Jacqueline P Leighton

Jacqueline P. Leighton

Professor/Registered Psychologist

Educational Psychology
6-119D Education North Building

Education & Certification

PDF (Psychology) 2001, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

PhD (Psychology) 1999, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, CANADA  

MEd (Educational Psychology) 1995, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, CANADA  

BA Hon (Psychology) 1993, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, CANADA


Registered Member of College of Alberta Psychologists, May, 2006, Certification #3129

Research & Interests

Dr. Leighton’s research focuses on the affective, cognitive and social variables that influence student achievement. In particular, there are two research programs that describe Dr. Leighton’s current work: (1) the methodological and theoretical underpinning of think-aloud interviews and cognitive laboratories, two techniques often used to gather evidence to substantiate claims about the knowledge and skills educational tests measure in test-takers (i.e., validity arguments – see Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, 2014); and (2) students’ understanding and use of formative feedback related to academic or learning errors and performance on cognitive diagnostic tests (see Learning Errors and Formative Feedback [LEAFF] model). 

Dr. Leighton’s research has been consistently funded by Tri-Council research grants, including the Canadian Education Statistics Council (CESC), National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). She is past winner of the American Educational Research Association, Division D (Educational Measurement & Research Methodology) Significant Contribution to Educational Measurement and Research Methodology for the Cambridge University Press book – Cognitive Diagnostic Assessment: Theory and Applications, and former editor of Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice (EMIP), a flagship journal for the National Council on Measurement in Education. 

Recognized by the Canadian Council of Learning as a Minerva Scholar, Dr. Leighton collaborates with scholars around the globe, including key partnerships such as the Learning Environments Across Disciplines (LEADS), and the International Collaborative for Performance Assessment of Learning in Higher Education (iPAL). As a testing specialist and registered psychologist, she has served as an advisor and technical advisory committee member of many of the leading educational measurement companies and organizations, including ACT, College Board, Educational Testing Service, Pearson.  

Representative Publications

Leighton, J.P., Tang, W. & Guo, Q. (In Press). Undergraduate Students’ Attitudes Towards Mistakes in Learning and Academic Achievement. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education.

Leighton, J.P., Guo, Q., Chu, M-W., & Tang, W. (In press). A Pedagogical Alliance for Academic Achievement: Socio-Emotional Effects on Assessment Outcomes. Educational Assessment.

Leighton, J.P., Tang, W. & Guo, Q. (2017). Accounting for affective states in response processing data: Impact for validation. In B. Zumbo & A.M. Hubley (Eds.), Understanding and investigating response processes in validation research. Springer Press.

Leighton, J.P. (2017). Using Think-Aloud Interviews and Cognitive Labs in Educational Research. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Leighton, J.P. (2017). Collecting, analyzing and interpreting verbal response process data. In K. Ercikan & J. Pellegrino (Eds.), National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) Book Series - Validation of Score Meaning in the Next Generation of Assessments. Routledge.

Rupp, A.A. & Leighton, J.P. (Eds.). (2016). Handbook of cognition and assessment. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Leighton, J.P., Seitz, P., Chu, M-W., & Gomez Bustos, M.C. (2016). Operationalizing the role of trust for student wellbeing, learning and achievement. International Journal of Wellbeing, 6(2), 57-79. 

Leighton, J.P., & Chu, M-W. (2016). First among equals: Hybridization of cognitive diagnostic assessment and evidence-centered game design. International Journal of Testing, 16, 164-180. 

Shute, V., Leighton, J.P., Jang, E., & Chu, M-W. (2016). Advances in the science of assessment. Educational Assessment, 21, 34-59.

Courses Taught

  • EDPY 302   Learning and Development in Childhood
  • EDPY 304   Adolescent Development and Learning
  • EDPY 500   Introduction to Data Analysis in Educational Research
  • EDPY 505   Advanced Univariate Statistics in Educational Research
  • EDPY 510   Learning, Cognition, and Education
  • EDPY 608   Seminar in Educational Measurement
  • EDPY 610   Selected Topics in Learning, Cognition, and Instruction