Senior Research Social Scientist, SRI Education
Louise Yarnall, PhD, studies ways to help educators and employers prepare learners for careers. Yarnall’s work focuses on supporting novel ways to integrate career exploration and preparation into both K–16 and the workplace settings. She has published research on how instructors can incorporate workplace simulation projects and employability skills development into the classroom. She has designed and evaluated the efficacy of new forms of technology to improve learning in college and on the job, including leading national studies on adaptive learning products and several studies focused on design and prototyping new learning methods using mobile, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence technologies.
Yarnall excels at analyzing both technical knowledge in a wide range of domains and non-technical skills that support success in life and work. Yarnall has analyzed such content in college, military, and employer courses, including such topics as software programming, cybersecurity, biology, and economics. She has documented the knowledge of expert workplace technicians. She has studied techniques for improving employability skills, such as communication, teamwork, and adapting to workplace expectations. She led a team that developed a work-based learning framework for the state of Maryland.
Yarnall also is an expert in the design and delivery of problem-based learning and adaptive learning courseware. She has published peer-reviewed articles on the challenges of implementing these approaches in classrooms. She also has deep expertise in microlearning methods and has applied such methods to develop curricula for cybersecurity education and emergency readiness.
Yarnall’s interest in careers, learning, and instructional technology stems from her formative professional years working as a newspaper journalist based in Southern California. In that award-winning work, Yarnall covered prominent professionals in multiple fields, conducted investigations using computer-assisted reporting, and reported on numerous political controversies. In her doctoral thesis at UCLA, she measured how well people discern different viewpoints in news reports and editorials. This work led her to explore how people learn core knowledge in multiple fields and how educators can design instruction to accelerate the development of expert understanding in many domains.
- SaTC: EDU: Microlessons to Build Readiness in the Cybersecurity Workforce
- Project GOALS (Greater Opportunities to Advance Lifelong Success): A Research Collaborative for Building STEM Tech Employability Skills
- Technical Assistance for the Region 4 Comprehensive Center: Maryland Work-based Learning Continuum
- Knowledge Transfer Capability Design and Testing
- Fostering scientific and numerate practices in journalism to support rapid public learning *
- Self-Regulated Learning *
- Maryland’s work-based learning continuum: Describing the research and common practices *
- An analysis of the relation between student usage and course outcomes for MyLab Math and MyLab Foundational Skills *
Recent publicationsmore +
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.
Supporting and Measuring Career Readiness: Hot topics, Common Challenges, and Practical Resources
Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia convened representatives for a workshop to discuss how educators and researchers are addressing the development and measurement of career readiness.
Working Stronger and Smarter: A Handbook on Theory and Techniques for Developing Employability Skills for Technicians
This exploratory study conducted a set of in-depth interviews with technician workforce experts over 18 months.
Designing Smartphone Microlessons to Improve the Cybersecurity Workforce
This is a poster presented at the 4th annual Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace principal investigators’ meeting.
Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century
This brief takes a close look at grit, tenacity, and perseverance, factors that underlie the tendency to strive for success at long-term and higher-order goals and to persist in the face of challenges, obstacles, and setbacks.
CIRCL Primer: Data science education
This primer is an overview of the early state of data science education in grades K-12.