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Louise Yarnall

Senior Research Social Scientist, SRI Education

Louise Yarnall, Ph.D., studies ways to help educators and employers prepare learners for careers. Yarnall has evaluated the efficacy of adaptive learning products, expanded innovative teaching among community college workforce instructors, and helped to design 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 content in college courses on software programming, cybersecurity, biology, and economics, and has documented the knowledge of expert workplace technicians. She has studied techniques for improving non-technical skills, such as communication, teamwork, and adapting to workplace expectations.

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 and developed handbooks and professional development curricula to help instructors and educational designers.

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.

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