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Hi, I'm Julie, my passion is human learning
I fell in love with learning when I was a child growing up in Las Vegas
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Julie Schell Headshot

Julie Schell, EDD


The University of Texas at Austin

Assistant Vice Provost of Academic Technology, Director of the Office of Academic Technology ​

Assistant Professor of Practice

Department of Design

Department of Educational Leadership and Policy 

Harvard University 

Research Affiliate, Mazur Group  

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Design X Learning 

Dr. Julie Schell is the Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Technology and the Director of the Office of Academic Technology at The University of Texas at Austin.  She is an award-winning expert in teaching and learning with over 25 years of experience in higher education. Her signature area of expertise focuses on combining design methods with principles from the science of learning to create engaging and meaningful learning experiences. She gets to blend these two areas of work as an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Departments of Design and Educational Leadership and Policy, where she teaches courses on design education, design pedagogy, and technology-enhanced learning. 

Established Design and Education Facilitator 

Dr. Schell has facilitated over 200 interactive talks, workshops, trainings, and keynote speeches on various topics related to design, interactive teaching, learning, and technology-enhanced education. She has led engagements worldwide, including in Aruba, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Dominican Republic, Germany, and the United States. She has also facilitated workshops for universities in Brazil, Costa Rica, Honduras, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and South Africa.

Design x Learning

Dr. Schell's work focuses on how people learn and how to help them learn best. In early 2013, she began exploring design thinking as a content area that many people were attempting to learn but not grasping. This work resulted in, Think Before You Design Think­™️, a popular introductory human-centered design series that infuses the science of learning to increase meaningful adoption of the method. Dr. Schell first launched Think Before You Design Thinking at AT&T and has since delivered it to Fortune 500 companies, school districts, businesses, and non-profit organizations

Julie Schell Portrait

Facilitation Style and Approach

"This was the most engaging workshop I've experienced in my 20 year career in teaching."

K-12 teacher. 

Dr. Schell's workshops are engaging, interactive, and hands-on because that is how people learn best. Each experience blends active learning methods such as reflection, application, and social learning and design methods, including ideation and prototyping. Examples of her recent engagements in each area are noted below. 

Recent Talks and Workshops

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Think Before You Design Think Studio 

Waco Independent School District, May 2023 

1-Day design workshop envisioning the future of gifted and talented programs.

Think Before You Design Think for Leaders

Leadership Growth Program, Human Resources UT Austin, March 2023

Introductory Workshop 


Opening Horizons: Imagining High-Quality Hands-on Learning Online

Technology-Enhanced Learning Symposium, UT Austin, May 2023 

Interactive Keynote 


Peer Instruction: A Research-Based Method for Improving How Students Learn 

American Massage Therapy Association, Schools Summit, February 2023 

Interactive Keynote  

Julie Schell Portrait
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Select Publications

Designing For Academic Resilience in Hands-On Courses in Times of Crisis: Two Models for Supporting Hands-On Online Learning Drawn From the COVID-19 Pandemic. American Behavioral Scientist, 2023 


Adapting Peer Instruction for online learning. In C. E. Overson, C. M. Hakala, L. L. Kordonowy, & V. A. Benassi (Eds.), In their own words: What scholars and teachers want you to know about why and how to apply the science of learning in your academic setting (pp. 171-184). Society for the Teaching of Psychology. 2023 


An Evidence-Based Design Thinking Pedagogy, Journal of Design and Creative Technologies, 2020 


Design Thinking Has a Pedagogy Problem...And a Way Forward, Journal of Design and Creative Technologies, 2019 

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