I have only been at WVU for about a year, but working with students at WVU has been very fulfilling.
“Educational psychology, and the learning sciences more broadly, are learning and learner centered,” he says. “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,” he says, “but working with students at WVU has been very fulfilling.”
At each step of the way, I’ve been fortunate to have worked with mentors who have ‘pushed’ me to develop my interests and work forward in meaningful ways.
Pedagogical Changes on the Horizon
Given the challenges imposed by the pandemic, I would envision continued and increased use of more flexible pedagogical methods, including HyFlex and refinements to more traditional notions of hybrid teaching.
About His Students
It has been a privilege to work with students who are so hard-working, grounded, and conscientious.
He has several projects underway, but one involves understanding how West Virginia P-12 educators construe and support learners’ self-regulation skills.
What work or publication are you most proud of?
Generally, I tend to be most proud of work that is based on meaningful collaboration and that brings together scholars (including myself) from different research areas.
Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens.