Wilhelmina Savenye, Associate Graduate Faculty (AGF) / PhD Program Mentor









Wilhelmina C. Savenye is a Professor Emeritus in the area of Learning Design and Technologies and Educational Technology in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. She served as dissertation chair for 27 graduated PhDs, most here at Arizona State University. She currently advises 7 PhD students as adjunct graduate faculty for the Learning Technologies distributed PhD program at University of North Texas. She also serves as Senior Education advisor for a National Science Foundation-funded Engineering Research Center, the Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics, CBBG for which she formerly served as the Executive Director for Education.

Professor Savenye's research and teaching interests include instructional design, evaluation, online and digital learning, engineering education, the use of technology for learning, mentoring emerging graduate student and faculty scholars, and informal learning. She employs both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies in her work. Professor Savenye previously taught at The University of Texas at Austin and San Diego State University.

She has published more than more than 70 articles and book chapters; generated over 140 conference presentations and workshops in the U.S., Europe, and Asia; received numerous grant awards, and produced many digital learning programs. She serves as Editor Emeritus of the Journal of Applied Instructional Design. She serves as consulting editor and has served on the editorial boards of journals including Educational Technology: Research and Development, Quarterly Review of Distance Education, and additional journals. She serves on the editorial board for the AECT Book Series on Leadership & Management of Educational Technology, has served on the editorial board for the Encyclopedia of Educational Technology and has held elected leadership positions.

Professor Savenye's instructional design and evaluation work has been conducted in such diverse settings as engineering research centers, school districts, museums, botanical gardens, zoos, universities, corporations, and Army tank maintenance training. In her earlier work with CBBG, she directed all aspects of the center's educational and outreach programming during the academic year and summer for students from K-12, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and working engineers. She worked with a research team, the school district and community college partners to develop and collect evaluation data (with evaluation partners in CREST) on materials to support instructors teaching: K-12 STEM, engineering, and biogeotechnics; undergraduate and graduate civil engineering courses. The team continues to collaborate with diversity team members to ensure that programming is inclusive and with a technical curriculum committee to ensure content accuracy. Professor Savenye and her graduate students investigated effectiveness and methods for helping teachers incorporate design thinking, particularly in STEM; beginning studies on most effective aspects of engineering education best practices; the effects of various modes of play-based practice and avatars in computer-based language learning; and aspects of how people learn in a social media-based community of practice.


PhD, Arizona State University, 1985; Major: Educational Technology

M.ED, Arizona State University, 1982; Major: Educational Technology

BA, University of Washington, 1979; Major: Anthropology (with honors)

A.A, Bellevue Community College, 1976; Major: Media Technology

Research Interests

  •  Instructional Design
  •  Evaluation
  •  Engineering Education