About Paul Resta

Dr. Paul E. Resta holds the Ruth Knight Millikan Centennial Professorship in Learning Technology and serves as Director of the Learning Technology Center at the University of Texas at Austin. He teaches advanced graduate courses in learning technology, including: advanced instructional systems design, technology planning and management, and computer-supported collaborative learning. His current work focuses on web-based learning environments, computer-supported collaborative learning, and planning and policy issues in the use of information and communication technologies in teacher education.

Contact Information

Dr. Resta currently serves as the President of the International Jury for the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Education. He served as Conference Chair of the 2012 Society for Information Technology in Teacher Education Annual Conference; and Chairman, Board of Directors, National Laboratory for Educational Transformation. He also recently served as Chair of the Association for Teacher Educators National Commission on Technology and the Future of Teacher Education; Chair of the UNESCO Working Group on E-Learning for Teacher Development; and as member of the National Council for Microsoft Partners in Learning; Blackboard National Council for K-12 Education; and the Board of Governors of the Online Academy funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. Resta recently received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the Moscow State University for Economics, Statistics, and Informatics. He has received the Association of Teacher Educators President’s Service Award for outstanding leadership in 2011, 2010, and 2009, and a lifetime achievement award from the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) for outstanding international and national leadership and for his contributions to the field of technology use in teacher education. He is also the recipient of two of the highest awards for quality of instructional design and development of Web-based learning environments: the U.S. Distance Learning Association Award for Outstanding Achievements in Higher Education (April 2001), and the University Continuing Education Association National Distance Learning Course Award (April 2001).

Examples of recent books, chapters and articles include:

  • Resta, P. (Ed.) Teacher Development in an E-Learning Age. Paris, France. United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization. (In Press).
  • Resta, P. & Shonfeld, M. (2012) "Challenges and Strategies in Designing Cross-National: Learning Team Projects in Virtual Worlds" Chapter in: Gregory, M., Lee, M., Dalgarno, B., & Tynan, B. (Eds.) Virtual Worlds in Online and Distance Education, Athabasca, Canada. Athabasca University Press (In Press).
  • Resta, P. (2011) ICTs and Indigenous People. Moscow, Russia: UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education.
  • Resta, P. & Kalk, D. (2011) “An Ecological Approach to Instructional Design: The Learning Synergy of Interaction and Context,” Chapter in Olofsson, A. & Lindberg, J. (Eds.), Informed Design of Educational Technologies in Higher Education: Enhanced Learning and Teaching. Hershey, Pennsylvania: IGI Global Publishers.
  • Traphagan, T., Chiang, Y., Chiang, H. Wattanawha, B. Lee, H., Mayrath, M., Woo, J., Jee, M., & Resta, P. (2010) “Cognitive, Social and Teaching Presence in a Virtual World and a Text Chat.” Computers and Education: An International Journal. Vol 55(3) 923-936.
  • Resta, P., & Lee, H. (2010) “Online Peer and Self Assessment in Virtual Teaming,” Chapter in Virtual Teams: Mastering the Art and Practice of Online Learning and Corporate Collaboration, Hoboken, New Jersey: Stevens Institute of Technology. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Mayrath, M., Traphagan, T., Jarmon, L., & Resta, P. (2010) “Teaching with Virtual Worlds: Factors to Consider for Instructional Use of Second Life,” Journal of Educational Computing Research. Vol.43(4) 403-444.
  • Resta, P., & Laferriere, T. “Technology in Support of Collaborative Learning”. Article in Educational Psychology Review Journal. Netherlands: Springer, Volume 19, Number 1, March 2007.
  • Resta, P, Christal, M. & Roy, L. Digital Technology to Empower Indigenous Culture and Education. Chapter in Davis, N.E., and Brown, A. (Eds.) The World Yearbook of Education 2004: Digital Technology, Communities, and Education. London: Kogan Page Publishers. 2004.
  • Information and Communication Technologies in Teacher Education: A Planning Guide. Resta , P. (Ed.) Paris, France: United National Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 2003.
  • Toward Digital Equity: Bridging the Divide in Education. Solomon, G., Resta, P. & Allen, N. (Eds.) Boston: Allyn & Bacon. 2002.

Dr. Resta conducts research on a variety of topics and heads several large research projects.  His work currently focuses on web-based learning environments, computer-supported collaborative learning, the infusion of technology into teacher education, and the planning and policy issues surrounding the use of information and communication technologies in teacher education.

Technology and Teacher Education

A major focus of Dr. Resta’s work relates to issues and strategies for integration of technology into teacher education. Dr. Resta previously served as chair of the United Nations Education and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) Working Group on Information and Communication Technologies in Teacher Education. The project focused on strategies for development of national plans to infuse technology into teacher education. It included exemplary models and practices of technology integration from both developing and developed countries. Dr. Resta served as the editor of the resulting book from the project entitled: Information and Communication Technologies in Teacher Education: A Planning Guide published by UNESCO in 2003. The book has been translated into seven languages.

Dr. Resta currently serves as the chair of a UNESCO working group on E-Learning for Teacher Development. He also serves as editor of the book to be published by UNESCO entitled Teacher Development in an E-Learning Age: A Policy and Planning Guide.

Research in Online Collaborative Learning

His work also focuses on knowledge-building communities. His most recent work in this area involves the research and development of instruments and software tools to facilitate self- and peer-assessments. Other recent projects include: a study of computer-supported collaborative learning environments, funded by U.S. Department of Education Secretary's Fund for Innovation in Education; research and development of CD-ROM-based teacher training programs and instructional resources (funded by Texas Education Agency); computer-supported knowledge-building research funded by Texas Center for Educational Technology; and a longitudinal research project, funded by Apple Computer, Inc. and others, related to network-based software environments that support collaborative learning and the development of metacognitive strategies.

Systemic Change of the Teaching-Learning Process in Higher Education

Dr. Paul Resta directed a project to research a unique large-scale, system-wide change effort by the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), a multi-campus higher education institution in Mexico, to transform the teaching-learning process. Incorporating the use of technology into instruction was a major focus of this process. The year-long project, begun in late 2004, was funded by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost of the University of Texas at Austin and ITESM. The project ended December 2005. |READ MORE about ITESM|

Knowledge Innovation for Technology in Education

This project, known as KITE, involved an eight-member consortium to address issues in creating and diffusing technology integration knowledge. Significant project goals included: building professional excellence through knowledge sharing; forming a virtual learning community; and assessing the effectiveness of new knowledge produced from this project. The project developed, expanded, and trained teachers in the use of a sophisticated case-based search engine. Dr. Resta’s team collected and indexed over 1400 cases included in the repository. The project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, began in 2002 and ended June 2005. |READ MORE about KITE|

Web-based Collaborative Learning Environments

Dr. Resta directs a research group focused on online collaborative learning communities in the context of Web-based courses. Three recent projects have been supported through funding from the University of Texas System TeleCampus. |READ MORE about the TeleCampus|

Project INSITE

Inventing New Strategies for Integrating Technology into Education (INSITE) was a collaborative project between the College of Education and the College of Natural Sciences.  It represented a scalable model of technology-infused educational preparation for the next generation of middle and high school teachers of mathematics and science. The project brought together key players from the three strands of pre-service education—the content major, the professional teacher preparation sequence, and the field-experiences—and facilitated collaboration and expertise in integrating state-of-the-art technologies for learning. Activities of the project included setting technology requirements and standards for the students’ portfolios, supervising graduate students who assisted faculty with technology integration, and training cooperating AISD teachers in the use of technology. The project ran from 2000-2004. |READ MORE about INSITE|

Technology Leadership Academy

Dr. Resta directed the Technology Leadership Academy, a coalition of 100 institutions of higher education in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Kansas which stimulated the infusion of technology into teacher education. The project was funded by the U. S.  Department of Education and was part of the Technology Leadership Institute, a collaborative partnership between the University of North Texas, the Learning Technology Center at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Center for Educational Technology, Texas State Board for Educator Certification, Texas Education Agency, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Dr. Resta’s team established a Web site of faculty development resources and developed a database of teacher educators who model exemplary integration of technology into their teaching practices. The project ran from 1999-2003. |READ MORE about the Technology Leadership Academy|

Web-based Professional Development for Teachers

Dr. Resta directed a project in 2002 focused on the research and development of Web-based professional development learning environments for teachers. The project, funded by the Texas Education Agency, designed and produced online interactive, multimedia professional development modules to assist teachers in technology integration. |READ MORE about Web-based Professional Development|

Four Directions Project and Work with Native Americans

Dr. Resta served as director of the Four Directions project (1995 –2001) at the University of Texas at Austin. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, this national project involved 19 rural Indian schools across the country and explored the use of new telecommunications and multimedia technologies to enhance the quality of education in schools in remote areas. The project received the 1997 Award for Outstanding and Innovative Use of Technology from Government Executive Magazine and the Government Executive Leadership Institute. He served as Chair of The Smithsonian Institution Off-Site Technology Committee. As senior consultant, he developed the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian Off-Site Technology Planning Document for the extension of the museum's collections, archives, and information resources to Indian communities and the general public through technology. He is also currently working with the Navajo Nation in projects to use telecommunications to enhance educational and economic development on the reservation.|READ MORE about Four Directions|

International Study of Exemplary Practices in Technology Integration

Dr. Resta served as Principal Investigator of a National Science Foundation project to develop a framework for the design of an international study of exemplary practices in technology in education. He previously served as the United States Principal Investigator for The ITEC Project, a multi-national study of the cognitive effects of computers on children sponsored by UNESCO and other international organizations.

Recent Representative Publications

The following are representative examples of current publications:

  • "Redefining Teacher Education for Digital-Age Learners: A Call to Action, The Summary Report of the Invitational Summit on Redefining Teacher Education for Digital-Age Learners," Resta, P., Carroll, T. (Eds), Austin, Texas: The University of Texas at Austin Learning Technology Center, 2010
  • "Online Peer and Self Assessment in Virtual Teaming," Chapter in Virtual Teams: Mastering the Art and Practice of Online Learning and Corporate Collaboration, Resta, P., Lee, H., Hoboken, New Jersey: Stevens Institute of Technology. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2010
  • "IT and the Digital Divide", Section (8 chapters) in International Handbook of Information Technology in Primary and Secondary Education, a two volume edition in Springer International Handbooks of Education Series, Laferriere, T., Co-Section Editor, 2008
  • "The Presidential Timeline of the 20th Century". Resta, P., Flowers, B., Tothero, K., Article in Social Education, National Council for the Social Studies Journal. Silver Spring, Maryland: Volume 71, Number 3, April 2007
  • "Technology in Support of Collaborative Learning". Resta, P., Laferriere, T., Article in Educational Psychology Review Journal. Netherlands: Springer, Volume 19, Number 1, March 2007
  • "Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Fluency: What Do All High School Students Need to Know?" Appendix Chapter in ICT Fluency and High Schools: A Workshop Summary. S. Marcus, Rapporteur. Planning Committee on ICT Fluency and High School Graduation Outcomes. Board on Science Education, Center for Education. Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2006
  • Resta, P., Tothero, M. Establishing a Ubiquitous Computing Environment for Teacher Preparation Students and Faculty. Chapter in Powers, S., Janz, K. (Eds.) Ubiquitous and Pervasive Computing in Higher Education. Terre Haute, Indiana: Indiana State University Curriculum Research and Development Center. 2005.
  • Resta, P, Christal, M. Roy, L. Digital Technology to Empower Indigenous Culture and Education. Chapter in Davis, N.E., and Brown, A. (Eds.) The World Yearbook of Education 2004: Digital Technology, Communities, and Education. London: Kogan Page Publishers. 2004.
  • Resta, P., Allen, N., Noonan, C., Developing a Learning Community for Technology Infusion in Teacher Preparation. AECT Tech Trends Journal. May/June, 2003.
  • Resta, P. Christal, M. and Roy, L. Virtual Museum Projects in Native America. ERIC/IT Update. December, 2002.
  • Solomon, G., Allen, N., and Resta, P. Toward Digital Equity: Bridging the Divide in Education. Boston: Allyn and Bacon publishers, 2002.
  • Moore, M., Tait, A., Resta, P. and Rumble, G. Open and Distance Learning: Trends, Policy, and Strategy Considerations Paris: UNESCO. 2002
  • Resta, P. (Ed.) Information and Communication Technologies in Teacher Education: A Planning Guide. Paris: UNESCO 2002
  • Resta, P. and Wang, J. Multiplicity and Flexibility as Design Features – A Case Study of a Web-based Collaborative Learning Community for Diverse Learners. International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Lifelong Learning: Special Issue on New Assessment Methods for Agent-based Technologies for Autonomous Learning, Volume 12, Nos. 5-6.
  • The IT Specialist, chapter in Adelsberger, H., Collis, B. and Pawlowski, J. (Eds.) International Handbook on Information Technologies for Education and Training. Springer-Verlag. Berlin. 2001

Dr. Resta's education includes a B.S. from Arizona State University in Psychology, a M.S. from Washington State University in Psychology and a Ph. D. from Arizona State University in Educational Psychology with an emphasis on learning and measurement.

Career Background

Prior to coming to the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Resta was a Professor of Learning and Training Technologies and Director of the Center for Technology and Education at the University of New Mexico (UNM). He also served as Associate Dean for Research and was principal investigator of a number of projects focused on technology and improving the quality of education for Native American and Hispanic students. While at UNM he generated over $11 million in funded projects. He also founded ENAN, the Educational Native American Network, a national telecommunications network funded by the U.S. Department of Interior. ENAN enables hundreds of Indian schools across the country to access the Internet and provides Indian students with opportunities to communicate and collaborate with others across the country and globe.

On leave of absence from the UNM, he served as Chief of Research, Planning and Technology in the U.S. Department of Education National Institute of Education. In this position he was responsible for the direction of the Institute's programmatic and planning activities, including planning the development of the present constellation of educational research centers and regional laboratories, and the development of a national initiative on educational technology. He received a commendation for his leadership from the Director of the National Institute of Education and the Secretary of Education.

Previously, Dr. Resta directed research in computer-based instructional systems at the Southwest Regional Educational Laboratory and was a Human Factors Scientist with System Development Corporation where he was responsible for computer-based systems training for the North American Air Defense Command. At Goodyear Aerospace Corporation, he served as Project Manager of multisensory imagery interpretation training projects for the U.S. Air Force and NASA.

Dr. Resta received the President's Service Award from the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) in 2011 for outstanding leadership in serving as Chair for the Standing Committee on Technology and the Future of Teacher Education. His committee was responsible for presenting "The 21st Century Classroom," a major exhibit at recent ATE annual meetings. Dr. Resta also received this distinction in 2010 and 2009.

Also in 2011, Dr. Resta received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Moscow State University for Economics, Statistics, and Informatics in recognition of his global leadership in information and communication technologies (ICT).

Other awards include:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) in recognition for many years of leadership in the field of technology use in teacher education. (2007)

  • Dean's Distinguished Faculty Award, for superior teaching, research, and service to the university, college, and community. (August 2006)

  • US Distance Learning Association Award for Outstanding Achievements in Higher Education (April 2001)

  • University Continuing Education Association National Distance Learning Course Award (April 2001) 

  • Judy Spence Tate Fellowship for Excellence

  • Presented with a Flag of the State of Texas Flown over the Texas Capitol, by the Senate of the State of Texas, for leadership in technology in education, 1997.

  • International Society for Technology and Education Leadership Award

  • National Institute of Education Award for Outstanding Leadership in Furthering Educational Research

  • Electronic Learning Magazine's 1988 Educator of the Year Award for outstanding contributions to educational technology at the state, national and international level

  • New Mexico State Board of Education Award for Outstanding Contributions to New Mexico Computer Education

  • Honorary Doctor of Letters from Texas Southmost College for contributions to improving access and quality of higher education for Hispanics in the U.S.-Mexico Border region

  • The Chief Manuelito Award from the Navajo Nation for outstanding contributions to Native American education

EDC 385G  Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Environments

An online course designed to develop knowledge and skills used in computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL). The course is organized around a virtual non-profit corporation called the Texas Collaborative Technologies Institute. The activities carried out primarily in teams and simulate real-world activities.

EDC 390T  Advanced Instructional Systems Design

This course help students analyze and improve instruction at all levels.

Last updated on May 10, 2013