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Brad Mehlenbacher

Associate Professor

Poe Hall 310Q



Associate Professor of Distance Learning (Educational Leadership, Policy and Human Development Department), Primary Area Faculty Member with Human Factors & Ergonomics (Psychology), Affiliated Faculty Member with Communication, Rhetoric, & Digital Media (English and Communication), and Affiliated Faculty Member with the Digital Games Research Center (Computer Science) at NC State University. Mehlenbacher teaches graduate courses on instruction and learning with technology, games and learning design, and Web-based instruction. He earned his BA and MA at the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) and his PhD in rhetoric at Carnegie Mellon University.

Mehlenbacher is author of the award-winning National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) 2012 Best Book in Technical and Scientific Communication, Instruction and Technology: Designs for Everyday Learning (MIT Press, 2010) and co-author of Online Help: Design and Evaluation (Ablex, 1993). He has chapters in the 2014 CCCC award-winning Solving Problems in Technical Communication (U of Chicago P), theEncyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning (Springer), Assessment Strategies for the Online Learner (Jossey-Bass), The Human-Computer Interaction Handbook (Lawrence Erlbaum), Innovative Approaches to Teaching Technical Writing (Utah State UP),Digital Rhetoric and Global Literacies (IGI Global), The Society of Text (MIT Press), The Computer Science and Engineering Handbook (CRC Press), and the 1997 NCTE award-winning Computers and Technical Communication (Ablex Press). Mehlenbacher is Past President (four terms) of the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on the Design of Communication (ACM SIGDOC). Over the years, he has brought in approximately $500,000 in research funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other sponsors and funding agencies; most recently, he is Co-Principal Invesigator on a National Science Foundation grant aimed at transforming undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (course, curriculum, and laboratory improvement). At NC State, he served as usability consultant for the previous and the new NC State website, and has consulted for a wide range of institutions, including the Computer Science Department, Engineering Design Research Center, and Communications Design Center at Carnegie Mellon; the Centre for Professional Writing at the University of Waterloo; Apple Computer; Bell-Northern Research; Hewlett Packard; SAS Institute; Digital Equipment Corporation; IBM-Toronto; and IBM-RTP.

Research Description

Mehlenbacher's research interest in instruction and learning with technology is informed by the multidisciplinary relationship between the learning sciences, communication design, educational technologies, rhetorical theory, and human-computer interaction. His long-term research goal is to develop and provide a common framework for characterizing, understanding, describing, and evaluating the complex interactions between technology, learning, and instruction. Over the last several years, Mehlenbacher has published or presented research on education in virtual worlds, on the use of games in online learning environments, on cloud-based collaboration, on Twitter’s influence on time and communication, on assessing technology-augmented learning, on the pedagogical underpinnings of MOOCs, on the influence of email on academic time management, on online identity and student plagiarism in online instruction, and on the use of virtual co-locational technologies in globally-distributed educational spaces.

Curriculum Vitae


Selected Scholarly Publications

Courses Taught

  • EAC 580 Designing Instructional Systems in Training and Development
  • EAC 581 Advanced Instructional Design in Training and Development
  • EAC 585 Integrating Technology into Training Programs
  • EAC 595/795 Games and Learning Design
  • EAC 795 Research in Web-Based Instruction
  • ED 700 Introduction to Research Design in Education
  • ELP 724 Contemporary Educational Thought

Research Areas