About the Lab

How do we learn and how, as a consequence, should we teach? The PSI Lab investigates how instructional design relates to learning (helping learners construct knowledge), metacognition (helping learners monitor progress toward learning goals), motivation (helping learners engage in the deep processes of learning), problem solving (helping learners use their knowledge in productive ways), and scientific reasoning (helping learners make appropriate judgments and inferences based on evidence). We primarily study these processes in college students, both in the lab and in the classroom.

Recent Conference Presentations with Student Authors

Liu, S., & Pilegard, C. (2023). Pretraining based on causal structure improves learning from a multimedia lesson. Paper presented to the 104th Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.

Kamura, S. K., & Pilegard, C. (2022). Lapses in lesson coherence cause students’ minds to wander. Poster presented at 63rd Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Boston, MA.

Pilegard, C., Santiago, R. E., Zhang, D., & Nguyen, N. (2022). Video introductions from scientists to help students see what’s behind the research. Talk presented at the Society for the Teaching of Psychology’s 21st Annual Conference on Teaching, Pittsburgh, PA.

Washington, S. & Pilegard, C. (2022). Can the testing effect reduce the negative influence of stereotype threat on learning? Poster presented at the 102nd Western Psychological Association Convention, Portland, OR.

Liu, Y., Goldschmidt, A., Gomatam, K., & Pilegard, C. (2021). Learning with electronic devices: The effect of taking tablet-based and longhand notes on academic performance. Poster presented at 62nd Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society.


Pilegard, C., & Fiorella, L. (2021). Using gestures to signal lesson structure and foster meaningful learning. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 35(5), 1362-1369. 📄

Fiorella, L., & Pilegard, C. (2021). Effects of generating written explanations on restudying and learning. Educational Psychology, 41(1), 45-62. 📄

Pilegard, C. & Mayer, R. E. (2018). Game over for Tetris as a platform for cognitive skill training. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 54, 29-41. 📄

Pilegard, C. & Fiorella, L. (2016). Helping students help themselves: Generative learning strategies improve middle school students’ self-regulation in a cognitive tutor. Computers in Human Behavior, 65, 121-126. 📄

Adams, D. M., Pilegard, C., & Mayer, R. E. (2016). Evaluating the cognitive consequences of playing Portal for a short duration. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 54, 173-195. 📄

Pilegard, C. & Mayer, R. E. (2016). Improving academic learning from computer-based narrative games. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 44-45, 12-20. 📄

Pilegard, C. & Mayer, R. E. (2015). Within-subject and between-subject conceptions of metacomprehension accuracy. Learning and Individual Differences, 41, 54-61. 📄

Pilegard, C. & Mayer, R. E. (2015). Adding judgments of understanding to the metacognitive toolbox. Learning and Individual Differences, 41, 62-72. 📄

Mayer, R. E. & Pilegard, C. (2014). Principles for managing essential processing in multimedia learning: Segmenting, pre-training, and modality principles. In R. E. Mayer (Ed.), Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (2nd ed., pp. 316-344). New York: Cambridge University Press.