Anna Cianciolo, PhD

Editor in Chief, Teaching and Learning in Medicine, Associate Professor, Department of Medical Education

    About me

    Research Interests & Projects

    Dr. Cianciolo's research focuses on understanding and improving the performance of individuals, teams, and groups as they seek to solve the complex problems of academic health care, including diagnosis, collaborative learning, and clinical teaching and supervision. She takes a design- and performance-oriented approach to education, focusing on identifying the behaviors that enable people to effectively select, adapt to, or shape their practice environment and achieve successful outcomes. Through this work, she seeks to specify performance objectives and assessment criteria that promote transfer of learning across environments that share common features.

    • Adult professional learning, particularly mechanisms of situated learning within clinical practice.
    • Technology-mediated practice and teaching.
    • Performance-based assessment, particularly of clinical learning and socialization, leadership, interprofessional collaboration, and computer-supported cooperative work.
    • Scholarly educational program evaluation.
    • Research methodology and multivariate statistical analysis.

    Teaching Interests & Activities

    • Clinical learner assessment and feedback
    • Performance-oriented instruction and assessment
    • Problem-based learning/Small-group instruction
    • Publishing educational inquiry
    • Research design and methodology
    • Statistics
    • Leadership



    Education & training

    Undergraduate Degree
    Postdoctoral Associate, 2001-3, Yale University
    Ph.D. 2001 Georgia Institute of Technology Engineering Psychology
    M.A. 1997 University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Cognitive & Biological Psychology
    B.A. 1995 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Psychology


    Journal Publications

      • Cianciolo, A. T., Kidd, B., & Murray, S. (in press). Observational analysis of near-peer faculty tutoring in problem-based learning groups. Medical Education.
      • Klamen, D. L., Williams, R. G., Roberts, N. K., & Cianciolo, A. T. (2016). Competencies, milestones, and EPAs: Are those who ignore the past condemned to repeat it? Medical Teacher; online first publication.
      • Emke, A. R., Cheng, S., Dufault, C., Cianciolo, A. T., Musick, D., Richards, B., & Violato, C. (2015). Conversation starter: Developing professionalism via multi-source feedback in team-based learning. Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 27(4), 362-365.
      • Kost, A., Combs, H., Smith, S., Klein, E., Kritek, P., Robins, L., Cianciolo, A. T., Butani, L., Gigante, J., & Ramani, S. (2015). Conversation starter: A proposed conceptual framework and investigation of upward feedback receptivity in medical education. Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 27(4), 359-361.
      • Rougas, S., Clyne, B., Cianciolo, A. T., Chan T. M., Sherbino, J., & Yarris, L. M. (2015). Conversation starter: An extended validity argument for assessing feedback culture. Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 27(4), 355-358.
      • West, C., Landry, K., Graham, A., Graham, L., Cianciolo, A. T., Kalet, A., Rosen, M., & Sherman, D. W. (2015). Conversation starter: Conceptualizing interprofessional teams as multi-team systems - Implications for assessment and training. Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 27(4), 366-369.
      • Cianciolo, A. T. (2014). Deciding what to teach health professionals: a human-centered systems engineering perspective. Medical Education, 48, 1150-56.
      • Sims, J., Altheimer, A., Kidd, B., McNeely, C., Ryan, D., Adams, C., & Cianciolo, A. T. (2014). What is medical education? Assessing The Oxford Textbook of Medical Education. Teaching & Learning in Medicine, 26(4), 428-30.
      • Colliver, J. A., & Cianciolo, A. T. (2014). When is enough, enough? Judging the sufficiency of evidence in medical education. Medical Education, 48, 740-741.
      • Williams, R. G., Klamen, D. L., Markwell, S. J., Cianciolo, A. T., Colliver, J. A., & Verhulst, S. J. (2014). Variations in senior medical student diagnostic justification ability. Academic Medicine, 89(5), 790-798.
      • Cianciolo, A. T., Eva, K. W., & Colliver, J. A. (2013). Theory development and application in medical education. Teaching & Learning in Medicine, 25(Suppl), S75-S80.
      • Cianciolo, A. T., & Kegg, J. A. (2013). Behavioral specification of the entrustment process. Journal of Graduate Medical Education, March, 10-12.
      • Cianciolo, A. T., Williams, R.G., Klamen, D. L., & Roberts, N. K. (2013). Biomedical knowledge, clinical cognition, and diagnostic justification: A structural equation model. Medical Education, 47(3), 309-316.
      • Cianciolo, A. T., & Lower, T. (2012). Implementing a student-centered fourth year curriculum: initial findings. Medical Education, 46, 1107-1108.


      • Cianciolo, A. T., & Sternberg, R. J. (2004). Intelligence: A brief history. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
      • Antonakis, J., Cianciolo, A. T., & Sternberg, R. J. (Eds.). (2004). The nature of leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Book Chapters

      • Cianciolo, A. T., & Sternberg, R. J. (forthcoming). Practical intelligence and tacit knowledge: A prototype view of expertise. To appear in: K.A. Ericsson, R. Hoffman, A. Kozbelt, & M. Williams (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook on Expertise and Expert Performance, 2nd Edition.
      • Cianciolo, A. T. (2014). Intelligence: history and controversies. In D. Phillips (Ed.), Encyclopedia of education theory & philosophy (pp. 417-421). Sage.
      • Cianciolo, A. T., & Evans, K. M. (2013). Distributed communities of practice. In J. Lee & A. Kirlik (Eds.), Oxford handbook of cognitive engineering (pp. 610-621). New York: Oxford University Press.
      • Cianciolo, A. T., Evans, K. M., DeCostanza, A., & Pierce, L. (2011). Trust in distributed operations. In N. A. Stanton (Ed.), Trust in military teams (pp.89-106). Surrey: Ashgate.
      • Cianciolo, A. T., Matthew, C., Wagner, R. K., & Sternberg, R. J. (2006). Tacit knowledge, practical intelligence, and expertise. In K. A. Ericsson, N. Charness, P. Feltovich, & R. Hoffman (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance (pp. 613-632). New York: Cambridge University Press.
      • Cianciolo, A. T., Antonakis, J., & Sternberg, R. J. (2004). Practical intelligence and leadership: Using experience as a “mentor”. In D. V. Day, S. Zaccaro, & S. Halpin (Eds.), Leader development for transforming organizations – Growing leaders for tomorrow (pp. 211-236). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.


    • Cianciolo, A. T. (P.I. – Subcontract) Advanced Assessment to Accelerate Diagnostic Skill Acquisition. National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), National Institutes of Health. (Prime contractor – Parallel Consulting, LLC). Funded, $144,721. April 2014 – March 2015.
    • Cianciolo, A. T. (PI), & Roberts, N. K. (Co-PI). An Integrative, Multi-Disciplinary Review of Small-Group Collaborative Learning. Society of Directors of Research in Medical Education. Funded, $4000. November 2011 – October 2013.
    • Cianciolo, A. T. (P.I. – Subcontract). Information and Decision Dynamics in Network Centric Environments. U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command. (Prime contractor – Aptima, Inc.). Funded, $9,990. June 2011 – November 2011.