Dr. Huang’s academic background, consisting of material science and engineering, learning design & technology, and executive business administration, has enabled him to conduct interdisciplinary projects for instructional and research purposes across contexts. Dr. Huang investigates technology acceptances in various workplaces and inquired the instructional effects and efficacy of gamification, socialization, and open-distribution of technology-enabled learning experience. His current research interests include (1) organizational decision-making attributes on technology innovations (e.g., telecare, mHealth), (2) design of game-based learning environments for effective learning engagement with non-traditional learners, (3) cognitive load manipulations in multimedia learning settings, (4) development of ethical decision-making capacities among evaluation professionals, (5) career development needs assessment and intervention design via technologies, (6) the efficacy of MOOCs in organizations, (7) individuals' decision-making under irrational influences in structured learning processes. Dr. Huang also coordinates Human Resource Development Online degree programs.

Key Professional Appointments

Associate Professor Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, University of Illinoist at Urbana-Champaign, 2013 - present

Adjunct Assistant Professor Educational Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009 - present

Assistant Professor Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011 - 2013

Assistant Professor Human Resource Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007 - 2011

Visiting Assistant Professor Educational Technology, Curriculum and Instruction, Purdue University, 2006 - 2007


MBA., Executive Business Administration, New York Institute of Technology, 2006

Ph.D., Learning Design and Technology, Purdue University, 2006

M.Ed., Educational Technology, Purdue University, 2002

B.S., Material Science and Engineering, Purdue University, 1999

Research & Service

My current research is focused on delineating the process and value of design, development, and evaluation for learning engagement systems augmented by technologies. I also investigate design efficacies for affective learning outcomes that contribute to sustainable cognitive learning and behavioral modification. Topics have covered:
+ The design and evaluation of informal learning interventions for career development purposes
+ Career decision-making process effectiveness
+ Technological affordance that supports learning in higher education
+ mHealth design and implementation for underrepresented groups
+ Design attributes and learning support of digital game-based learning systems
+ Technologies' emotional, motivational, and cognitive impacts on learning
+ Measurement and manipulation of motivational support and cognitive load in technology-enabled multimedia learning environments
+ Development of ethical thinking and decision-making capacities in online learning settings
+ Decision-making under irrational influences in various learning environments


DiFilippo, K., Huang, W., & Chapman-Novakofski, K. (2018). Mobile apps for the dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH): App quality evaluation. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 50 620-625.  link >

Huang, W., & Oh, E. (2018). Motivational support from digital game-based learning environments (DGBLEs) for scientific topics designed by novice end users. Educational Media International, 55 (2), 123-136.  link >

Oh, E., & Huang, W. (2018). A review of technology research in HRD from a design-based research perspective. Human Resource Development Review, 17 (3), 258-276.  link >

Oh, E., Huang, W., Hedayati Mehdiabadi, A., & Ju, B. (2018). Facilitating critical thinking in asynchronous online discussion: Comparison Between Peer- and Instructor-Redirection. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 30 (3), 489-509.  link >

DiFilippo, K., Huang, W., & Chapman-Novakofski, K. (2017). A new tool for nutrition app quality evaluation (AQEL): Development, validation and reliability testing. Journal of Medical Internet Research: mHealth and uHealth, 5 (e163), 1-11.

Hedayati Mehdiabadi, A., & Huang, W. (2017). Evaluation and Assessment in an Online Setting: The Case of Asynchronous Online Discussion. Handbook on Measurement, Assessment, and Evaluation in Higher Education, 2nd Edition ( 2nd Edition ed pp. 619-628). New York: NY, US: Routledge.

Huang, W., Wu, C., & , . (2017). Motivation system in open learning: A structural equation modeling based on learners of a traditional Chinese-based open educational resource system Educational Technology Research & Development, 65 1495-1521.  link >

Yoo, S., & Huang, W. (2016). Can E-Learning system enhance learning culture in the workplace? A comparison among companies in South Korea British Journal of Educational Technology, 47 575-591.  link >

Seo, G., Hedayati Mehdiabadi, A., & Huang, W. (2016). Identifying core competencies to advance female professors’ careers: An exploratory study in United States academia. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 40.  link >

Seo, G., & Huang, W. (2016). Social perceptions, gender roles, and female leadership: A theoretical grounding for understanding the underrepresentation of women in top-level managemen. Encyclopedia of Strategic Leadership and Management ( pp. 619-630). Hershey, PA, US: IGI Global.  link >

Yoo, S., Huang, W., & Kwon, S. (2015). Gender still matters: Employees’ acceptance levels towards e-learning in the workplace of South Korea. Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal (KM&EL), 7 (2), 334-347.

Huang, W., & Oh, E. (2015). Retaining disciplinary talents as informal learning outcomes in the digital age: an exploratory framework to engage undergraduate students with career decision-making processe. Handbook of research on learning outcomes and opportunities in the digital age ( pp. 402-421). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Tettegah, S., & Huang, W. (2015). Emotions, technology, and digital games. London, UK: Elsevier.  link >

Huang, W., & Andrade, J. (2014). Design and evaluation of mobile learning from the perspective of cognitive load management. Encyclopedia of Education and Technology in a Changing Society ( pp. 291-306). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Huang, W., Jacobs, R., Kuchinke, K., Li, J., & Oh, E. (2017). Human resource development at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Performance Improvement, 56 (6), 38-48.  link >

Seo, G., Huang, W., & Han, S. (2017). Conceptual synthesis of underrepresentation of women in senior leadership positions from a perspective of gendered social status in the workplace: implication for HRD research and practice. Human Resource Development Review, 16 35-59.

DiFilippo, K., Huang, W., Andrade, J., & Chapman-Novakofski, K. (2015). The use of mobile apps to improve nutrition outcomes: A systematic literature review Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare.  link >

Andrade, J., & Huang, W. (2015). Technological tools to enhance workplace learning among virtual team members Handbook of research on learning outcomes and opportunities in the digital age ( pp. 308-329). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Andrade, J., Huang, W., & Bohn, D. (2015). The Impact of Instructional Design on College Students’ Cognitive Load and Learning Outcomes in a Large Food Science and Human Nutrition Course. Journal of Food Science Education, 14 127-135.

Hu, E., Li, Y., Li, J., & Huang, W. (2015). Open educational resources (OER) usage and barriers: a study from Zhejiang University, China Educational Technology Research & Development, 63 957-974.

Huang, W. (2015). Games: Impact on interest and motivation. The SAGE Encyclopedia of Educational Technology ( pp. 297-299). US: Sage.

Hedayati Mehdiabadi, A., Seo, G., Han, S., & Huang, W. Building blocks of contemporary HRD research: A citation analysis on Human Resource Development Quarterly between 2007 and 201. New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resource Development, 29 20-34.

Huang, W. (2015). Distance learning for degree completion for working adults. Encyclopedia of Educational Technology ( pp. 229-231). Sage.

Andrade, J., & Huang, W. (2014). A design framework for enhancing virtual team learning. Journal of Applied Instructional Design, 4 65-72.  link >

Andrade, J., Huang, W., & Bohn, D. (2014). Multimedia’s effect on college students’ quantitative mental effort scores and qualitative extraneous cognitive load responses in a food science and human nutrition course. Journal of Food Science Education, 13 40-46.

Hood, D., & Huang, W. (2013). Professional development with graduate teaching assistants (TA) teaching online. Learning by Doing: Professional Development in Online Learning Environments ( pp. 26 – 42). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Huang, W. (2013). Online learning engagement system (OLES) design framework for postsecondary online learning environments: A synthesis on affordances from game-based learning, social media-enabled learning, and open l. Handbook of Research on Teaching and Learning in K-20 Education ( pp. 182-200). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Huang, W., , ., & Yoo, S. (2013). Employee's acceptance towards knowledge management system and its impact on creating learning organizations. Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal (KM&EL), 5 434-454.

Huang, W., Hood, D., & Yoo, S. (2013). Gender divide and acceptance of collaborative Web 2.0 applications for learning in higher education The Internet and Higher Education, 16 57 – 64.  link >

Huang, W., Johnson, T., Han, S., & , . (2013). Impact of online instructional game features on college students' perceived motivational support and cognitive investment: A structural equation modeling stud. The Internet and Higher Education, 17 58-68.

Huang, W., Johnson, T., Yoo, S., & , . (2013). Learning organization. Encyclopedia of Terminology for Educational Communications and Technology ( pp. 188-189). New York, U.S.A.

Huang, W., Li, J., & Lin, M. (2013). Game-based virtual-world environments to better engage lifelong learners for open courseware and open learning. Handbook of Research on Technologies for Improving the 21st Century Workforce: Tool for Lifelong Learning ( pp. 76 – 97). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Yoo, S., Huang, W., & , . (2013). Engaging online adult learners in higher education: Motivational factors impacted by gender, ages, and prior experiences. The Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 61 151-164.

Huang, W., & Yang, D. (2012). Empowering digital learners: a self-managing learning process framework for digital game-based learning system (DGBLS). Interactivity in E-Learning: Case Study and Frameworks ( pp. 210-230). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Huang, W., Lin, M., & Shen, W. (2012). Understanding Chinese-speaking open courseware users: A case study on user engagement in an open courseware portal in Taiwan (Opensource Opencourse Prototype System) Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning 27 (2), 169 – 182.

Yoo, S., Han, S., & Huang, W. (2012). The roles of intrinsic motivators and extrinsic motivators in promoting e-Learning in the workplace: A case from South Korea. Computers in Human Behaviors, 28 942-950.

Yoo, S., Huang, W., Lee, D., & Huang, W. (2012). The impact of employee’s perception of organizational climate on their technology acceptance toward e-learning in South Korea Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal (KM&EL), 4 359-378.

Huang, W. (2011). Learners’ motivational processing and mental effort investment in an online game-based learning environment: a preliminary analysis. Computers in Human Behavior, 27 694-704.  link >

Huang, W., Huang, W., & Chui, C. (2011). The impact of specified professional development program information as a marketing tool for effective recruitment. Human Resource Development International, 14 57-73.

Huang, W., & Nakazawa, K. (2010). An empirical analysis on how learners interact in Wiki in an online graduate level learning technology course Interactive Learning Environment, 18 (3), 233-44.

Huang, W., & Tettegah, S. (2010). A conceptual framework to understand the relationship between cognitive load and empathy development in serious games. Interdisciplinary models and tools for serious games: Emerging concepts and future directions ( pp. 137-150). IGI Global.

Huang, W., Han, S., Park, U., & Seo, J. (2010). Managing employees’ motivation, cognition, and performance: the design of a game-based adaptive performance platform (GAPP). Advances in Human Resource Development, 12 715-727.  link >

Huang, W., Huang, W., & Tschopp, J. (2010). Sustaining iterative game playing processes in DGBL: The relationship between motivational processing and outcome processing Computers & Education, 55 (2), 789-797.

Huang, W., & Johnson, T. (2009). Let’s get serious about e-games: A design research approach towards emergence perspective. Ubiquitous learning Champaign IL: University of Illinois Press.

Huang, W., & Johnson, T. (2008). Design of effective game-based learning environments: A cognitive load approach. Handbook of research on effective electronic gaming in education Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

Johnson, T., & Huang, W. (2007). Complex skills development for today's workforce. Understanding models for learning and instruction: Essays in honor of Norbert M. Seel New York: Springer.

Huang, W., Huang, W., Diefes-Dux, H., & al, e. (2006). Preliminary validation of ARCS model-based instructional material motivational survey (IMMS) in a computer-based tutorial setting using LISREL measurement model. British Journal of Educational Technology 37, 243-259.


Innovating E-Learning in organizations (2015). Association for Educational Communications and Technology: Indianapolis, IN.

Pillars for innovations: Integrating MOOCs in U.S. research universities. (2016). Association for Educational Communications and Technology: Las Vegas, NV.

Innovations in Higher Education: The Case of MOOCs in Research Tier One U.S. Universities (2015). Chinese Culture University: Taipei, Taiwan. R.O.C.

Managing Technology Integration (2015). Academy for Executive Leadership: Champaign, IL.

Motivational support derived from digital game-based learning environments designed by novice end users: A qualitative study (2015). Association for Educational Communications and Technology: Indianapolis, IN.

Design-Based Research in the Workplace: A Brief Review of Human Resource Development and Performance Improvement Literature from 2011-2015 (2016).: Las Vegas, NV.

Design and development of sensor-based virtual experiment contents for smart phone (2013).: Vancouver, Canada.

A proposed framework for virtual teams (2013). Academy for Human Resource Development: Arlington, VA.

Hybrid Learning Cloud Platform with Private Cloud Platforms and Public Platforms for Smart Learning (2013).: Orlando, FL.

Virtual technologies for managing the scholarly image: An interactive discussion about performance metrics and academic networking (2015). Academy of Human Resource Development: St. Louis, USA.


Co-Principal Investigator EXP: Social science education through virtual reality and game-based learning, National Science Foundation, 2017 - 2019

Co-Principal Investigator ECR: Strategic Integration of MOOCs into Graduate and Professional STEM Programs in 21st Century Research Universities, National Science Foundation, 2013 - 2015

Principal Investigator Network and Online Community Evaluation and Sustainability Plan, Lumpkin Family Foundation, 2011 - 2011


I teach courses on:
- Instructional system design
- Business principles for Human Resource Development
- Project management
- Training in business/industry
- Facilitation skills
- Design of learning systems
- Program evaluation
- Learning technologies
- Innovation in E-Learning
- Adult and professional education
- Social media for learning in higher education


Learning Technologies (CI 484) Same as HRD 472. See HRD 472.

Program Planning & Evaluation (EOL 567)

Independent Study (EPOL 595) Offers opportunity and challenge of self-directive, independent study; develops the individual's ability as an independent student and enables the student to pursue needed study in a field in which appropriate courses are not being offered during a given term. 1 to 4 graduate hours. No professional credit. Approved for Letter and S/U grading. May be repeated with approval.

Business Principles for HRD (HRD 402) Study of essential business understandings, knowledge, and skills required for HRD professionals to interact effectively with others in the business community. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

Facilitation Skills (HRD 414) Provides an in-depth examination into the body of research of effectively facilitating groups, including the nature of groups, the dynamics of individuals within groups, effective planning, role clarification, identification of intervention points in groups, and effective use of tools and techniques. The theoretical foundations for the course reside in theories of human values, group dynamics, decision-making, communication, managing conflicts, and effective group intervention. Course emphasis is on experiential learning, with students practicing self-reflection and self-directed facilitations. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

Learning Technologies (HRD 472) The course addresses two important needs of educators. First, educators should be aware of recent developments in the area of instructional technology. Second, educators must be able to select, develop, and effectively use appropriate instructional technologies to enhance learning and communication. To meet these needs, this course covers a wide range of instructional technologies that are used for instructional and administrative purposes. Traditional instructional media are considered in the course although significant emphasis is placed on more recent developments that involve the use of the computer and its applications in education. Instructional technologies such as computer-based instruction, computer-based testing, distance learning, interactive video, and intelligent instructional technologies are covered. Through course readings, discussions, and projects, students in the course are expected to gain skills in choosing appropriate instructional technologies, designing effective presentations that rely on those technologies, and properly using instructional technologies to enhance communication with an audience. Same as CI 484. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

Project Management for HRD (HRD 475) Effective project management skills are essential for successful professional development. This course, in particular, studies the basic principles, techniques, and best practices related to managing personnel, time, and resources in education and training projects. Through a variety of learning activities, including case study review and project simulation, students will apply project management concepts and tools in various training and education-related project development. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

Program Evaluation (HRD 585) Theory and techniques of evaluation in cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains at different educational levels and settings; development and analysis of activities and instruments for students and program evaluation, follow-up studies, and interpretation of results for self-evaluation and for administrative decision making.

Huang, Wenhao David

Associate Professor, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership



344 Education Building
1310 S. Sixth St.
Champaign, IL 61820

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