The present study examines the effectiveness of incorporating worked examples with prompts for self-explanation into a middle school math textbook. Algebra 1 students (N = 75) completed an equation-solving unit with textbooks either containing the original practice problems or in which a portion of those problems were converted into a combination of correct, incorrect, and incomplete examples. Students completed pre- and posttest measures of algebraic feature knowledge, equation-solving skills, and error anticipation. Example-based textbook assignments increased students’ equation-solving skills and their ability to anticipate errors one might make when solving problems. Differences in students’ anticipation of various types of errors are also examined. Error anticipation, a particular form of negative knowledge, is a potentially important skill that relates to algebraic feature knowledge and equation-solving skills.
His research focuses on underrepresented students in STEM and on the motivational challenges and affordances of online environments, including investigating students' perceptions of support, belonging, and anonymity in online courses. McPartlan both designs and evaluates programs that support people's engagement, combining psychological theory, survey measurement expertise, unstructured trace data (e.g., click data), and advanced quantitative modeling in both experimental and quasi-experimental studies.
Reich is a community psychologist studying contexts that support children’s development. Her research focuses on children’s direct and technologically mediated interactions with family, peers, and educational settings. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Society for Community Research and Action. Reich is director of UCI's Development in Social Context Lab (DISC) and Associate Dean of UCI’s Graduate Program.
Research on adolescent texting has largely focused on whether the frequency of texting is associated with well-being. Whether the motives for texting is associated with well-being is not well known. We surveyed 130 young adolescents ( M age = 12.41 years) and identified user-clusters based on their motives for texting. We then examined whether the clusters were associated with phone habits that may affect health and learning (e.g., phone placement when sleeping). Participants were asked how often they texted someone when they were excited, proud, frustrated, angry, anxious, sad, needed help with homework, wanted to make plans, and needed advice [0 (never) to 4 (always)]. Using k-means clustering, we identified six clusters. On one end of the continuum were Frequent-Texters and Positive-Frequent-Texters . Frequent-Texters texted often for all purposes and Positive-Frequent-Texters frequently texted for all purposes except expressing negative emotions. On the other end of the continuum were Selective-Texters and Positive-Selective-Texters . Selective-Texters rarely texted for any reason and Positive-Selective-Texters rarely texted except for expressing positive emotions. In between were the Moderate-Texters and the Positive-Practical-Moderate-Texters . Moderate-Texters texted less frequently than Frequent-Texters and more frequently than Selective-Texters for all purposes. Positive-Practical-Moderate-Texters texted more frequently than Moderate-Texters for positive emotions and for practical reasons. Clusters differed by gender, texting experience, and Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). Frequent-Texters started texting at a marginally younger age than Selective-Texters , had high FOMO scores, and were all girls. Clusters also differed in their phone habits. For instance, when sleeping, Frequent-Texters were more likely than other groups to have their phones on or next to the bed. When doing homework, Selective-Texters were less likely to keep their phones on or near them. Interestingly, Positive-Frequent-Texters were more likely to have the ringer on or to have their phone on vibrate while doing homework, but not more likely to keep their phones nearby. Given that texting is a common communication method, it is important to understand the heterogeneity of reasons why youth text and how those reasons relate to phone habits.
"Press, swipe and read: Do interactive features facilitate engagement and learning with e-Books?"
Reich’s research foci include socio-emotional development, parent-child interactions, peer networks, and social affordances of technology. The bulk of her work explores direct and indirect influences on the child, specifically through the family, online, and school environment. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Society for Community Research and Action. At UCI, Reich is director of the Development in Social Context Lab (DISC) and serves as the associate director of the Ph.D. in Education program. She holds additional appointments in Psychological Science and Informatics.
Young children are introduced to mobile technology at an early age, with many using touchscreens daily. One appeal of touchscreen technology is that it seems to be intuitive for very young children. As a result, many children's e-books are designed for tablets rather than for e-readers or computers. E-books often contain hotspots—interactive areas children can press to receive immediate auditory or visual feedback. This study assessed whether children's (N = 76, aged 3–5 years) interactions with hotspots increased their engagement with reading when using an e-book independently and how such interactions were related to their learning from the story. Our results suggested that interacting with hotspots enhanced children's emotional engagement and sustained visual attention but not verbal engagement. Interacting with hotspots also benefited children's recall of story elements relevant to the hotspot but not their overall comprehension of the story. These findings inform the design and use of touchscreen media in early childhood.
"Veracity in Public Education"
Beliefs may be described as Type A, scientific and verifiable (objective), or Type B, not verifiable and personal (subjective). Type B might be considered subjective opinion, something other than empirically confirmed, objective truth. Nevertheless, Type B is asserted as truth by some and can be valued over Type A. Both kinds of belief are important in special education, and both have advantages and disadvantages. When Type A belief is available, it must be given precedence over Type B for informing and determining public policies and for choosing special education interventions. Unjust treatment of disabilities, including children with exceptionalities, is one predictable consequence of ignoring Type A belief, although it is also possible for injustice to be the result of ignoring Type B.
"Exploring Individual Differences as Predictors of Performance Change During Dual-N-Back Training"
In working memory training studies, individual trajectories are known to vary considerably between participants. A better understanding of how individual differences affect training outcomes is important because it might inform the development of more effective training interventions. This study explored how measures of working memory, intelligence, sustained attention, training motivation, mindset, psychological well-being, perceived stress, and sleep quality affect initial training performance and rate of change. A total of 217 upper secondary students completed 12 weeks of adaptive dual-n-back in a classroom setting. We analyzed their self-reported training data using latent growth curve modeling. We found that working memory and intelligence predicted both, initial training performance and rate of performance change. Sustained attention and sleep quality predicted initial performance, but not the rate of change. Furthermore, we observed that participants who completed the intervention scored significantly higher on measures of working memory and intelligence and reported lower levels of perceived stress and higher levels of sleep quality at baseline compared to dropouts. In general, our study supports the magnification account with higher ability individuals starting out at a higher performance level and showing a higher rate of performance change, and moreover, being more likely to adhere to the training protocol.
"What Matters When? Social and Dimensional Comparisons in the Context of University Major Choice"
In recent research, von Keyserlingk focused on the role of domain specific ability beliefs and interests in secondary school on university major choice in in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). She received her Diploma (equivalent to M.S.) in Psychology at the Technical University Dresden in Germany prior to studying abroad at the University of La Serena in Chile. Subsequently, she moved to Berlin and worked with longitudinal large-scale data at the Leibniz-Institute for Research and Information in Education (DIPF), investigating students’ motivation and self-concepts at the transition from secondary school to higher education while pursuing her Ph.D.
Dicke’s work examines how structural and instructional features of the school environment influence students’ motivational well-being, academic success, career, and life choices in the short- and long-term. Her research focuses on improving the assessment and validation of motivational measures to better understand the nature of the underlying constructs. Dicke received her B.A. in English and American Studies and Psychology from the University of Freiburg, Germany; her M.A. in Psychology from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich; Germany, and her Ph.D. from the Eberhard-Karls-University of Tuebingen, Germany.
Students compare their achievement to different standards in order to evaluate their ability. We built on the theoretical frameworks of situated expectancy-value theory, dimensional comparison theory, and the big-fish-little-pond effect literature to examine the role of social and dimensional comparisons for ability self-concept and subjective task value (STV) in secondary school and university major choice. We used two German longitudinal data sets from different cohorts with data collection in 12th grade and 2 years after high school graduation (Study 1: N = 2,207, Study 2: N = 1,710). Dimensional and social comparisons predicted students’ self-concept and domain-specific STV in school: Individual achievement was positively related to ability self-concept and STV in the corresponding domain and negatively related in the noncorresponding domain. School-level mean achievement was negatively related to ability self-concept and STV in the corresponding domain. Dimensional comparisons were directly related to university major choice, social comparisons were only indirectly related.
Wegemer serves as a Community-Research Fellow with the Orange County Educational Advancement Network (OCEAN). His first-authored manuscripts have been published in leading journals, including Developmental Psychology and Frontiers in Psychology. He holds a B.S. in Applied Physics from Providence College, B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, M.A. in Global and International Studies from UC Santa Barbara, and M.A. in Education from UC Irvine. For his doctoral work, he is specializing in Human Development in Context (HDiC). Distinguished Professor Jacquelynne Eccles serves as his advisor.
Renick's research interests include adolescents’ sense of school belonging, factors that impact positive school climate, and community-engaged research methods. She serves as a Community Research Fellow with the OCEAN project, where she has been working to develop a research-practice partnership with a local middle school and a college access nonprofit. In 2019 she received the Newkirk Fellowship in Community-Based Research to work with the Orange County Environmental Justice (OCEJ) organization and its People for Environmental Justice (PEJ) program. She is the recipient of a 2021 Public Impact Fellowship to facilitate a youth-participatory action research project in partnership with a local middle school. Renick is specializing in Human Development in Context. Professor Stephanie Reich serves as her advisor.
Research-practice partnerships (RPPs) offer promising approaches to improve educational outcomes. Navigating boundaries between contexts is essential for RPP effectiveness, yet much work remains to establish a conceptual framework of boundary spanning in partnerships. Our longitudinal comparative case study draws from our experiences as graduate student boundary spanners in three long-term partnerships to examine boundary spanning roles in RPPs, with particular attention to the ways in which power permeates partnership work. Using qualitative, critically reflexive analysis of meeting artifacts and field notes, we found that our boundary spanning roles varied along five spectrums: institutional focus, task orientation, expertise, partnership disposition, and agency. Our roles were shaped by the organizational, cultural, relational, and historical features of the partnerships and contexts of interaction. We aim to promote the development of effective RPP strategies by leveraging the perspectives and positionality of graduate students in order to advance understanding of boundary spanning roles.
The focus of this study is on changes in the strength of relations among four types of paternal behaviors (supportive presence, respect for autonomy, stimulation, and hostility) from early childhood through middle childhood. Design. Father-child interaction was observed for 718 dyads at four time periods: 54 months (M = 56 months), 1st grade (M = 7.0 years), 3rd grade (M = 9.0 years), and 5th grade (M = 11.0 years) using similar and age-appropriate observational paradigms. The association between paternal supportive presence and respect for autonomy grew stronger with age. Supportive presence showed a moderate relation with stimulation at 54 months; but this association became weaker over time. A similar pattern of weakening association emerged in the relation between respect for autonomy and stimulation. Both supportive presence and respect for autonomy showed a continuing robust negative association with hostility. Finally, the relation between hostility and stimulation became stronger over time. There appears to be an evolving dialectic in the organization of paternal behavior during interactions with offspring, with some relations strengthening and others becoming weaker. Critically, the bonds fathers have with their children in early childhood tend to remain firm through middle childhood, with paternal support less often reflecting itself in directly teaching a child but more often in showing respect for the child’s growing independence.
"Introduction to the Special Section: Prosocial development in risky and vulnerable contexts"
The introduction highlights a developmental perspective on children’s and youth prosocial behavior in risky and vulnerable contexts. The six empirical papers published in this Special Section are considered within a multilevel, multidimensional framework and reflect a diversity of methodological approaches. The studies each provide foundational work that informs theory, builds our knowledge base, and has important intervention implications. We highlight the contributions of each study and present recommendations for future developmental research on prosocial behaviors.
The bulk of her work explores direct and indirect influences on the child, specifically through the family, online, and school environment. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Society for Community Research and Action. At UCI, Reich is director of the Development in Social Context Lab (DISC) and serves as the associate director of the Ph.D. in Education program. She holds additional appointments in Psychological Science and Informatics.
Callaghan is a postdoctoral researcher in Research to Practice Learning Technologies and Infrastructure at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education. Her research interests include digital contributors to academic motivation and engagement, computer games and apps that promote interest in education, game design features that are effective for early childhood to adolescent learning, and methods for testing educational technology. As a doctoral student she specialized Learning, Teaching, Cognition, and Development. Reich served as her advisor.
Feedback is an essential component of children’s learning; yet, how it is provided through the edutainment market for preschoolers is largely understudied. This study examined the prevalence and patterns of different types of positive and negative verbal and non-verbal feedback in 76 digital games produced by three popular US networks. Fifteen types of feedback were distinguished: nine types in response to incorrect actions and six types in response to correct actions. Although most games offered feedback, very few provided the types of feedback known to promote learning. Specifically, games relied on simple non-specific verification to indicate whether players’ actions were right or wrong and missed opportunities to use elaborative and scaffolded feedback to help players understand why an action was correct or incorrect. Additionally, games seldom missed an opportunity to provide positive feedback but often omitted negative feedback. Finally, games used repeated instructions but not positive feedback to motivate game-play. Focusing on a diversity of types of games (from math to art) available on web- and/or mobile platforms, we find a disconnect between design features associated with children’s learning and the actual design of edutainment for young children.