Peter Doolittle

Executive Director, Virginia Tech - Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research
Blacksburg, VA, United States

About Peter


I love teaching, learning, technology, and assessment in
all forms and fashions,
all combinations and permutations, &
all purposes and applications.

Currently, I am passionate that the practical, surprising, and innovative integration of teaching, learning, and technology should be based on research, not rhetoric – a mindful approach to the human-technology boundary.

This passion is expressed in my various roles at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Virginia USA), which include Assistant Provost for Teaching and Learning, Executive Director of the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER), and Professor of Educational Psychology in the Department of Learning Sciences and Technologies.

My academic background includes 25 years teaching undergraduate and graduate students in public and private universities; using traditional, blended, flipped, and online formats; across several subject areas, including advanced educational psychology, cognition and instruction, constructivism and education, and college teaching; and at institutions in the US, Mexico, Malawi, and Ireland.

At Virginia Tech, I have been awarded the University Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Certificate of Teaching Excellence and Graduate Student Advising Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and the Outstanding Teaching Award from the School of Education. I am also a Distinguished Fellow with the International Society for the Exploration of Teaching and Learning.

In my 20 years in higher education I have published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, provided over 50 national and international keynote and invited addresses, presented over 100 national and international conference presentations, and received in excess of $2 million in funded grants.

Finally, my current research focus includes the investigation of working memory capacity and learning in multimedia instructional environments; although, I’ve been fortunate to publish recently in areas as diverse as multitasking, student feedback, students’ use of laptops, and classroom assessment.

Tree, Highway, Mirror, Saturn, Electrode.


English, Spanish

TED Conferences

TEDGlobal 2014, TEDGlobal 2013

Areas of Expertise

Teaching, Learning, Technology, Assessment

I'm passionate about

investigating, explaining, integrating, and applying the integration of teaching, learning, and technology for the purpose of enhancing life through research, not rhetoric.

Talk to me about

Teaching, Learning, Technology, Multimedia, Constructivism, Complex Systems, Instructional Design, Knowing, Epistemology...

People don't know I'm good at

synthesizing large amounts of information into short explanations or categories that are easily comprehensible, and I can writing with both hands.

Favorite talks