Mahnaz Moallem

Department Chair and Professor

Mahnaz Moallem

Contact Info

Psychology Building, Room 211


Ph.D., Instructional Systems Design, Florida State University, 1993

M.S., Educational Technology, School of TV and Cinema, Tehran, Iran, 1980

B.A., English Translation, College of Translation, Tehran Iran, 1976

Areas of Expertise

Application of Problem-Based/Project-Based Learning (PBL) and assessment of complex learning outcomes such as problem-solving and critical thinking for STEM fields


Mahnaz Moallem is a professor and chair of the Department of Learning Technologies, Design and School Library Media, College of Education, Towson University, Maryland. She joined Towson University in Aug. 2018. She was a professor of Instructional Technology and Research and Grant Coordinator at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), College of Education where she worked as a faculty member since 1993. She received her Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Design/Learning Systems and her Program Evaluation Certificate from Florida State University. As a learning science/learning design researcher, she studies applications of various learning and instructional design theories and models for learning and human performance improvement. She has a particular interest in the application of Problem-Based/Project-Based Learning (PBL) and assessment of complex learning outcomes such as problem-solving and critical thinking for STEM fields. During her career, she has designed, developed, and successfully implemented and evaluated several programs that have been using PBL as their pedagogical framework. Mahnaz has been the recipient of several awards in scholarship, teaching, and graduate mentorship. Besides, within the last fifteen years, she has been awarded funding to coordinate several innovative projects sponsored by the National Science Foundation and Department of Education on the integration of PBL with computer modeling and simulation. She has worked with many international colleagues and serves on editorial board of a number of prestigious national and international journals. Mahnaz has been the recipient of several teaching and research awards and has served as a rotating scientist (IPA) for two years at the National Science Foundation.

Curriculum Vitae

Recent Books or Book Chapters

Moallem, M. (2021). Smart Educational System. In Moallem, A. (Ed), Smart and Intelligent Systems: The Human Elements in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Cybersecurity (n.d.) (pp. 1-33), Rutledge/Taylor & Francis Group., United States: CRC Press. 

Moallem, M., & Igoe, E. (2020). Using computer-based scaffolds to improve problem-solving and reasoning skills in distance education. In Demetrios Sampson & Dirk Ifenthaler (Eds), Online Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (Eds) (pp. 135-161), Springer Nature, Switzerland AG 2020. 

Moallem, M., Sterrett, W. L., Gordon, C., Sukhera, S., Mahmood, A., & Bashir, A. (2020). An investigation of the effects of integrating computing and project/problem-based learning in the context of environmental sciences: A case of Pakistani STEM teachers. In Stephen T. Schroth and Janese Daniel ((Eds), Handbook of Research on Building STEM Skills through Environmental Education (pp. 49-89), IGI Publication.

Moallem, M., Hung, W. & Dabbagh, N. (2019, Eds.). Wiley Handbook of Problem-Based Learning, Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell Inc. ISBN-10: 1119173213. This is the first Handbook in PBL and has five sections, 29 chapters, 275,000 words)

Moallem, M. (2019). Effects of PBL on Learning Outcomes. In M. Moallem, W. Hung, & N. Dabbagh, (Eds), Wiley Handbook of Problem-Based Learning (pp. 106-135), Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell Inc.

Hung, W., Moallem, M., & Dabbagh, N. (2019). Social Foundations of PBL. In M. Moallem, W. Hung, & N. Dabbagh, (Eds), Wiley Handbook of Problem-Based Learning (pp. 51-81), Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell Inc..

Moallem, M., Morge, S., Narayan, S., & Tagliarini, G. A (2016). The Power of Computational Modeling and Simulation for Learning STEM Content in Middle and High Schools. In Michael Urban and David Falvo (Eds.), Improving K-12 STEM Education Outcomes through Technological Integration (p. 135-171), IGI Publishing Inc.

Recent Refereed Journals

Cai, Q., Moallem, M. (2021). Applying Merrill’s First Principles of Instruction to redesign an online graduate course through the rapid prototyping approach. TechTrends, 

Sterrett, W., Azam, R. I., Moallem, M., Boersma, J., Bashir, A., Ricanek, K. Saeed, M.A., Butt, I.H., Mahmood, A., Sukhera, S.M., & Gordon, C. (2020). Sharing a powerful IDEA: Learning organizations collaborating to innovate and design engaging applications in STEM education, Development and Learning in Organizations, 34 (2), 9-12.

Webb, A., & Moallem, M. (2016). Feedback and feed-forward for promoting problem-based learning in online learning environments. Malaysian Journal of Learning and Instruction (MJLI), 13(2), 11-41.

Moallem, M. (2015). The impact of synchronous and asynchronous communication tools on learner self-regulation, social presence, immediacy, intimacy, and satisfaction in collaborative online learning. The Online Journal of Distance Education and e-Learning, 3 (3), 55-77.

Recent Sponsored Projects

Principal Investigator, Preparing PK-8 Preservice Teachers to Teach Computer Science: An Alternative Pathway, Maryland Center for Computing Education (MCCE), Awarded, Sept. 2021, 2023, $49,736.00. 

Co-Principal Investigator, DSSAC: The Data Science and Sports Analytics Camp, Principal Investigator, Ari Kim. Submitted to Towson University (TU)-SET Seed Funding (2021-2023), Feb. 2021, $16,382.56. 

Co-Principal Investigator, Computing for All Girls, PI, Qing Li, Co-PI, Qijie Cai, submitted to The TU (Towson University) Foundation, $25,000 fall 2019-2021, Awarded Jan. 2020.

Co-Principal Investigator, Innovating and Designing Engaged Applications in STEM Education (IDEA-STEM): Expanding the knowledge and Capacity of Pakistani, William Sterrett (PI), Jess Boersma & Karl Ricanek (co-PI). Submitted to Dept. of State, April, 2018, Awarded, Sept. 2018 (end date Aug. 2019), $188,061.

Principal Investigator, Integrated Certificate in STEM Education, Narayan, Sridhar (Co-Principal), Lugo, Gabriel (Co-Principal), Reamer, Amy (Co-Principal), Tagliarini, Gene A (Co-Principal), Gordon, Christopher (Co-Principal), and McNulty, Carol (Co-Principal). Submitted to National Science Foundation-Noyce Grant, March 5th 2014. $300,000, Awarded Aug. 2014-start time Jan. 2015 final report submitted Dec. 2017.

Principal Investigator, Preparing Teachers to Integrate Computing with STEM Curriculum (PTICS), Tagliarini, Gene A (Co-Principal), Narayan, Sridhar (Co-Principal), Gordon, Christopher (Co-Principal), Karen Hill (Co-Principal), Melissa Smith (graduate student support). Submitted to Google, Computer Science for High School, $15,000, Dec. 2nd, 2013. Awarded March 2014, final report completed Aug. 2014.

Principal Investigator, "INCOME Cycle XI – INCOME – Integrating Computing and Mathematics Education" Morge, Shelby P (Co-Principal), Tagliarini, Gene A (Co-Principal), Narayan, Sridhar (Co-Principal) Gorden, Christopher (Co-Principal), Submitted to NC QUEST / Quality Educators through Staff and Training across North Carolina, Nov. 15, 2012, $149,953, Awarded, Feb. 2013, completed Aug. 2014.