People

Co-Directors

Bodong Chen

Associate professor and Bonnie Westby Huebner Chair, Department of Curriculum and Instruction

He designs digital learning environments and pedagogical practices to reimagine learning and education. He also conducts computational research of complex learning processes and designs learning analytics apps for decision-making in education.

Panayiota (Pani) Kendeou

Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Guy Bond Chair in Reading, Department of Educational Psychology

She develops and examines the efficacy of educational technologies to facilitate learning and assessment of processes and outcomes at scale. She is also exploring new approaches to reducing the impact of misinformation and developing digital media literacy.

Core Faculty

David DeLiema

Assistant Professor,
Department of Educational Psychology

He studies how productive failure, play-based activities, embodied cognition, and epistemic cognition shape learning. His research examines cognitive and psychological processes within the context of social interaction, and often takes place within technology-rich settings.

Keisha Varma

Associate Vice Provost, Office for Equity and Diversity
Associate Professor, Department of Educational Psychology

She works at the intersection of educational psychology, cognitive development, and the learning sciences, exploring ways to leverage technology to create connected learning experiences for middle school students. She also investigates innovative ways to support students’ scientific reasoning and critical thinking.

Affiliate Faculty

Jeffrey K. Bye

Lecturer, Department of Educational Psychology
Research Associate,
Research Methodology Consulting Center

He blends cognitive and learning science approaches to understanding how people learn and think about math, data, and programming. He is particularly interested in student learning of algebra and helping students to connect their intuitive thinking to abstract concepts.

Joseph A. Konstan

Distinguished McKnight Professor and Distinguished University Teaching Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Associate Dean for Research,
College of Science and Engineering

His research addresses human-computer interaction issues, including personalizing the learning experience, on-line community information systems, computer systems to improve health, and ethics of online research.

Meixi

Assistant Professor,
Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development

She/they designs learning at the edges of school, families, and lands towards Indigenous futures across Thailand, México and most recently Mní Sota Makoce. Meixi studies how land-based stories, Indigneous mobilities, and original and digital technologies can support human learning, becoming, and collective wellbeing alongside the rest of the living world.

Cassandra Scharber

Associate Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction

She is committed to community-engaged projects and scholarship with local school districts, and serves as a lead for CSforAll-MN, Minnesota’s chapter of the Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) alliance that supports K-12 computer science education. Her research spans the areas of technology integration, digital literacies, and computational thinking.

Xiaoran Sun

Assistant Professor, Department of Family Social Science

She is interested in how the integration of different data types and methodological advances can further our understanding of family systems and adolescent development situated in larger social ecologies—including sociocultural and digital contexts. Specifically, she uses high-intensity smartphone data to study how digital technology may impact family dynamics and adolescent development, and leverages machine learning methods to make long-term predictions of adolescents’ future achievement outcomes based on their early experiences.

Sashank Varma

Professor, School of Interactive Computing
School of Psychology, Georgia Tech

He is a co-founder and affiliate faculty member of the Learning Informatics Lab. His research ranges from scientific studies of mathematical and computational thinking to investigations of student learning at scale.

Andrew Zieffler

Senior Lecturer, Department of Educational Psychology

He designs curricular materials to engage teachers and students in the content of and data science. He also studies how students and teachers engage with these materials in order to better understand how to support the learning process.

Post-doctoral Associates

His research focuses on the cognitive influences of video game play. Craig’s dissertation explored how players of a notoriously challenging video game, Cuphead, conceptualize and react to failure. Currently, he works on the Playful Problem Solving Project, investigating how young players solve problems in the puzzle game Baba is You.

She is interested in studying individuals’ learning and social-emotional behaviors in virtual space within the local community and macro-level policy contexts. Her research interest is linked with methodological studies of hierarchical linear modeling, social network analysis, sensitivity analysis, and text analysis.

She is interested in school effectiveness and improvement for whole child development in K-12 education, with a focus on the issues of educational equity. Her current research aims to identify a safe, supportive but challenged family-school-neighborhood model to nurture children’s balanced development through quantitative research methods.

Students

His research interests are centered around middle school science education, culturally responsive teaching, learning by argumentation, and discourse-centric learning analytics.

His current research interests include the investigation of problem solving processes and play-based learning. To this end, he is interested in utilizing different methodologies–such as eye-tracking–to help unveil what people are thinking throughout the learning process.

Her research interests include learning through interaction in an augmented reality/virtual reality learning environment and multimodal learning analytics.

Ali Fulsher

Administrative Support
PhD Student, Department of Educational Psychology, Psych Foundations

She is interested in the cognitive processes of learning in formal and informal contexts. She is committed to developing effective ways to minimize misconceptions during learning and debunking mis/disinformation.

She is interested in the intersection of informal education design and learners’ unfolding experiences. Her research primarily focuses on learning in museum spaces, particularly makerspaces and exhibitions with minimal or no educator facilitation.

She is interested in how students learn and revise beliefs, and in particular the roles of source and justification or explanation quality in these processes.

As a science teacher and researcher, he has taken a special interest in research surrounding playful learning and productive failure. He aims to identify and embody teaching and learning practices that result in heightened motivation and promote meaningful learning that can apply directly to the classroom

She is interested in how cognitive, affective, and social processes work in tandem in naturalistic learning contexts. Her current line of research examines how teachers and parents help children co-regulate their emotions during challenging learning situations to sustain long-term motivation. She wants to use this knowledge, alongside practitioners, to promote student engagement, resilience, and well-being. 

His research interests are in personalized learning and human-AI partnership. His current work focuses on using computational methods to investigate and support goal-based learning, problem-solving, and information-seeking behavior.

She is interested in investigating the contexts of knowledge revision and the reduction of misinformation. She also studies effective science communication, with a focus on how perceptions of source credibility drive views of science and scientific information.

She is interested in how people comprehend and learn from texts, individually and in groups. Her research also focuses on how texts can be used to facilitate knowledge revision and transfer of knowledge.

Her research interests include Her research interests lie in the online collaborative learning and the alignment between learning design and learning analytics. Her current research focuses on the design/development of scaffolding tools to facilitate social annotation activities.

Her research interests include the investigation of scientific reasoning skills, spatial reasoning skills, and problem solving processes. Her research examines ways in which these processes develop through engagement in play-based activities.

Her research interests include computer-supported collaborative learning, learning analytics, network analysis, and design based research. She’s also investigating the ways in which big data informs pedagogical decisions in terms of techniques and ethics