Michelle Jordan

Academic Fellow 2020
Associate Professor
ASU Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

Tempe Campus


Michelle E. Jordan's interdisciplinary research agenda focuses on peer interaction during the creative collaboration between students, students, and teachers, or members of work teams in formal and informal learning contexts. She examines how peers experience, express and manage uncertainty as they engage in collaborative problem-solving. Professor Jordan is particularly interested in the roles that sense-making and improvisation play in collaborative learning, with individuals and groups taking actions and making interpretations as they collectively design solutions to complex problems. Her scholarship is grounded in notions of learning as a social process, influenced by complexity theories, sociocultural theories, sociolinguistics, and the learning sciences.

Professor Jordan was the recipient of a ASU Knowledge Exchange for Community Resilience Fellowship (2020) and the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College Outstanding Promising Research Scholar Award (2016). She is currently the Education Director of QESST, a National Science Foundation (NSF) Solar Engineering Research Center. She is researching how middle school students navigate communication challenges during collaborative engineering design projects. She and her eighth-grade science teacher colleague are using a design-based approach to investigate the role of a peer observer in helping team members increase awareness and improve how they negotiate peer interaction associated with the task and social aspects of engineering design.


Ph.D., Educational Psychology (Learning, Cognition, and Motivation), University of Texas-Austin 2010. Dissertation: Managing Uncertainty through Peer Discourse during Collaborative Design Tasks.

Master's degree. Music Education, Texas State University 2001

Bachelor's degree. Music Education (honors), University of Colorado-Boulder 1993


Ricca, B. P., Bowers, N. & Jordan, M. E. (2019). Seeking emergence through temporal analysis of collaborative-group discourse: A complex-systems approach. The Journal of Experimental Education, Doi: 10.1080/00220973.2019.1628691

Zuiker, S., Jordan, M. E., & the Learning Landscapes Collaboratory (2019). Inter-Organizational 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

Stewart, O. & Jordan, M. E. (2017). Some explanation here: A case study of learning opportunities and tensions in an informal science learning environment. Instructional Science, 45, 137–156. Doi: 10.1007/s11251-016-9396-7

Jordan, M. E. (2016). Teaching as designing: Preparing pre-service teachers for adaptive teaching. Theory into Practice55(3), 197-206.

Zuiker, S. Anderson, K., Jordan, M. E. & Stewart, O. (2016). Complementary lenses: Using theories of situativity and complexity to understand collaborative learning as systems-level social activity. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 9, 80-94.

Jordan, M. E. (2015). Extra! Extra! Read all about it: Interactive read-alouds of a dynamic text with real-time local information. Elementary School Journal, 15(3), 358-383. doi:10.1086/680174

Jordan, M. E. & McDaniel, R. (2014). Managing uncertainty during collaborative problem solving in elementary school teams: The role of peer influence in robotics engineering activity. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 23(4), 490-536. doi: 10.1080/10508406.2014.896254

Jordan, M. E., Cheng, A. J., & the D-Team (2014). “I guess my question is”: What is the co-occurrence of uncertainty and learning in computer-mediated discourse? International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 9(4), 451-475. doi:10.1007/s11412-014-9203-x

Expertise Areas

Design & Design Thinking in Education

Learning & Instruction

Learning Sciences

Science & Engineering Education