Students in a classroom learning


Michelene Chi named 2021 APS William James Fellow Award

Michelene (Micki) Chi is internationally renown for her sustained, foundational contributions to the field of modern learning science. Chi has published well over 100 papers in the top journals in her field and has been cited over 60,000 times. Her work includes pioneering studies on topics such as expertise, self-explanation, tutoring, conceptual change, and student engagement.

For instance, Chi’s study on the complex knowledge structures and reasoning skills of young children who were dinosaur experts challenged both Piagetian thought on child development and as existing conceptualizations of the nature of expertise.

Chi is known for producing high-quality studies with innovative, rigorous methods. She once performed a painstakingly precise content analysis of a textbook’s explanation of the human heart in order to show that only about 50% of the information students needed to know was explicitly conveyed. Chi reasoned that effective learning must therefore depend on students’ ability to interpret beyond what is given in the text, a hypothesis that has now been confirmed in numerous studies, starting with her study showing that students who self-explained learned more. This conclusion has inspired a promising new area of research in discovering how to best teach students to self-explain.

Chi’s outstanding dedication to scientific rigor, including her readiness to constantly put her own theories to the test, makes her an extraordinary researcher. Her more recent research, the ICAP theory, has challenged current learning practices and added operational definitions that can facilitate the application of the principle of Active Learning. Moreover, her ICAP theory has important implications for education worldwide and has fueled a movement to transform the way that we approach student engagement in order to better serve teachers and students alike.

News Story Featuring Dr. Chi's Work on Student Engagement

Dr. Chi named the 2020 Recipient of the Harold W. McGraw Prize

The Harold W. McGraw Prize is awarded to innovators in education and focused on improving learning. Watch this video to see her award acceptance speech.

Differentiating 4 modes of Engagement in Active Learning

“Active Learning” is a broad term that generally refers to students doing something about learning. Dr. Chi offers a more precise framework for differentiating between the types of active learning learners use—interactive (I), constructive (C), active (A), and passive (P).

Thorndike Career Achievement Award - APA 2016

Division 15 presents Dr. Michelene Chi's speech in receipt of the E.L. Thorndike Career Achievement Award at the 2016 Annual APA Convention, held in Denver, CO.

Ed-Talk: Engaging Students to Promote Deeper Learning

Ed-Talk: Engaging Students to Promote Deeper Learning;
Michelene T.H. Chi, Arizona State University;
April 11, 2016;
Washington, DC

Speaker Bio:

Rumelhart Award Symposium: "Translating the ICAP Theory of Cognitive Engagement into Practice"

Dr. Michelene Chi's speech in honor of her receiving the Rumelhart Prize at the 41st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society held in Montreal, Canada.

Dr. Chi was named Regents Professor in 2018, the highest faculty honor awarded at Arizona State University.

Watch this video to get some insight on her work, what she does at Arizona State University, and why she was named a Regents Professor.