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Steven Zuiker

Steven Zuiker

Associate Professor, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College


Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
Arizona State University
PO Box 871811
Tempe, AZ 85287-1811


  • Senior Global Futures Scholar, Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory
  • Associate Professor, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College


Steve Zuiker is an associate professor of the learning sciences in the division of educational innovation and leadership. His research is broadly based on the notion that ideas are only as important as what we can do with them. Learning environments, like school gardens and video games, as well as research findings, like scholarly journal articles, can each be both useful and used to create value in educational and local communities.  Zuiker's research agenda explores how to design activities, resources, and projects that interconnect classrooms and schoolyards, digital video games and real-world activities, and ultimately, educational research and educational practice.

His scholarship and publications advance two goals related to what we can all do with ideas. First, through design-based research, he develops and improves learning and teaching systems in K-12 science education, often utilizing digital technologies. For example, environmental sensor networks in gardens and virtual environmental scenarios in video games can be tools to support students' meaningful engagement with science in a classroom, on campus, and with the local community. Second, he investigates how educational research itself is a system of learning and teaching in which research reports remain one among many means of sharing ideas and doing things with them. In this way, Zuiker considers how educational practitioners and researchers organize these systems of learning and teaching and how digital technologies can enhance the social relationships through which education stakeholders inspire and enable insight and mutual understanding


  • PhD, Learning Sciences, Indiana University, 2007
  • MA, Educational Psychology, The University of Georgia, 2005
  • BS, Psychology, University of Illinois, 1997


Journal Articles


Henriksen, D., M. Jordan, T. S. Foulger, S. Zuiker and P. Mishra. 2020. Essential tensions in facilitating design thinking: Collective reflections. Journal of Formative Design in Learning 4:5-16. DOI: 10.1007/s41686-020-00045-3. (link )


Zuiker, S. J. and K. T. Anderson. 2019. Fostering peer dialogic engagement in science classrooms with an educational videogame. Research in Science Education DOI: 10.1007/s11165-019-9842-z. (link )

Zuiker, S. J., M. Jordan and . Learning Landscapes Team. 2019. Inter-organization design thinking in education: Joint work between learning sciences courses and a zoo education program. Open Education Studies 1:1-23. DOI: 10.1515/edu-2019-0001.

Zuiker, S. J., N. Piepgrass, A. Tefera, K. T. Anderson, K. Winn and G. Fischman. 2019. Advancing knowledge mobilization in colleges of education. International Journal of Education Policy & Leadership 15(1):1-19. DOI: 10.22230/ijepl.2018v15n1a808. (link )


Fischman, G. E., K. T. Anderson, A. A. Tefera and S. J. Zuiker. 2018. If mobilizing educational research is the answer, who can afford to ask the question? An analysis of faculty perspectives on knowledge mobilization for scholarship in education. AERA Open 4(1):. DOI: 10.1177/2332858417750133. (link )

McMullen, S., F. Winkler and S. Zuiker. 2018. Gardens, machines and education. Leonardo 51(3):296-297. DOI: 10.1162/leon_a_01531. (link )


Zuiker, S. J. 2016. Game over: Assessment as formative transitions through and beyond playful media. Educational Technology 56(3):48-53. (link )

Zuiker, S. J., K. T. Anderson, M. E. Jordan and O. G. Stewart. 2016. Complementary lenses: Using theories of situativity and complexity to understand collaborative learning as systems-level social activity. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction 9(Jun):80-94. DOI: 10.1016/j.lcsi.2016.02.003. (link )


Zuiker, S. J. and K. Wright. 2015. Learning in and beyond school gardens with cyber-physical systems. Interactive Learning Environments 23(5):556-577. DOI: 10.1080/10494820.2015.1063512. (link )


Zuiker, S. J. 2014. Visual communication in transition: Designing for new media literacies and visual culture art education across activities settings. E-Learning and Digital Media 11(6):654-666. DOI: 10.2304/elea.2014.11.6.654. (link )


Zuiker, S. J. 2013. Expanding assessment practices with educational videogames. The Journal of Applied Instructional Design 3(3):45-50. (link )

Zuiker, S. J. and J. R. Whitaker. 2013. Refining inquiry with multi-form assessment: Formative and summative assessment functions for flexible inquiry. International Journal of Science Education 36(6):1037-1059. DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2013.834489. (link )


Hickey, D. T. and S. J. Zuiker. 2012. Mulitlevel assessment for discourse, understanding, and achievement. Journal of the Learning Sciences 21(4): 522-582. DOI: 10.1080/10508406.2011.652320. (link )

Zuiker, S. J. 2012. Educational virtual environments as a lens for understanding both precise repeatability and specific variation in learning ecologies. British Journal of Educational Technology 43(6):981-992. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2011.01266.x. (link )


Zuiker, S. J. and D. Ang. 2011. Virtual environments and the ongoing work of becoming a Singapore teacher. The Internet and Higher Education 14(1):34-43. DOI: 10.1016/j.iheduc.2010.05.006. (link )


Anderson, K. T. and S. J. Zuiker. 2010. Performance identity as a resource for classroom participation: Scientific Shane vs. Jimmy Neutron. journal of Language, Indentity & Education 9(5):291-309. DOI: 10.1080/15348458.2010.517708. (link )

Zuiker, S. J. 2010. Think global/design glocal. Educational Technology 50(5):37-40. (link )


Barab, S. A., B. Scott, S. Siyahhan, R. Goldstone, A. Ingram-Goble, S. J. Zuiker and S. Warren. 2009. Transformational play as a curricular scaffold: Using videogames to support science education. Journal of Science Education and Technology 18:Art. 305. DOI: 10.1007/s10956-009-9171-5. (link )


Anderson, K. T., S. J. Zuiker, G. Taasoobshirazi and D. T. Hickey. 2007. Classroom discourse as a tool to enhance formative assessment and practise in science. International Journal of Science Education 29(14):1721-1744. DOI: 10.1080/09500690701217295. (link )

Barab, S., T. D. Sadler, C. Heiselt, D. Hickey and S. Zuiker. 2007. Relating narrative, inquiry, and inscriptions: Supporting consequential play. Journal of Science Education and Technology 16:59-82. DOI: 10.1007/s10956-006-9033-3. (link )

Barab, S., S. Zuiker, S. Warren, D. Hickey, A. Ingram-Goble, E. Kwon, I. Kouper and S. C. Herring. 2007. Situationally embodied curriculum: Relating formalisms and contexts. Science Education 91(5):750-782. DOI: 10.1002/sce.20217. (link )


Hickey, D. T., S. J. Zuiker, G. Taasoobshirazi, N. Schafer and M. A. Michael. 2006. Balancing varied assessment functions to attain systemic validity: Three is the magic number. Studies in Educational Evaluation 32(3):180-201. DOI: 10.1016/j.stueduc.2006.08.006. (link )

Taasoobshirazi, G., S. J. Zuiker, K. T. Anderson and D. T. Hickey. 2006. Enhancing inquiry, understanding, and achievement in an astronomy multimedia learning environment. Journal of Science Education and Technology 15:383-395. DOI: 10.1007/s10956-006-9028-0. (link )


Hickey, D. T. and S. J. Zuiker. 2005. Engaged participation: A sociocultural model of motivation iwth implications for educational assessment. Educational Assessment 10(3):277-305. DOI: 10.1207/s15326977ea1003_7. (link )


Hickey, D. T. and S. J. Zuiker. 2003. A new perspective for evaluating innovative science programs. Science Education 87(4):539-563. DOI: 10.1002/sce.10087. (link )

Book Chapters


Zuiker, S. J., N. Piepgrass and M. D. Evans. 2017. Expanding design research: From researcher ego-systems to stakeholder ecosystems. Pp. 1-28 In: Spector, M. J., B. B. Lockee and M. D. Childress eds., Learning, Design, and Technology: An International Compendium of Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. Springer, Cham. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-17727-4_74-1. ISBN: 978-3-319-17727-4.


Zuiker, S. J. and M. Jan. 2012. A cultural analysis of game-based learning for collective conceptual evolution. Pp. 225-260 In: Lee, C. B. and D. H. Jonassen eds., Fostering Conceptual Change with Technology Asian Perspectives. Cengage Learning Asia. Singapore. ISBN: 978-9814424301.


Zuiker, S. J. 2010. Digitizing scientific boundaries. Pp. 277-298 In: Lee, Y. ed., World of Science Education: Science Education in Asia. Sense. Rotterdam. ISBN: 978-94-6091-072-2.

Zuiker, S. J. and K. T. Anderson. 2010. Immersive learning environments. Pp. 349-365 In: Sing, C. C. and W. Qiyun eds., ICT for Self-Directed and Collaborative Learning. Pearson. Singapore. ISBN: 978-9810682309.