Chris Quintana

Associate Professor

Chris  Quintana, School of Education

Chris Quintana is a principal investigator in the Center for Highly Interactive Classrooms, Curricula, and Computing in Education (hi-ce), where he focuses on software-based scaffolding for middle school science students, including the development of scaffolded software tools, scaffolding frameworks for software, and learner-centered design processes. Quintana currently heads the Zydeco Project, a project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to explore how Web-based technologies and mobile devices (e.g., iPhones and iPod Touches) can be integrated to connect science classrooms and museums to expand science learning opportunities. He also is on the research team for two additional ongoing projects, including one project focused on how media-rich digital texts that follow a “universal design for learning” approach may impact science learning, and another project developing a multimedia software environment to help teachers reflect on and understand effective features of lessons in early reading. Quintana has previously led other NSF-funded projects focused on developing and assessing software that supports students with different inquiry-based practices. One project explored the creation of software-based “digital ideakeepers” to support students in analyzing and synthesizing information found in digital libraries to answer science questions. Another project explored handheld computers and how their unique capabilities can lead to new types of learner-centered tools that can expand beyond classroom contexts. Other previous projects that Quintana has worked on include the ASSESS project to develop a “scaffolding design framework” and the Symphony2 project to develop a software framework that could be used to build scaffolded work environments. Aside from developing and researching different types of learner-centered software, Quintana is also interested in design processes and the notion of “design thinking” for education. His design activity informs his courses on the design and assessment of learning technologies, and other work exploring the development of new technology-enhanced learning spaces within the School of Education.

Quintana received his BS from the University of Texas at El Paso in biological sciences, and his MS and PhD from the University of Michigan in computer science and engineering.

Quintana teaches courses in the following program(s):
Learning Technologies
New Media and New Literacies




Research Affiliations


8/1/2010 - 7/31/2013 Zydeco: A Mobile "Nomadic Inquiry" System to Support and bridge Science Inquiry Between Classroom and Museum Contexts
Granting Agency: National Science Foundation

9/15/2007 - 8/31/2009 Universal Design of Inquiry-Based Middle and High School Science Curriculum
Granting Agency: National Science Foundation

2/10/2002 - 2/10/2008 A Digital IdeaKeeper for K-12: NSDL Scaffolded Portal Services for Information Analysis and Synthesis
Granting Agency: National Science Foundation

2/9/2003 - 2/9/2006 Design Guidelines for Learner-Centered Scaffolding on Handheld Computers
Granting Agency: National Science Foundation


Room 4122