Although Matt Easterday is often mistaken for a philosophy student, in real life he is a dedicated practitioner of Human-Computer Interaction, especially as applied to education, critical thinking and activism.

Matt believes that the most serious problems facing society, such as global warming, nuclear proliferation, and poverty are political, and thus cannot be solved without an active engaged citizenry. Matt's goal is to develop scientifically supported curricula to train effective citizens. His work has shown that (a) students have difficulty synthesizing evidence about policy, (b) causal diagrams can be used to teach students how to make evidence-based policy recommendations and (c) by embedding intelligent cognitive tutoring software into educational games, we may be able to design instruction that both teaches students how to argue and is fun to play.

Matt has received generous support from the Institute for Educational Sciences and the Siebel Foundation. He is now an Assistant Professor of Learning Science at Northwestern University's School of Education and Social Policy.


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Policy World: A cognitive game for teaching policy argument

(Sep 01, 2010)

For Matt Easterday's dissertation at Carnegie Mellon's Human-Computer Interaction Institute, he designed a cognitive game that teaches students how to use diagrams to solve policy problems.