Jason A. Chen is an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at the William & Mary School of Education. The questions that drive his research have to do with the variety of ways that innovative technologies can be used as a tool for motivation and engagement. Rather than assuming that technology is inherently motivating for students (it's not!), Jason is interested in understanding the types of technologies that can be used to support students' developing interests in science, and their confidence in being able to succeed in STEM fields.
Recently, with the help of a National Science Foundation grant, Jason has begun to explore the affordances of using mixed-reality virtual environments in combination with intensive training to teach university faculty how to disrupt pernicious implicit biases that impede efforts to diversify our STEM classrooms and fields of study.
Jason earned his Ph.D. from Emory University in 2010, and then accepted a postdoctoral research fellowship at Harvard University from 2010-2012. In 2012, he earned the Early Career Award from the American Psychological Association in Educational Psychology. This award helped Jason begin research exploring ways that 3D immersive virtual worlds can be used to assess students' motivation and beliefs about the nature of science within an inquiry-oriented activity.
Ph.D. in Educational Studies (Educational Psychology specialization), Emory University, 2010
M.A.T. in Secondary Science Education, Emory University, 2004
B.S. in Biology, Emory University, 1999
Activities and Honors
GEODES: GEOscience Diversity Experiential Simulations. National Science Foundation, Geoscience Opportunities for Leadership in Diversity (GOLD), 2017 to 2019 ($399,966). Principal Investigator. Funded.
Center for Innovation in Learning Design, Fellow, William & Mary, 2016.
Assessing students' beliefs using virtual environments. American Psychological Association, Division 15 Early Career Award, 2012-2014 ($7,500). Principal Investigator. Funded.
Guest Co-Editor, Special Issue on Implicit Theories, Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 2016-2017
Editorial Board, Contemporary Educational Psychology, Winter 2014 – Present.
Chen, J. A., Tutwiler, M. S., Metcalf, S. J., Kamarainen, A. M., Grotzer, T. A., Dede, C. J. (2016). A multi-user virtual environment to support students' self-efficacy and interest in science: A latent growth model analysis. Learning and Instruction, 41, 11-22. doi: 10.1016/j.learninstruc.2015.09.007
Chen, J. A., & Barger, M. M. (2016). Epistemic cognition and motivation. In J. A. Greene, W. A. Sandoval, & I. Braten (Eds.), Handbook of epistemic cognition (pp. 425-438). New York, NY: Routledge.
Chen, J. A., Morris, D. B., & Mansour, N. (2015). Science teachers' beliefs: Perceptions of efficacy and the nature of scientific knowledge and knowing. In H. Fives & M. Gill (Eds.), International handbook of teacher beliefs (pp. 370-386). New York: Routledge.
Chen, J. A., & Metcalf, S. J., Tutwiler, M. S. (2014). Motivation and beliefs about the nature of scientific knowledge within an immersive virtual ecosystems environment. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 39, 112-123.
Chen, J. A., & Usher, E. L. (2013). Profiles of the sources of self-efficacy among middle and high school science students. Learning and Individual Differences, 24, 11-21.
Chen, J. A., Zap, N., & Dede, C. (2013). Using virtual environments to motivate students to pursue STEM careers: An expectancy-value model. In S. D'Agustino (Ed.), Immersive environments, augmented realities, and virtual worlds: Assessing future trends in education (pp. 42-56). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
Chen, J. A. (2012). Implicit theories of ability, epistemic beliefs, and science motivation: A person-centered approach. Learning and Individual Differences, 22, 724-735.
Chen, J. A., & Pajares, F. (2010). Implicit theories of ability of Grade 6 science students: Relation to epistemological beliefs and academic motivation and achievement in science. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 35, 75-87.