Helen Chen

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  • Wallenberg Hall, 2nd floor
    450 Serra Mall, Bldg 160
    Stanford, CA 94305
  • 650-924-0228
  • hlchen@stanford.edu


Helen L. Chen is a senior researcher in the Designing Education Lab in the Center for Design Research within the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. She is also the Director of ePortfolio Initiatives in the Office of the University Registrar. Helen earned her undergraduate degree from UCLA and her PhD in Communication with a minor in Psychology from Stanford University in 1998. She co-led the development of Folio Thinking, a reflective practice that situates and guides the effective use of learning portfolios, through collaborations with national and international portfolio researchers. Helen is a co-founder and co-facilitator of EPAC, a community of practice focusing on pedagogical and technological issues related to ePortfolios.

Helen works closely with the Association of American Colleges and Universities where she is a faculty member for the Institute on General Education and Assessment. She is also the Co-Director of Research for the Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL) and was a senior scholar on LaGuardia Community College’s FIPSE-funded Connect to Learning project. Helen's current research interests are focused in three areas: issues of academic and professional persistence in engineering education; assessment of teaching and learning in innovative learning spaces and active learning classrooms; and the use of ePortfolios and folio thinking related practices in general education, the disciplines, and in student affairs.


Selected Publications

  • Lichtenstein, G., Chen, H.L., Smith, K., & Maldonado, T.A. (2014). Retention and Persistence of Women and Minorities Along the Engineering Pathway in the U.S. In A. Johri & B.M. Olds, Eds., Cambridge Handbook of Engineering Education Research (pp 311-334). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  • Gilmartin, S., Shartrand, A., Chen, H.L., Estrada, C., & Sheppard, S.D. (2014, March).U.S.-Based Entrepreneurship Programs for Undergraduate Engineers: Scope, Development, Goals, and Pedagogies. (Epicenter Technical Brief 1). Stanford, CA: Epicenter.
  • Rhodes, T., Chen, H.L., Watson, C.E., & Garrison, W. (2014). Editorial: A call for more rigorous ePortfolio research. International Journal of ePortfolio, 4(1), 1-5.
  • Chen, H.L., Grau, M., Brunhaver, S., Gilmartin, S., Sheppard, S. & Warner, M. (2012). Designing the Deployment of the Pathways of Engineering Alumni Research Survey (PEARS). In Proceedings of the American Society of Engineering Education, San Antonio, TX.
  • Penny-Light, T., Chen, H.L., Ittelson, J. (2012). Documenting Learning with ePortfolios: A Guide for College Instructors. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Smith, R.E., Chen, H.L., Johnson, M., O’Brien, A.J., Huang-DeVoss, C. (2011). Priorities in the Classroom: Pedagogies for High Performance Learning Spaces. In A.D. Olofsson & O. Lindberg (Eds.), Informed Design of Educational Technologies in Higher Education: Enhanced Learning and Teaching. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
  • Chen, H.L., & Black, T.C. (2010). Using e-portfolios to support an undergraduate learning career: An experiment with academic advising. Educause Quarterly Magazine, 33(4). 
  • Chen, H.L., Donaldson, K., Eris, O., Chachra, D., Lichtenstein, G., Sheppard, S., & Toye, G. (2008). From PIE to APPLES: The evolution of a survey instrument to explore engineering student pathways. In Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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