Lindsay Masland

Research Interests

  • teaching and learning
  • evidence-based teaching strategies in both K-12 and higher education contexts
  • teacher and faculty development
  • student diversity
  • translation of research to classroom settings

Broadly speaking, I am interested in making learning happen for as many students as possible. To this end, most of my research focuses on answering the following questions:

1.  What IS learning? (e.g., Do students and teachers have different definitions of learning? Are certain types of learning more valuable than others? What is the best way to measure learning?)

2.  What teaching strategies result in learning? (e.g., Are there certain teaching approaches that always work, regardless of the teacher or classroom? When a teaching strategy works, can we figure out exactly why?)

3.  What is the role of student and other contextual variables in the teaching and learning relationship?  (e.g., Do different students need different supports to be successful in a classroom? Will a learning intervention work better at some colleges or schools than others?)

Sample Recent Projects

1.  How Basic is Basic Vocabulary?  Apart from domain-specific vocabulary like "conditioning" or "attribution," students need to understand terms like "novel" and "implicate" to understand many of the textbooks, exam questions, and other academic material that they interact with. Utilizing survey research, we are determining which academic vocabulary words students struggle with, their relative prevalence in academic materials, and which evidence-based strategies can be used by teachers to enhance their students' vocabulary skills.  We are also exploring the moderating roles of college size/focus and student demographics in vocabulary difficulty.

2.  Enhancing Pre-Service Teacher Feedback In this study, we are testing the efficacy of various interventions aimed at improving the feedback that future teachers (i.e., undergraduate education majors) provide on written student work.  Research indicates that teacher feedback is one of the most important ways to enhance student learning, so this study will contribute to that body of knowledge.

3.  Enhancing Student Metacognition Students with stronger metacognition (i.e., the ability to think about their thinking and to assess which learning strategies are the best for them) typically show stronger academic performance.  Through a series of metacognitive interventions, including exam wrappers and a scaffolded syllabus, we are exploring various ways to improve student metacognition.

Dr. Masland is almost always accepting students to work in her research lab, which focuses on the research questions listed above.  Our research lab is multidisciplinary and typically includes undergraduate education majors, undergraduate psychology majors, graduate school psychology students, and graduate experimental psychology students, although we are open to enthusiastic students from all backgrounds.  Participation in Dr. Masland's lab is appropriate for the following students:

-  students passionate about teaching and learning

-  students considering a career in educational psychology, school psychology, or higher education

-  students interested in becoming a teacher (K-12 or college-level)

-  students considering an Honors or Masters thesis that pertains to education

-  students who want to learn how to study teaching and learning from a scholarly perspective


Ph.D., 2011, Educational Psychology, University of Georgia (Major: School Psychology; Concentration: Methodology and Statistics)
M.A., 2005, Experimental Psychology, Wake Forest University
B.A., 2003, Honors Psychology, Wake Forest University

Sample Invited Talks & Workshops

  • "Psychology is a Science--Shouldn't our Teaching of Psychology be Scientific, Too?" Keynote address at the Eastern Teaching of Psychology Conference, Staunton, VA; June 2019.
  • "Supporting Students Who Are Missing The Mark," Invited workshops at the Inclusive Excellence Institute at Virginia Tech, sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Inclusive Excellence grant; June 2019.
  • “Use My Best Practices, Darn It! Building Metacognition in College Students in Spite of Themselves,” Invited presentation at the Teaching Institute of the Association for Psychological Science Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA; May 2018.
  • “E026: Lindsay Masland: Learning-Centered Evidence-Based Teaching, and the Grocery Store Test.” Interviewed for the Psych Sessions podcast, which is hosted by Garth Neufeld and Eric Landrum and supported by APA Division 2.
  • “Kids These Days: Designing Classes for Those Lazy, Ungrateful Millennials.” Society for Teaching of Psychology Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Invited Address at Southeastern Psychological Association Conference, Charleston, SC; March 2018.
  • “Universal Design for Learning and Planning for Fall: Courses and Syllabi for Postsecondary.” A nationally-presented webinar for the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), July 2016.
Title: Associate Professor
Department: Department of Psychology

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-8954

Office address
300D Smith Wright Hall