Congratulations, Dr. Fong on Div 15 Early Career Grant!

Recently, MERG alum Carlton Fong received the APA Division 15 Educational Psychology Early Career Grant for his meta-analytic work on community college students and psychosocial variables. Congratulations!

New article by Patall & Leach in Contemporary Educational Psychology

Erika Patall and MERG alum Jennifer Leach recently published an article entitled “The Role of Choice Provision in Academic Dishonesty” in Contemporary Educational Psychology. Here are the article highlights:

• Two experiments tested the effect of choice provision on cheating outcomes.

• Results confirmed that choice mitigates performance misreporting.

• Choice provided similar psychological benefits to having the opportunity to cheat.

• Choice affects anticipated cheating outcomes through opposing pathways.

• Choice effects operate via perceived competence/control and cheating opportunity.

See the article here.

Erika Patall wins AERA 2015 Division C Early Career Award!!!

At the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Education Research Association in Chicago, IL, AERA Division C (Learning and Instruction) presented the Early Career Award to our very own Erika Patall! We are thrilled to have our advisor and lab manager win this prestigious award and accomplishment! Well-deserved!


We are so proud! Hook ‘Em!


Ariana wins COE Graduate Student Award

This spring, Ariana Vasquez was awarded a UT College of Education Graduate Student award for her research titled “Parental Control, Academic Achievement and Psychosocial Functioning: A Meta-Analysis of Research.” Read more about the award and her research here. Congratulations!


Patall in the New York Times

Dr. Erika Patall writes “Help Children Form Good Study Habits” in the New York Times in a debate titled “Whose Work is Homework?” Read the entire piece here.

Two new meta-anlyses published by MERG alumni and members

Two new meta-analyses have recently been published, first-authored by MERG alumni, Dr. Bridget Kiger Lee and Dr. Carlton J. Fong. In Review of Educational Research, Dr. Lee, Dr. Patall, Dr. Cawthon, and Rebecca Steingut conducted a meta-analysis on the effectiveness of drama-based instruction on student outcomes. In The Journal of Positive Psychology, Dr. Fong, Dr. Zaleski, and Dr. Leach conducted a meta-analytic investigation on the antecedents of flow, with a particular emphasis on the challenge-skill balance. Find out more about these articles below!

The Effect of Drama-Based Pedagogy on PreK-16 Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis of Research from 1985 to 2012 (click here for full article).

The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities report heartily supported arts integration. However, the President’s Committee called for a better understanding of the dimensions of quality and best practices. One promising arts integration method is drama-based pedagogy (DBP). A comprehensive search of the literature revealed 47 quasi-experimental DBP intervention studies conducted since 1985. The literature showed that designs were generally weak for making causal inferences and that outcomes other than achievement were infrequently studied. A meta-analysis of this research suggested that DBP has a positive, significant impact on achievement outcomes in educational settings. Effects were strongest when the intervention (a) was led by a classroom teacher or researcher rather than a teaching artist, (b) included more than five lessons, and (c) was integrated into English language arts or science curriculum compared to other domains. Positive effects across psychological and social outcomes were found. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.

The Challenge-Skill Balance and Antecedents of Flow: A Meta-analytic Investigation (click here for full article).

Flow is an intrinsically motivating state of consciousness characterized by simultaneous perception of high challenge and skill. The position that challenge–skill balance is the primary antecedent for achieving a flow state is unclear, and more research is needed to examine its impact on flow within multiple domains. Therefore, a meta-analysis was conducted on 28 studies examining the challenge–skill balance related to flow and intrinsic motivation in a variety of contexts. The results indicated that the relationship between challenge–skill balance and flow was moderate, and smaller with intrinsic motivation. Moderator analyses revealed weaker correlations when individuals were from an individualistic culture, in work or education contexts, using experience sampling method, and self-reporting state flow vs. trait. Compared to other theorized antecedents, challenge–skill balance was a robust contributor to flow along with clear goals and sense of control.

Patall’s Op Ed in the Austin American-Statesman

Dr. Patall’s research on homework was recently featured in the Austin American-Statesman:

There’s an old joke about homework. A teacher says to a student, “How do you like doing your homework?” The student responds, “I like doing nothing better.”

With the novelty of the new school year now behind us, it goes without saying that kids would rather be doing just about anything other than homework. Every fall, the same debates persist: Is homework even effective? How much is best? In what ways should parents be involved? But the problem with homework does not revolve around these questions. The problem with homework is motivation, or the lack thereof, because the major challenge for making homework an effective tool for learning is that even nothing often seems better.

Read the full article here.


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