Ryan Watkins

Ryan Watkins
Professor, Educational Leadership
(202) 994-2263

Ryan Watkins is an author of eleven books and more than 95 articles. His websites include www.ryanrwatkins.com, www.needsassessment.org, and www.WeShareScience.com. His publications are frequently cited in the performance improvement literature, making him the 4th most cited author of journal articles in the field.

Ryan is an active member of the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI), the American Evaluation Association (AEA), and has served a vice president of the Inter-American Distance Education Consortium (CREAD).

In 2005 Ryan was a visiting scientist with the National Science Foundation, and he routinely works on projects with the World Bank on applying needs assessment, instructional design, and performance improvement to international assistance programs (including work in China, Laos, Kenya, and Tunisia).


Watkins, R., Engel, L. C., & Hadsteadt, D. (2015). Is the “net generation” ready for digital citizenship? Perspectives from the IEA International Computer and Information Literacy Study. Policy brief: IEA International Computer and Information Literacy Study. IEA commissioned policy brief.

Kumar, S., Leonard, A., Watkins, R., & Vovides, Y. (2014). Art of knowledge exchange. Washington, DC: World Bank. Available in print, or free online.

Watkins, R., & Corry, M. (2014). Preparing students for e-learning success. In A. Hirumi (Ed.), Designing alternative environments to facilitate e-learning: A systematic approach. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education.

Watkins, R., & Corry, M. (2013). E-learning companion: A student's guide to online success (4th Ed.). New York: Wadsworth/Cengage.

Watkins, R., Kaufman, R., & Odunlami, B. (2013). Strategic planning for distance education - Revised. In M. Moore (Ed.), Handbook of American Distance Education (3rd Ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Watkins, R., West Meiers, M., & Visser, Y. (2012). A guide to assessing needs: Tools for collecting information, making decisions, and achieving development results. Washington, DC: World Bank. Available in print, or free online.

Lim, J., Dannels, S., & Watkins, R. (2009). Qualitative investigation of doctoral students' learning experiences in online research method courses. Quarterly Review of Distance Education.

Watkins, R., & Leigh, D. (Eds.) (2009). The handbook of improving performance in the workplace - Volume 2: Selecting and implementing performance interventions. San Francisco: Wiley-Jossey/Bass. Honored with a 2011 ISPI Award of Excellence in the field of performance improvement.

Kaufman, R., Guerra-Lopez, I., Watkins, R., & Leigh, D. (2008). The assessment book: Applied strategic thinking and performance improvement through self-assessments. Amherst, MA: HRD Press.

In the News

Dr. Ryan Watkins presented on "Using Delphi Technique: Assembling a Global Panel of Experts to Predict Future Needs and Trends in Your Evaluation” at the World Bank.

GSEHD faculty participated in the Roadmapping Engaged Science Education Workshop hosted by GW's School of Engineering and Applied Science. Professor Emerita Dr. Sharon Lynch, Dr. Tiffany Sikorski, and Dr. Russell Korte presented, "Building Pipelines; Building Skills." Dr. Ryan Watkins presented " Interdisciplinary Collaborations: Approaches and Frontiers."

Dr. Ryan Watkins and his co-host recently celebrated the airing of the 40th episode of their podcast Parsing Science. For the episode they interviewed researchers at UCLA about the role of cognitive bias in how the US Supreme Court uses, or dismisses, social science research in their decisions. Listen to this episode and past episodes at https://parsingscience.org.

Dr. Ryan Watkins collaborated in a book sprint with 15 international experts to produce an open-source book on using Jupyter Notebooks in education. A Jupyter notebook is an online document that supports mixing executable code, equations, visualizations, and narrative text. Specifically, Jupyter notebooks allow the user to bring together data, code, and prose, to tell an interactive, computational story.

Dr. Ryan Watkins led the Machine Learning for Novices workshop with some colleagues at GW's Gelman Library at the 2018 Data Day.