Rebecca Reynolds


Associate Professor of Library and Information Science


CI 306

Rebecca Reynolds’ work investigates social constructivist human learning in formal educational settings of K-12, higher education, continuing education, and informal learning environments, along with intentional and incidental learning occurring in naturalistic online participatory settings. She explores design and development of socio-technical systems for e-learning and the systemic, social, and critical implications of their deployment. Reynolds applies research perspectives such as learning sciences, socio-technical systems, critical informatics, human information behavior, and media studies approaches to human knowledge-building, sharing, and meaning-making with networked technologies, at multiple levels of analysis. She is the co-founder and co-editor of the journal, Information and Learning Sciences, published by Emerald. 

Check out the latest Special Issue on Emergency Remote Teaching under COVID19, guest-edited by Reynolds and her co-editor Sam Chu, in Information and Learning Sciences!


Newhouse School, Syracuse University
Ph.D., Mass Communication

Newhouse School, Syracuse University
M.A., Media Studies

Tufts University
B.A., Sociology


One of Reynolds' longstanding educational design-based research and development projects centered on Globaloria, (2005-2018), a computer science education and digital literacy development e-learning platform and blended curriculum for K-12 students that was offered in thousands of US schools during this timeframe, involving Constructionist game design activities for students in classes taken daily for credit and a grade for entire semesters and school years. After over a decade of research and development, the system was acquired and commercialized into Carnegie Learning's CS education product offering, Zulama.

Reynolds' current work takes several new directions including explorations of educational technology applications of remote teaching and learning at the K-12 level and their implications under crisis scenarios such as COVID19; political economic, privacy and surveillance implications of ubiquitous e-learning system platform application in higher education; and cultural studies, neuroscientific and cognitive science perspectives on mindfulness as a practice to complement learning processes, teaching practices, and management of information overload among those in the information professions.

At SC&I, she teaches courses in the Ph.D. program such as the required "Seminar in Information Studies," a "Mixed Methods" class, and special topics classes related to her research agenda. She teaches MI courses including “Social Informatics,” "Motivation and Mindfulness in Inquiry Contexts," and “Learning Theory, Inquiry and Instructional Design”, and undergraduate ITI courses including “IT & Learning” and “Gender and Technology.”

Centers, Labs, Working Groups, and Clusters

Funded Projects

Rutgers University Center for COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness (CCRP2) ($35,000). 2020-2021. "Variations in Emergency Remote Teaching E-Learning Approaches and Digital Equity Measures Among K-12 Educators." (Rebecca Reynolds, PI; Dave Shernoff, Co-PI)

National Science Foundation (NSF) Principal Investigator ($19,995). Doctoral and Post-doctoral Consortium Workshop Grant 1922868. 2019-2020. “Consortium for the Science of Socio-Technical Systems (CSST), 2019 Doctoral Summer Institute,” held June 18-21, 2019 at Rutgers University. 

Institute for Museum and Library Services Early Career Development Grant ($399,995) 2012-2016

Rutgers University Faculty Research Grant, with Dr. Cindy Hmelo-Silver of Rutgers GSE ($47,006) 2011-2014

SC&I Summer Fellowship Grant, with Dr. Nick Belkin and two Ph.D. students ($13,000) 2012

Selected Publications

Jarrahi, M., Reynolds, R. & Eshraghi, A. (2020). Professionals' personal knowledge management, knowledge building and enactment of personal infrastructures as Shadow IT. Information and Learning Sciences. Accepted, forthcoming, Vol. TBD.

Reynolds, R., Chu, S., Ahn, J., Buckingham Shum, S., Hansen, P., Haythornthwaite, C., Hong, H., Meyers, E., Rieh, S.Y. (2019). Inaugural issue perspectives on Information and Learning Sciences as an integral scholarly Nexus. Information and Learning Sciences. 120(1/2). Pp. 2-18.

Reynolds, R. & Hansen, P. (2018). Inter-disciplinary research on inquiry and learning: Information and Learning Sciences perspectives. Proceedings of the ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR). New Brunswick, NJ.

Reynolds, R. & Harel, I. (2019, in press). Lessons Learned During Research and Development of Globaloria, 2005-2017. In Holbert, N., Berland, M. & Y. Kafai, Constructionism in Context.

Reynolds R. & Leeder, C. (2018). Cultivating school librarian decision-making for e-Learning Innovation. In Lee, V. & A. Phillips, Reconceptualizing Libraries: Opportunities from the Information and Learning Sciences.

Awards & Recognitions

Annual Faculty Outstanding Service Award, Department of Library and Information Science, Rutgers University, 2019/2020

Annual Faculty Outstanding Research Award, Department of Library and Information Science, Rutgers University, 2015/2016

Annual “Outstanding New Student Organization” Award, for the Women in Information Technology and Informatics organization at Rutgers University (co-founder and faculty advisor), 2014-2015

Annual Faculty Teaching Award, Department of Library and Information Science, Rutgers University, 2011/2012

AERA/AIR Research Scholar and Fellow, American Institutes for Research (AIR), Washington, D.C., $55,000 annual stipend, 2009-2010

UNIVERSITY FELLOWSHIP, Newhouse School Ph.D. Program, Syracuse University, $26,000 annual stipend plus full tuition, 2004-2007

Research Keywords


Guided Discovery-based Game Design Learning
  • Longstanding design-based research partner in my work on guided discovery-based game design learning:

Other Publications:

Reynolds R. & Leeder, C. (2018). The digital divide and web use skills. In Hobbs, R. & Mihalaidis, P. International Encyclopedia of Media Literacy. NY: Wiley.

Reynolds R. (2018). Game design in media literacy education. In Hobbs, R. & Mihalaidis, P. International Encyclopedia of Media Literacy. NY: Wiley

Chu, S., Reynolds, R., Notari, M., Taveres, N., & Lee, C. (2016). 21st Century Skills Development through Inquiry Based Learning From Theory to Practice. Springer Science

Reynolds, R. & Leeder, C. (2017). Information uses and learning outcomes during guided discovery in a blended e-learning game design program for secondary computer science education. Proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Jan. 2017, Waikoloa, HI.

Reynolds, R. (2016a). Relationships among tasks, collaborative inquiry processes, inquiry resolutions, and knowledge outcomes in adolescents during guided discovery-based game design in school. Journal of Information Science: Special Issue on Searching as Learning. 42: 35-58.

Reynolds, R. (2016). Defining, designing for, and measuring “digital literacy” development in learners: A proposed framework. Educational Technology Research & Development. 64(1).

Reynolds, R. & M. M. Chiu. (2015). Reducing digital divide effects through student engagement in coordinated game design, online resource uses, and social computing activities in school. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. DOI: 10.1002/asi.23504