Iris Howley

Position: Assistant Professor
Pronouns: she/her
Office: TCL 308
Phone: 413.597.4633
E-mail:¬†[email protected]


  • Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon University 2015
  • M.S. Carnegie Mellon University 2012
  • B.S. Drexel University 2008


  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Technology enhanced learning environments
  • Computer-supported collaborative learning
  • Information visualization
  • Automated linguistic analysis for education


Iris received her Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute in 2015. Her graduate work focused on discussion forum design’s impact on student motivation and help seeking in an online course. Her postdoctoral research projects included text classification for automatically identifying critical thinking in student note-taking and dashboard redesign displaying student learning data for instructors’ lesson plans.


Iris’ research occurs at the intersection of human-computer interaction and the learning sciences where she incorporates concepts from computer science, psychology, and education to improve technologically enhanced learning experiences for instructors and students. This includes rethinking social interactive elements of online learning environments, text mining to support student discussion & critical thinking, and the visualization of student progress data. Her research works towards answering the question: how can we help learners to overcome obstacles to effective participation?