Educational Psychology

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Research lab: Martin Van Boekel


Research in this lab focuses on the conditions that support or interfere with learning. A statement that is intentionally vague and wide open because I have many research interests. In the Research Lab we examine factors such as the:

  • physical and social context
  • learner’s prior knowledge (both flawed and correct)
  • academic feedback received by the student
  • strategies used to teach students


There are several active projects outlined below.

Academic Feedback: Investigating the factors that impact a learner’s ability to take in and use feedback

This program of research is investigating:

  • Presentation and type of feedback (normative, self-referential, etc.)
  • Impact of negative feedback on working memory and emotions, and interventions to mitigate these negative effects
  • The association between various social emotional factors and feedback uptake and receptivity

Prior Knowledge: How does experiencing hindsight bias (“I knew it all along”) influence learning?

More specifically, research in this space addresses the following questions:

  • What factors mitigate hindsight bias?
  • Why do we experience hindsight bias?

Memory Strategies: Implementing lessons learned from cognitive psychology in the classroom

Within this area of study concepts from cognitive psychology are used in authentic classroom situations to examine their impact on student learning. For example:

  • Can strategies such as Teaching for Learning and the Testing Effect be employed to support the revision of prevalent educational misconceptions?
  • Can Contrasting Cases be used to support students self-assessment of their assignments?

"My research interests involve investigating the factors that facilitate and impede student learning. Factors including our prior knowledge, the feedback we receive, the strategies used to deliver the content, and the conditions we find ourselves in when we are learning."

Martin Van Boekel headshot

Martin Van Boekel

Research Group

Ashley Hufnagle headshot

Ashley HufnaglePhD graduate student, psychological foundations of education

Ashley is interested in improving our understanding of students’ psychological processes (social, cognitive, and affective, as well as how they work in tandem) in authentic learning contexts. She wants to use this knowledge to inform pedagogy, develop data-drive interventions, and improve social/environmental supports to promote student engagement, resilience, and well-being.

Shelby Weisen headshot

Shelby Weisen MA graduate student, psychological foundations of education

Shelby’s research focuses on the intersection between social and educational elements of psychology with specific interest in collaborative learning, academic feedback, and intercultural competence in undergraduate classrooms. With aims of becoming a professor someday, Shelby aspires to complete research projects that will give her future students a better classroom experience.