The Advanced Instructional Systems and Technologies research laboratory at the University of Utah is an interdisciplinary research group, housed at the Sorenson Arts and Education Complex. Its research draws from the fields of psychology, education, computer science, and domain-specific subject matters ranging from teacher professional development, natural sciences, and medical education.
The ASSIST lab was founded in 2014 by Eric Poitras.LEARN MORE
Supporting mental and physical health professionals in tasks varying from diagnostic reasoning to motivational interviewing. These training solutions are designed to deliver automated formative feedback through learner modeling and natural language processing.
The mental health strand of research is led by Dr. Zac Imel, Vivek Srikumar, and David Atkins from the University of Utah with funding provided by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health. The medical diagnostic strand is led by Dr. Susanne Lajoie from McGill University, with funding provided by SSHRC.
Fostering self-regulated learning in preservice teachers to design lessons that implement technologies in the classroom with network-based tutors. This tutor authoring framework has led to the development of intelligent web browsing, online lesson plan authoring tools, and voice-activated digital assistants.
Funding for these projects was provided by the University of Utah, non-profit organizations, and SSHRC.
Modeling critical thinking skills in an inquiry-based learning environment called Research Quest. This web-based learning environment was developed by the Natural History Museum of Utah to allow students to conduct authentic investigations in the classroom.
The projects are led by Dr. Kirsten Butcher in collaboration with Madlyn Runburg, director of the NHMU educational outreach program, with funding provided by the NHMU, SSHRC, and non-profit organizations.
Eric G. Poitras, Ph.D.
Laurel Udy, Ph.D. Student
Graduate Research Assistant
Kent Ellsworth, Ph.D. Student
Graduate Research Assistant
Using technology as a means to scaffold learners' ability to monitor and control the cognitive, metacognitive, and affective/motivational processes that mediate learning and task performance.
"Artificial Intelligence in Education. The Key to Personalized Learning Solutions."
"Mining Trace Log Data. Discovering New Knowledge About Learning."
Our research combines both quantitative and qualitative methods, leveraging contemporary techniques from educational data mining and learning analytics to discover knowledge from process data captured in several modalities.
"Open-Ended Learning Environments. Design-Driven Process Grounded in Theories of Learning and Instruction."
We use technology as both a research and training tool to capture learner behaviors, build computational models, and prescribe the most suitable instructional content.
The ASSIST Laboratory is an interdisciplinary group of creative thinkers that work on the design, development, and evaluation of adaptive learning technologies, improving the way they interact with learners.
Students come to the lab through several programs offered in the College of Education (Learning and Cognition, MSTAT, and IDET) as well as computer science, engineering, psychology, and the digital humanities. All graduate students should be:
All graduate students are currently supported (tuition benefit, stipend, or GRA/TA appointments), and spend a majority of their time on research-related activities. Projects range from tools for learning, to innovate methods for learner modeling, and multi-modal data mining.
The Learning and Cognition area grants Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Educational Psychology. Students in this area acquire theoretical knowledge of psychological and/or educational principles and the methodological skills necessary to conduct original research on a variety of topics.
The Instructional Design and Educational Technology program grants Master of Science (M.S.) and Master of Education (M.Ed.) degrees, preparing students to analyze, design, develop, implement, and evaluate technology-based instruction for educational contexts. Students pursuing this degree will learn the theoretical issues associated with technology-supported instruction and the applications of technology to support best-teaching practices.
The Masters of Statistics program awards the professional MStat degree with concentration areas in Biostatistics, Econometrics, Educational Psychology, Mathematics, and Sociology. In the program you will have the opportunity to learn the latest in statistics and probability theory and learn about state-of-the-art programming and applications in your chosen area of concentration.
The Department of Educational Psychology and the University of Utah offers a range of internal and external funding opportunities for graduate research assistants, including but not limited to:
The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and Work-Study program provides undergraduate students and faculty members the opportunity to work together on research or creative projects.