College of Education and Human Development

Department of Educational Psychology

Research lab: Martin Van Boekel


Our lab’s research goal is very broad: to gain a better understanding of what supports or gets in the way of student learning. This statement is intentionally vague because our lab has many
research interests. Right now, our primary focus is on academic feedback, and developing student and teachers’ feedback literacy. We are doing this by investigating the cognitive and social factors surrounding the feedback process.


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
  • What are students doing as they are processing their feedback, and how do different types of feedback influence their response to the information as they are reading it?
  • How do students and teachers think about feedback? How do these thoughts change across development?

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 Contrasting Cases be used to support students' self-assessment of their assignments?
  • What are students remembering from the feedback they receive (spoiler: it isn't very much) and are there strategies that can be employed to improve memory for feedback (drawing on things like testing effect, goal setting)?


Interventions: Enhancing students' and teachers' feedback literacy

We have been deliberate when thinking about our work in feedback to draw heavily on the amazing international research that is happening in this space. When working in schools, we also work directly with teachers and administrators to understand their needs and involve them in the research process.

  • Feedback literacy in schools: Can an intervention aimed at boosting students' understanding of feedback impact their use and perceptions of the feedback process?
  • Wise feedback: Not all students trust the feedback process. Can how we frame feedback impact how students feel about the whole process?

Quote from Martin Van Boekel

Martin Van Boekel

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.

Research group

Hannah Lundquist

Hannah Lundquist

Pronouns: She/They

Hannah is a current undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota majoring in English and double minoring in American Indian Studies and Applied Psychology in Educational and Community Settings. They are interested in how various feedback experiences connect with emotions felt by students and instructors, as well as how student-instructor relationships and interactions affect students’ performance in the classroom. Other areas of interest include higher education, specifically identity in higher education as well as intercultural competence and communication. Hannah hopes to pursue graduate studies in Higher Education following graduation and be a professor in the future!

Chris Steadman

PhD graduate student, psychological foundations of education

Chris’ research focuses on the interplay between learning and memory, and he is specifically interested in the “bright side of forgetting” or how we direct our forgetting process from both a neurological and behavioral perspective. Increasing our knowledge of this phenomenon allows us to better understand how we learn and remember relevant information, which is key to academic success. With this information, we can improve students' memory of course content and help them become better learners.

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 life.