Design and Innovation Portfolio

Design Your Learning Project Founder and Designer

Julie is the founder of the Design Your Learning Project. The mission of the project is to radically transform how students of all ages, and types, engage in learning. The project aims to offer breakthrough solutions to what Julie identifies as a learning epidemic; one that receives too limited attention in current educational improvement circles. The epidemic is that most students spend over 10,000 hours in compulsory learning systems (and then more intense time in they go on to college or graduate school) where they rarely if ever receive direct instruction on effective learning strategies. Without intervention, students develop idiosyncratic approaches to learning based on their observation of others and personal experimentation, versus the established and robust science of learning. The Design, Your Learning Project, integrates the cutting edge learning science with Julie's Design Thinking expertise to interrupt the pervasive use of ineffective learning strategies by K-12, college, graduate, and life-long learners. Currently, the Julie offers tailored Design Your Learning sessions, workshops, and training for individuals, organizations, schools, colleges, and universities.

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ConceptQuest Founder and Designer

ConceptQuest is classroom technology designed to bring the transformative power of Peer Instruction to online or blended classrooms. In ConceptQuest, students band together in the quest for learning, following the research-based pedagogy developed by Eric Mazur at Harvard University.

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Peer Instruction Network Co-Founder

Peer Instruction Network is a global database connecting thousands of Peer Instruction users across disciplines and institutional types.

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Turn to Your Neighbor: The Official Peer Instruction Blog Founder

The popular Peer Instruction Blog showcases practical ideas for and from innovative educators across the globe with a particular focus on Peer Instruction, flipped classrooms, cognitive or learning sciences, and educational innovation.

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OnRamps Director

OnRamps is a pioneering, college pipeline initiative coordinated by The University of Texas at Austin in partnership with innovative educators, business, and organizations. OnRamps was founded in 2009 by Dr. Harrison Keller, who has overseen the program as Principal Investigator since then.As the Director of OnRamps since 2013, Julie's creative vision has led to the program’s dramatic growth from 500 student enrollments in 2012 to over 15,000 in 2017. She has led the development of 10 credit-based transition programs and led the design of the first OnRamps replication site, the OnRamps Profesional Learning Institute, and accompanying learning design and innovation interventions that are now diffusing throughout the state of Texas.

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College Readiness Assignments for Texas (CRAfT) "is a project based at The University of Texas at Austin and is supported by a generous grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). As part of the CRAfT project, high school and college educators collaborated to develop 50 College Readiness Assignments (CRAs) aligned to the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS)."" They are available for free through the dissemination site,

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Making Decisions with Data Lead Instructional Designer

An interactive training website that provides instruction and resources about how to incorporate data-driven decision making into educators' daily work. The modules were designed to help a variety of education professionals understand and use data to make decisions that will improve teaching and learning.

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IDIA Speaker, Designer, Program Evaluator

"IDIA-Initiative for the Development of Academic Innovation at LASPAU-Harvard University is an initiative that connects institutions in Latin American and the Caribbean to a global network of experts and best practices in teaching and learning, striving to improve the quality of higher education and promote academic innovation in the region."" For IDIA, Dr. Schell has led synchronous and asynchronous workshops for programs serving the Dominican Republic, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, and Brazil. Some of her key contributions were the co-design of an online course on Peer Instruction, which has been delivered for multiple international universities in Latin America and a daylong innovation summit on behalf of the Ministry of Education in the Dominican Republic to showcase faculty improvements to teaching after a yearlong IDIA program. She also provided the design, strategic direction and framework for IDIA’s comprehensive research and program evaluation efforts.

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LIFT Co-Principal Investigator

With the seed funding from LIFT, we are designing ways to further scale Peer Instruction using technological innovation. We believe social interaction is the killer application in any learning environment and are working to extend the reach of the popular social learning method in education.

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Project PORTALS Advisor, Co-Founder

Project PORTALS funded by the National Science Foundation aims to provide free, computer-based trainings on Peer Instruction and other interactive pedagogies with the purpose of scaling evidence-based methods demonstrated to improve teaching and learning in STEM.

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Class-Rheum Founding Designer and Partner

CLASS-Rheum is a research-based curriculum for Rheumatology fellows developed by Drs. Juliet Aizer and Lisa Mandl of the Hospital for Special Surgery, Cornell Weill Medical Center and Dr. Julie Schell of The University of Texas at Austin. The curriculum is made up of sets of questions (“Question Sets”) to support learning and assessment of knowledge and skills in biostatistics and epidemiology. It incorporates the science of retrieval practice and is deployed using Learning Catalytics.

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