EdReady math learning software and the National Science Foundation’s INSPIRE program.

Before joining SRI, Christensen conducted research and evaluations on educational programs in STEM and social-emotional learning. She was a research intern at the Center on Media and Child Health as well as at the Museum of Science and Industry. She also was a laboratory manager at the University of Illinois at Chicago Social Emotional Teaching and Learning Lab.

Christensen received her BS in mass communication, specializing in educational media, from Illinois State University. Her MA and PhD in community and prevention research, with a minor in evaluating educational programs, are from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Current projects

  1. Evaluation of the Ready To Learn Initiative
  2. Formative Research to Support Sesame Workshop and UnitedHealthcare’s Healthy Habits Initiative
  3. Evaluation of Yixue Adaptive Learning
  4. IDEAS 2: Inventing, Designing, and Engineering on the Autism Spectrum Expansion Project
  5. Evaluation of the Engage New England Initiative


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