Dr. Iris Tabak is interested in the ways in which complex reasoning is mediated through material tools and social interactions. She engages in empirical (mixed-method) study of reasoning in naturalistic and laboratory settings. Recently, she has been interested in evidence-based reasoning in health care among both professionals and lay people. She also designs and studies the use of learning technologies, and has been part of the CoReflect project, and the BGuILE project, where she developed The Galapagos Finches software. In addition to empirical and design research, Tabak is interested in the advancement of research methods, and in theoretical conceptualization, and was part of the Spencer Foundation Advanced Studies Institute on Design-based Research Methods, and has written about the conceptualization of distributed scaffolding and of context.
Iris Tabak is the incoming Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of the Learning Sciences (with Joshua Radinsky), and has served as President of the International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS). She is active in the society and her activities include serving on the board of directors (2005-2011) and on various committees of the CSCL and ICLS conferences. She was a fellow in the Mandel (Faculty) Scholars in Education program (2004), and with Prof. Mordecai Nissan was associate founding director of the Mandel (Predoctoral) Scholars in Education program (2010-2011). She holds a B.S.E. in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in the Learning Sciences from Northwestern University. She was awarded the AERA Division C Jan Hawkins Award for Early Career Contributions to Humanistic Research in Learning Technologies, and the NARST Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award.
Her teaching includes: qualitative research methods; classroom discourse; design of learning technologies; and gaming, learning and identity.