Sunday, September 15, 2013

Dr. David Dai Gives Talk at RPI

On Wednesday September 11, 2013 our department’s Dr. Dai gave a talk as part of the Cognitive Science Colloquium at RPI entitled “When Expert Knowledge Is Not Enough:  From Low Roads to High Roads.”  He talked about the nature of expertise and how the current expert-novice comparison paradigm has limitations.  Instead of viewing expertise as between subjects (i.e. what novices don't have vs. what experts do have) we should think of it also as within subjects (i.e. how experts act in different situations).  Expertise isn't static.  Dr. Dai argues that in order to become a "super-expert" one must be adaptive.  The flexibility of adaptive expertise provides a conceptual advantage due to a variety of exogenous and endogenous factors.  For example, people are faced with a continuum of problems ranging from high regularities to high irregularities, high probability and low probability events, and time pressure--exogenous factors.  They also are affected by the set effect (once something is established it frames our thinking), foreclosure of a problem space (you think there's only 1 pathway when there really are multiple), and bounded rationality and cognitive uncertainty--all endogenous factors.  Adaptive expertise is "slow" and based on controlled processes, self-correction and optimization.  In comparison, routine expertise is "fast," based on well-structuredness of a domain and proceduralized knowledge.  We must find a balance in managing this efficiency (routine expertise)  vs. flexibility (adaptive expertise) trade off.  Dr. Dai then discussed several research ideas on how to use the game of "Go" as a venue for studying adaptive expertise based on previous research by Chase and Simon (1973), Reitman (1976) and Hu (2011).  The proposed designs included priming patterns, eye-movement tracking and think alouds, within subjects (simple vs. complex, time limited vs. time unlimited) and between subjects (skill level) comparisons, and presenting a series of typical and "atypical" positions while measuring event-related potentials and duration of deliberation to detect anomalies and find out what makes experts pause and think.  By studying how people play and make decisions in this game, we can begin to see how adaptive expertise works.  This line of research may ultimately help us understand the nature of expertise as a situated and dynamic interplay of representation and reasoning, of fast pattern-based recognition and intuitions and slow analytic thinking and meta-level control, of knowledge encapsulation and functional flexibility, and of developed expertise and fluid intelligence.  

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Welcome Back!

On August 28, 2013 the Educational Psychology and Methodology Division held its welcome (back) orientation.  New students, returning students, and faculty members officially gathered for the first time of the 2013-2014 academic year.  We had a great time getting to know the new students and hearing updates from everyone returning.  There were snacks, team building exercises, review of events from last semester and we held elections for the Ed Psych RGSO officer positions.  That being said...congratulations to the newly elected 2013-2014 RGSO officers:

President: Hirah Mir 
VP: Chris Valle 
Secretary: Julie Slichko 
Treasurer: Justin Chase
Representatives: Yue (Vicki) Lu and David Bogin

Social Web Master: Holly Meredith
Community Service Chair:  Jessica Lamendola
Listserv Manager: Diana Akhmedjanova

Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations and voted! We have already held our first RGSO meeting and have started planning for the semester.  It's going to be a great one!  Stay tuned for announcements of events!  Until then, here are pictures from the orientation on 8/28:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Announcements for the Upcoming Fall 2013 Semester!

Hello all!  Summer is coming to an end and as we prepare for the upcoming Fall 2013 semester there are a few announcements!

First of all -- we've changed our name!  The university-wide graduate student organization (GSO) is now called the Graduate Student Association (GSA) so we have followed suit and have been officially renamed the Educational Psychology and Methodology Recognized Graduate Student Association (RGSA).  However!  We are not going back and changing everything that used to say RGSO to RGSA and it will probably take time for some of us to get used to the new name and still use the old name.  So just don't be confused if you see it referred to one way over the other....they are the same thing.

Second -- we are holding elections for our 2013-2014 eboard members at the Ed Psych division orientation next week (August 28th) which means nominations are now currently open!  To nominate someone please fill out this survey which should take no more than 5 minutes to complete by this Friday 8/23!  All of the positions are described in the survey.  (Note:  additional positions like Social Web Manager, Listserv manager, Community Service Chair, etc. will be discussed at the orientation)

Third -- if you haven't already...check out the events at ITLAL (Institute for Teaching, Learning, and Academic Leadership).  They offer some really great classes/seminars/workshops for graduate teaching assistants and faculty.  Here is a link to their website:  ITLAL.  I just recently attended a great workshop on how to incorporate Blackboard into your classroom and there are others coming up that will be very helpful and informative so check out the website and events.  I highly encourage you all to use ITLAL as a resource!

Classes begin Monday August 26th!  Can't wait to see everyone on campus!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Loyola's School of Education Dean Joshua Smith Returns to Alma Matter To Speak

After completing his Bachelor's, Master's, and PhD at the University at Albany, Joshua Smith has moved up in the world of academia and is now Dean of Education at Loyola University.  As a graduate from the Educational Psychology and Methodology program we were very excited that he could take time out of his busy schedule to return to UAlbany as a guest speaker at our Poster Session (see previous post).  It was great to see that an alumnus from our program has been so successful and comes back to the department events to impart his knowledge, experiences, and advice to the rest of us.  He spoke about the process of getting a job in academia from the very basics (e.g. how to build up a CV, ask for letters of recommendation and write a cover letter) to how to interview and give research talks and negotiating the position and salary.  It is important to know the institution:  What are their expectations for research?  What is involved in the annual review?  What is the institution's culture and how can I be a part of it?  Other advice:  find mentors (at least 3: 1 at the local level, 1 outside your program, and 1 community-based mentor), go to job talks, visit the campus, go to the campus as early as you can, write every day, tell people when you have writer's block, attend teaching enhancement workshops because they show excellence in teaching, and finally...don't mow your own lawn (aka buy yourself as much time as possible!).  It was priceless advice from someone who used to be one of us - which I'm not sure about anyone else but it definitely has given me hope that there is light at the end of this long PhD tunnel. Dean Smith was very engaging, encouraging, inspiring and we are so thankful he was our guest speaker!  

 Dean Joshua Smith and the Ed Psych RGSO president Angela Lui
Dean Joshua Smith and the Ed Psych department

Sunday, June 16, 2013

12th Annual Educational Psychology & Methodology Student Research Poster Session

Monday May 6, 2013
Thank you to all the students who presented and their faculty mentors - it was a great poster session with lots of meaningful research work on display!  We are proud of our department!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Brown Bag: There Is No 'I' In Measurement, But There Should Be, A call for assessment literacy

On February 20, 2013 Zach Warner gave a presentation as part of our Ed Psych RGSO Brown Bag series.  It's great to see our fellow PhD students stepping up and doing these kinds of presentations for our department, faculty, and undergrads!  Zach is known in our department as being the "testing and measurement" guy and works for the New York State Education Department.  He was entertaining as always during his presentation where he talked about what ed measurement is, who uses it, and the need for a comprehensive assessment system.  This topic isn't just important to psychometricians, test developers, and psychologists.  Teachers, administrators, students, other school personnel and education stakeholders, even employers and parents should know about measurement and assessment.  Zach also talked about designing assessments, assessment driven instruction, and assembling an assessment toolkit (see picture below).  Thank you Zach for coming to speak to us!  It was very informative and engaging.  Any questions for him should be directed to our RGSO president Angela: