College of Education and Human Services
“Educational psychology, and the learning sciences more broadly, are learning and learner centered. They’re grounded in the use of diverse, but rigorous, methods for understanding and improving learning and instructional processes.
“It is a discipline that positions you well to conduct a range of different, but integrated, ‘kinds’ of research, and to work collaboratively with folks from a range of backgrounds, disciplines, and traditions.”
Jake says students would like this field if they are interested in better understanding and supporting teaching and learning as it happens in authentic contexts. Students should be open to and interested in things like evaluation and research methods, since inquiry permeates the work being done in the field.
“Consider reaching out to faculty in the field and try to get involved in their research projects. See if you like the types of problems that are addressed or the questions attempting to be answered.”
One of his many research projects involves developing and validating learning-centered measures of students’ executive functions – skills that are involved in goal-driven behavior and that help students use and monitor strategies to best support their learning.
Another project involves implementing brief, targeted interventions designed to improve students’ monitoring of their comprehension during science text learning.
“I have only been at WVU for about a year, but working with students at WVU has been very fulfilling.”