James Diamond, PhD
Jim Diamond is a researcher in the field of digital media and learning, focused primarily on the use of educational games to enrich K–12 learning and teaching for students and teachers. He is the faculty lead for the program in Digital Age Learning and Educational Technology at Johns Hopkins School of Education.
Diamond uses design-based research methods to create and study technologies that foster individual learner agency in real-world learning settings. He has extensive experience in educational research, design, and evaluation, and his areas of interest include history, social studies, and civics education; STEM education; computational thinking; and disciplinary literacy.
His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation’s HASTAC Digital Media and Learning Initiative, the Gates Foundation, and the Robin Hood Learning + Technology Fund.
Diamond has a BA and an EdM from Boston University, and a PhD from New York University.
Ph.D., Educational Communication & Technology, May 2012
NYU, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development (Educational Communication and Technology and Learning Science)
Thesis title: “You Weren’t Doing What You Would Actually Do, You Were Doing What People Wanted You to Do”: A Study of Historical Empathy in a Digital History Game
Ed.M., Educational Media & Technology, May 2003
Boston University, School of Education (Educational Technology)
B.A., History and International Relations, magna cum laude, May 1994
Boston University, University Professors Program (History and International Relations)
Research Scientist—Education Development Center | Center for Children and Technology (EDC|CCT), New York, Jan 2018–Present
Principal investigator and project director for research and evaluation projects; currently PI of two NSF-funded projects and one project funded by the Robin Hood Learning + Technology Fund; lead proposal efforts for grants from private and public grant making organizations; lead project dissemination in writing and at conferences; explore and develop new partnerships and initiatives with other researchers and organizations
Senior Research Associate—(EDC|CCT), New York, Jan 2015-Dec 2017
Principal investigator and project director for research and evaluation projects; led proposal efforts for grants from private and public grant making organizations; led project dissemination in writing and at conferences; built partnerships with other researchers and organizations
Research Associate II—(EDC|CCT), New York, Jan 2013-Dec 2014
Research Associate I—(EDC|CCT), New York, Jan 2009-Dec 2012
Research Assistant II—(EDC|CCT), New York, Sept 2007-Dec 2008
Research Assistant—CREATE Lab (NYU), Jan 2006-Apr 2007
Research Assistant—Tiltfactor Lab (Hunter College/NYU), Dec 2006-Apr 2007
FUNDED ONGOING GRANTS
Principal Investigator, Identifying Effective Models for Integrating Computational Thinking into NYC Elementary Schools, Robin Hood Learning + Technology Fund, $600,000, Sept 2017
Three-year project to conduct case studies in five New York City elementary schools to begin building a knowledge base about effective models for integrating an instructional focus on computational thinking into elementary education. Partnering with the University of Illinois and the Research Alliance for NYC Schools, the team will work closely with five high-poverty New York City elementary schools that are piloting, with the help of an external implementation partner, several approaches to integrating CT into elementary instruction. Our goal is to understand how those models (with a focus on teacher professional development and administrator vision) work in various contexts, and which models may be particularly effective.
Principal Investigator, Investigating Digital Badges as Alternative Credentials to Broaden STEM Participation Among Underrepresented Youth, National Science Foundation (NSF) (Award #1614727), $1,199,945, Sept 2016
Three-year design-based implementation study to develop and research an alternative credentialing process called Design League Badge Portfolios. The process will give underserved youth a technology-supported method for presenting their Information Communication Technology (ICT) achievements in an out-of-school program in ways that are personally meaningful and that address the expectations of higher education institutions. The research will contribute knowledge about the relationships between the construction of badge portfolios and underrepresented young people’s STEM identities, as well as knowledge about the processes by which “badge ecosystems” develop. Partners include Parsons School of Design, Mouse (a national youth-development organization based in NYC), and DreamYard (an arts center and high school in Bronx, NY).
Principal Investigator, Playing with the Data: Developing Digital Supports for Middle School Science Teachers Using Game-Based Formative Assessment, NSF (Award #1503255), $2,818,793, June 2015
Three-year design-based research study to revise and expand an existing, online data-reporting dashboard, drawing on multiple sources of data from middle grade science teachers and their students. Findings from this study will provide insights into whether and how science teachers working in a range of school contexts integrate game play into their repertoires of teaching practices and the supports they need to do this; how they interpret and use game play data to shift their instructional decisions; and whether a revised and expanded “educative interface” supports improvements in formative assessment practices and differentiation in ways that lead to improved student learning outcomes. Partner is GlassLab, a non-profit educational game design company in CA.
FUNDED COMPLETED GRANTS
Principal Investigator, Planning a Design-based Implementation Research Agenda to Investigate Digital Badges as Transformative Assessment in Informal Science Learning, NSF (Award #1451303), $115,000, Dec 2014
One-year planning grant to conduct a pilot study and complete a proposal for a long-term research program to investigate the specific structural features of two digital badge systems (in the US and UK) that allowed for the alignment of learning objectives across informal science learning institutions. Though the partnerships did not ultimately take hold, the work identified four main challenges for partnerships to develop these types of badge systems: (1) unclear leadership among partner organizations; (2) low stakeholder engagement; (3) limited funding to create new credentialing systems such as these; and (4) limited contexts in which a badge system might be valued. Partner was Digitalme, a UK-based company that helps develop alternative credentialing systems.
Principal Investigator, A Design-Based Research Project to Study the Who Built America? Teacher Mastery Badge System, MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Research Competition on Badging and Badge Systems Development (with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), $195,000, Oct 2012
One-year study to investigate the roles of a.) Expert and peer feedback; and b.) digital badge acquisition in an online teacher professional development program to improve history teachers’ skills in teaching discipline-specific literacy skills. An important finding was several teachers’ framing of a digital badge system as a means to structure professional development activities such that they are linked to a discipline-specific system that builds teacher mastery of content and instructional practices. Partner was the American Social History Project|Center for Media and Learning, a team of social historians and teacher professional development providers at CUNY.
Assessment Lead, Who Built America? Online Professional Development from the American Social History Project, MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition 4, $175,000, May 2012
In partnership with the American Social History Project (CUNY) and Electric Funstuff, successfully competed for the Teacher Mastery Award in the DML Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition. A portion of the grant—$35,000—was allocated to developing assessments and rubrics for gauging history teachers’ content and skill mastery as they progress through an on- line professional development badge system. Partner was the American Social History Project.
EDCT-GE 2500, Games and Play in Education, Spring 2016
EDCT-GE 2158, Educational Design for Media Environments, Fall 2015
EDCT-GE 2505, Designing Simulations and Games for Learning, Fall 2013
E19.2251, Educational Design for the Web, Fall 2006, 2007
E19.2018, Integrating Technology in Teaching and Learning (co-taught), Fall 2006
Boston University—Graduate Teaching Assistant
ED 101, K–12 Educational Technology Lab, Academic year 2002
Thomas J. Kenny Elementary School, Dorchester, MA
Cluster science teacher, Jan 2001-May 2002
PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
(* indicates peer review)
*Joseph, R., & Diamond, J. (2017). iDESIGN: Designing and implementing a culturally-relevant game-based curriculum. In A.D. Benson, R. Joseph, & J.L. Moore (Eds.), Culture, learning, and technology: research and practice. New York: Routledge.
*Diamond, J., & Gonzalez, P. (2016). Digital badges for professional development: teachers’ perceptions of the value of a new credentialing currency. In D. Ifenthaler, N. Bellin- Mularski, & Mah, D.K. (Eds.), Foundation of digital badges and micro-credentials: Demonstrating knowledge and competencies. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.
*Schrier, K., Diamond, J., & Langendoen, D. (2010). Using Mission US: For Crown or Colony? to develop historical empathy and nurture ethical thinking. In K. Schrier & D. Gibson (Eds.), Ethics and game design: teaching values through play (255–273). Hershey, NY: Information Science Reference.
Select conference proceedings
*Anderson, A., Brunner, C., Culp, K.M., Diamond, J., Lewis, M., & Martin, W. (2009). Using microgenetic methods to investigate problem solving in video games. Proceedings of the 2009 Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA). London, UK.
*Anderson, A., Brunner, C., Culp, K.M., Diamond, J., Lewis, M., & Martin, W. (2009). Investigating children’s “strategic competence in inquiry” in videogames. Presented at the annual Games, Learning, & Society (GLS) Conference, Madison WI, June 10–12.
*Belman, J., Nissenbaum, H., Flanagan, M., & Diamond, J. (2011). Grow-A-Game: A tool for values conscious design and analysis of digital games. Proceedings of the 2011 Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA). London, UK.
*DeHaan, J. & Diamond, J. (2007). The experience of telepresence with a foreign language video game and video. Proceedings of the 2007 ACM SIGGRAPH symposium on video games. San Diego, CA, 39–46.
*Diamond, J. (201y). Helping teachers use gameplay data for formative assessment and differentiation. Presented at the annual International Society for Technology in Education conference, San Antonio, TX, June 25–June 28.
*Diamond, J., Macklin, C, & Sharp, J. (2009). Gaming after school: Boys and Girls Club of America game design curriculum. Presented at the annual Game Education Summit, Pittsburgh, PA, June 16–17.
*Diamond, J., Macklin, C, & Sharp, J. (2009). Gaming after school: Boys and Girls Club of America game design curriculum. Presented at the annual Games, Learning, & Society (GLS) Conference, Madison WI, June 10–12.
*Diamond, J., & Potter, L. (2011). Digital games for history learning, or, “History as not just one damn thing after another.” Presented at the annual Games, Learning & Society (GLS) Conference, Madison WI, June 15–17.
*Diamond, J. & Schwartz, R. (2007). Blogs and wikis as tools for reflective practice in a teacher education course. Presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association, Tampa, FL.
*Diamond, J., Anderson, A., Brunner, C., MacMillan Culp, K., Goldstein, M., Martin, W., Parris, J., & Reitzes, T. (2010). Exploratory Investigation of Children’s Strategy Development and Changes Playing World of Goo. Poster presented at the annual Games, Learning & Society (GLS) Conference, Madison WI, June 9–11.
*Diamond, J., Tally, W., & Gonzalez, P. (2012). Investigating a digital history game in middle school classes: a classroom implementation study. Presented at a roundtable session at the 2012 American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting and Exhibition. Vancouver, BC, April 13–17.
*Flanagan, M., Nissenbaum, H., Diamond, J., and Belman, J. (2007). A method for discovering values in digital games. Proceedings of the 2007 Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA). Tokyo, Japan.
*Joseph, R., Diamond, J., Fu, X., Rubio, J., & Thompson, E. (2015). iDesign: After-School Game Based Learning. Presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Educational Communications & Technology. Indianapolis, IN, November 3–7.
*Macklin, C., Sharp, J., Diamond, J., & Tisdale, W. (2010). Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s Game Tech: A 360-degree Post-mortem. Presented at the annual Games, Learning & Society (GLS) Conference, Madison WI, June 9–11.
*Plass, J.L., Goldman, R., Flanagan, M., Diamond, J., Dong, C., Looui, S., Rosalia, C., Song, H., & Perlin, K. (2007). RAPUNSEL: How a computer game design based on educational theory can improve girls’ self-efficacy and self-esteem. Proceedings of the 87thAnnual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Chicago, IL.
*Schrier, K., Diamond, J., Langendoen, D., & Potter, L. (2009). The best of both worlds? Design challenges for developing playable historical games for classroom learning. Presented at the annual Games, Learning, & Society (GLS) Conference, Madison WI, June 10–12.
*Tally, B., Char, C., Diamond, J., Puckett, C., & Sun, J. (2009). History games go to school: research insights from the American History and Civics Initiative. Presented at the annual Games, Learning, & Society (GLS) Conference, Madison, WI, June 10–12.
Invited conference proceedings
Diamond, J. (2016). Learning how to help teachers use gameplay for formative assessment. Presented at the annual meeting of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing Eastern Educational Research Association (CRESST), Los Angeles, CA
Diamond, J. (2015). Playing with Data: Understanding how teachers use videogame play for formative assessment. Presented at the annual meeting of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing Eastern Educational Research Association (CRESST), Los Angeles, CA
AWARDS AND HONORS
Rudin Foundation Scholarship, 2007
For outstanding teaching and contributions in the area of educational technology
Golden Key International Honor Society, 1994
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIPS
International Society of the Learning Sciences, 2013-Present
International Society for Technology in Education, 2013-Present
AERA Learning Sciences/Advanced Technologies for Learning SIG, 2010-Present
National Council for the Social Studies, 2008-Present
American Educational Research Association (AERA) Division C, 2006-Present
Reviewer, Journal of the Learning Sciences, 2013-2014
Reviewer, Annual Games for Change Festival, 2012
Reviewer, Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, 2011-Present
Reviewer, Annual Games, Learning & Society (GLS) Conference, 2011
Reviewer, Journal of Technology Research in Education, 2005-2011