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Short Bio

Ryan Watkins, Ph.D. is a Professor at the George Washington University in Washington DC.  Some of his most recent publication include The Art of Knowledge Exchange (World Bank, 2014), available for free online, and A Guide to Assessing Needs: Essential Tools for Collecting Information, Making Decisions, and Achieving Development Results (World Bank, 2012), also available in print and free online. In 2013, A Guide to Assessing Needs was the most read online book available through the World Bank, with more than 57,000 reads.

Ryan is also an author of the world's top-selling text on e-learning (with more than 150,000 copies in press and in its 4th edition), the E-learning Companion: A Learnerís Guide to Online Success (Houghton Mifflin, 2005, 2007; Cengage 2010, 2013), along with other books including the Handbook for Improving Performance in the Workplace - Volume 2 (Pfieffer/Wiley, 2010), Performance By Design: The systematic selection, design, and development of performance technologies (HRD Press, 2006), and 75 E-learning Activities: Making online courses interactive (Pfieffer, 2005).

The Handbook for Improving Performance in the Workplace won a 2011 ISPI Award of Excellence in the field of performance improvement.  In addition, he has co-authored three other books on organizational planning and more than 100 articles on instructional design, strategic planning, needs assessment, distance education, and performance technology. His articles 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 was 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 and the Inter-American Development Bank on applying needs assessment, instructional design, and performance improvement to international assistance programs (including  work in Kenya, Tunisia, China, Mexico, and Laos PRD).


*Citation data provided in "HPT Roots and Branches: Analyzing Over 45 Years of the Fieldís Own Citations." by Linda Huglin (2010, Performance Improvement Quarterly).