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.
- Evaluation of the Ready To Learn Initiative
- Formative Research to Support Sesame Workshop and UnitedHealthcare’s Healthy Habits Initiative
- Evaluation of Yixue Adaptive Learning
- IDEAS 2: Inventing, Designing, and Engineering on the Autism Spectrum Expansion Project
- Evaluation of the Engage New England Initiative
- Evaluation of Mobile Messaging on Responsive Caregiving
Recent publicationsmore +
An Evaluation of a First-of-its-kind Hybrid Law Degree Program
There are few published studies investigating the effectiveness of hybrid formats at the program level in graduate legal education. A hybrid Juris Doctorate (J.D.) program launched by a Midwestern institution was the first ABA-accredited law degree program with a substantial online learning component.
Sparking Connections: Evaluations of Mobile Messaging on Responsive Caregiving
Mobile messaging programs are a low-cost, scalable approach to building parents’ knowledge and capacity to support their children’s development. These programs directly deliver simple and straightforward information, tips, and activities that parents can incorporate into daily routines.
The Efficacy of Digital Media Resources in Improving Children’s Ability to Use Informational Text: An Evaluation of Molly of Denali from PBS KIDS
Two nine-week trials with a national sample of 263 first-graders examined whether free educational videos and digital games supported children’s ability to use informational text to answer real-world questions.
Comparing Parent Report and Telemetry Measures of Child Media Use
Accurate measurement of children’s media use is critical for understanding media effects on child outcomes.
When adaptive learning is effective learning: comparison of an adaptive learning system to teacher-led instruction
Adaptive learning systems personalize instruction to students’ individual learning needs and abilities. Such systems have shown positive impacts on learning. Many schools in the United States have adopted adaptive learning systems, and the rate of adoption in China is accelerating, reaching almost 2 million unique users for one product alone in the past 3 years.
Measuring Chinese middle school students’ motivation using the Reduced Instructional Materials Motivation Survey (RIMMS): A validation study in the adaptive learning setting
This study validates a measure of student motivation, the Reduced Instructional Materials Motivation Survey, with a sample of Chinese middle school students using an adaptive learning system in math.