Shan Li, assistant professor at the College of Health and in the College of Education, was selected as one of this year's recipients of the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). This prestigious award is only given to investigators within the first two years of their academic appointment and is designed to provide seed money for pilot research.
“This award empowers me to further advance my research endeavors and make meaningful contributions to the field of nutrition education and health literacy," said Li. "Moreover, this recognition will set a solid foundation for pursuing federal funding opportunities.”
Li is a learning scientist and educational technologist who explores learning, training and technology in the fields of STEM education and health education. His research focuses on designing intelligent learning and training applications, as well as investigating the mechanisms of learning and behavioral change across behavioral, cognitive, metacognitive and affective dimensions.
Li will receive a small grant from ORAU over one year and an additional match from the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Lehigh University. The funding will support a project that aims to answer the question: “Why do some individuals understand health-related information and act upon it to make better decisions while others fail to do so?”
Li will approach this question from a self-regulated learning (SRL) perspective as participants solve authentic tasks in a technology-rich learning and training environment, Healthy Choice. Specifically, Li and his team will address the following research questions: How does SRL competency play a role in health-related decision making? Are there any meaningful SRL behavioral patterns that account for successful performance?
“I’ve found that addressing questions that hold real-world significance while also contributing to theoretical knowledge is an invaluable approach," Li said. "By grounding your research in the tangible challenges that society faces, you not only contribute to practical solutions but also enrich the academic discourse with your unique perspectives.”
This knowledge will reveal individual behavioral patterns in decision-making and how they account for superior performance, and can aid in designing effective interventions for healthy lifestyle promotion.
Beth Dolan, dean of the College of Health, said, “Dr. Li's research is an important contribution to a central challenge in health education—Why are people hesitant to follow health guidelines that they know would improve their health outcomes? Ultimately, his work may illuminate better ways of conveying information so that it is more actionable and improves human health.”
--Story by Nora Connelly