Skip Navigation

Welcome to Pepperdine University

Faculty Directory

Photo of Linda G. Polin, Ph.D.

Linda G. Polin, Ph.D.
Professor and Davidson Endowed Professor

Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles; M.A., University of California, Los Angeles; B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara

Dr. Linda Polin is the Davidson Professor of Education and Technology in the Education Division of the Graduate School of Education and Psychology. She has served for many years as program chair of the doctoral program in learning technologies. Currently she teaches courses in innovation and change, qualitative research methods, knowledge creation and collaboration, and the imagining futures capstone course. In 2011 she received the Howard White Teaching Award. Her research interests focus on learning and knowledge sharing in networked formal and informal communities, currently focusing on massively multiplayer online game players, and large hobby communities. In 2012 she initiated the Minecraft Challenge League, which works with three middle schools and learning technologies doctoral students to explore computational thinking and problem solving within a constructible virtual world.

Polin consults with school districts, universities, and software developers. She is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (AMC) and faculty sponsor of the Pepperdine GSEP student chapter of ACM. Polin is a member of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Division C Learning and Instruction. She enjoys gardening, networked gaming, constructing with Legos and Arduino, and all things Studio Chibli.

Contact: linda.polin@pepperdine.edu

Selected Works:

  • Polin, L.G. (2003). Learning in dialogue with a practicing community. Chapter 1 in Duffy & Kirkley (eds.) Learner Centered Theory and Practice in Distance Education: Cases from Higher Education. Mawhaw, NJ: LEA.,
  • Riel, M. & Polin, L. (2004). Learning communities: Common ground and critical differences in designing technical environments. Chapter 3 in Barab & Kling (eds.) Designing Virtual Communities in the Service of Learning. NY: Cambridge University Press.,
  • Polin, L. (2007). Teaching the Net Generation. Threshold, Summer. Pp. 13-15, 18-19. [Available at: http://www.ciconline.org/thresholdsummer07].,
  • Polin, L. (2008). Graduate professional education from a community of practice perspective: The role of social and technical networking. Chapter 8 in Kimble & Hildreth (Eds.) Communities of Practice: Creating Learning Environments for Educators. Volume 2. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.,

Selected Links:




Mara Leigh Taylor (MA '03, MA '06) founded Getting Out By Going In after more than five years of volunteer work inside prisons, teaching more than 600 inmates tools for rapid and lasting changes, and recently authored a book titled Women in Prison: Women Finding Freedom.