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Tristan Johnson

Assistant Dean of Multidisciplinary Graduate Education and Digital Learning, Multidisciplinary Graduate Engineering
Dana Research Center 504B
100 Forsyth Street
Boston, MA 02115


Dr. Tristan E. Johnson is the Executive Director of Engineering Education Initiatives in the Graduate School of Engineering at Northeastern University. He is the Research Editor-in-Chief for the Educational Technology Research and Development Journal. He was previously Assistant Professor of Instructional Systems, Associate Director for Research at the Learning Systems Institute at Florida State University, and Assistant Professor of Educational Technology at Purdue University. He has served as the President for the Training and Performance Division of the Association of Educational Communications and Technologies.

He earned his PhD in Educational Technology from Purdue University looking at Computer Simulations as Cognitive Tools. Dr. Johnson’s primary technical expert is in training, curriculum, & instruction. He has 20 years designing, developing, and evaluating curriculum and training systems for business, military, industry, and academia. He has worked on the creation of university courses, educational simulations, electronic performance support systems, workshops, certificates, programs, as well as numerous technology-based instructional materials. He has expertise in the application of instructional strategies including case studies, team-based learning, gaming, problem solving, task-centered instruction, and many other strategies that have strong levels of learning effectiveness and engagement. His research focuses on team cognition and it’s links to team performance. Specifically, he studies how mental models are created and shared and their effect on performance.

Dr. Johnson has published papers related to team cognition as well as visual representations effect on learning, and technology as a tool to represent internal mental models and schemas. He has served as: Associate Editor for the Encyclopedia of Educational Technology, on the Editorial Board for Educational Technology Research and Development-Development Section, and on the Editorial Advisory Boards for the Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning and Performance Improvement Quarterly. He has more than 30 peer-reviewed publications in academic journals.

Research & Scholarship Interests

Multidisciplinary Masters Programs: Computer Systems Engineering, Information Systems, and Telecommunication Networks