Patricia Boechler

Patricia Boechler

Associate Professor; Coordinator, MEd Technology in Education Specialization

Educational Psychology

Research and Interests

Dr. Patricia Boechler's general research interests include cognition, memory, learning and developmental psychology. More specifically, her research focuses on the study of cognition and learning in educational technology, particularly in investigating cognitive and educational frameworks that can inform our use of these technologies. Dr. Boechler is interested in understanding how various technologies (websites, video games, virtual reality applications, learning management systems) can be optimized for educational purposes. Below is a list of her current and ongoing projects: 

  • Virtual World, Game-based Social Skills Interventions for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Adolescents
  • Virtual world student orientation to postsecondary education
  • Implicit learning of information in educational websites and virtual worlds and its relation to cognitive styles, literacy and spatial skills
  • A series of studies on older adults and computer use focusing on correlations between various cognitive skills and perceptual abilities, and performance on computer tasks.
  • Video game use and its effects on attributions of aggression and cognitive reasoning. 
  • Using video game creation in the classroom for teaching and learning


Representative Publications

Boechler, P., Stroulia, E., deJong, E., Delaney, M., Carbonaro, M., Artym, C., Thomas, W. & Klassen, J. (2013). Virtual Campus Orientation: Supporting Students’ Transition to Post-Secondary Before They Actually Arrive. In R. McBride & M. Searson (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2013 (pp. 246-249). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Thomas, W., Boechler, P., deJong, E., Stroulia, E. & Delaney, M. (2012). Incidental Learning and Salience in Virtual Worlds. In T. Bastiaens & G. Marks (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2012 (pp. 1686-1690). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Wasniewski, E. &  Boechler, P. (2012). Investigating ESL Adult Lexical Development  with the Use of an Assistive Technology. Literacy Information and Computer Education Journal (LICEJ), 3 (4) pp. 737-746.

Boechler, P. M., Watchorn, R., Dragon, K., & Foth, D. (2012). Older Adults' vs. Younger Adults' Web Search: Memory, Performance and Strategies. International Journal of Education and Ageing, 2, (2) 125-138.

deJong E, Chodos D, Kuras P, Boechler P, Stroulia E, Carbonaro M, King S. (2011). Technical Challenges and Solutions: Creating Virtual Environments for a Health Science Interprofessional Course. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice, 9, 4.

King, S, Greidanus, E, Carbonaro, M, Drummond, J, Boechler, P, & Kahlke, R (2010). Synchronous Problem-Based e-learning (ePBL) in Interprofessional Health Science Education. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 9 (2), 133-150.

Boechler, P, Mrazik, M, Watchorn, R, Georgiou, R, & Dragon, K (2010). Video Game Violence and Interactivity: Good News for the Classroom. Proceedings of Ed-Media 2010, World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications (pp. 2307-2312). Chesapeake, Virginia: Association for Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Chodos, D, Stroulia, E, Boechler, P, King, S, Kuras, P, Carbonaro, M, & deJong, E (2010). Healthcare Education with Virtual-World Simulations. Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Software Engineering in Health Care, SEHC 2010 (pp. 89-99). Washington DC, USA: The IEEE Computer Society.

Boechler, P.M., King, S., Stroulia, E., & Carbonaro, M. (2009). Using Virtual Environments for an Interprofessional Communications Skills Instructional Program for Health Science Education. Proceedings of Ed-Media 2009, World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications, Honolulu, USA.

Boechler, P.M., Krol, A., Raso, J., & Blois, T. (2009). Virtual reality interventions for rehabilitation: Considerations for developing protocols. In B.K. Wiederhold & G. Riva (Eds.) The Annual Review Of Cybertherapy and Cybermedicine 2009. Amsterdam, Netherlands: IOS Press.

Boechler, P. M. (2008). Aging and On-line Learning. In P. Rogers, G. Berg, J. Boettcher, C. Howard, L. Justice & K. Schenk (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Distance and Online Learning (2nd ed.). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

Boechler, P.M., Leenaars, L., & Levner, I. (2008). Recreational vs. educational computer experience: Predicting explicit and implicit learning outcomes in a website search. Proceedings of the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (SITE 2008). Las Vegas, Nevada: AACE.

Boechler, P.M., Foth, D. & Watchorn, R. (2007). Educational technology research with older adults: Adjustments in protocol, materials and procedures. Educational Gerontology.

Dawson, M.R.W., & Boechler, P.M. (2007).  Coarse coding of compass directions: Representing an intrinsically nonmetric space in an artificial neural network. The International Journal of Cognitive Informatics & Natural Intelligence.

Boechler, P.M., Levner, I., Leenaars, L, & Steffler, D. (2006). Navigation and learning in educational hypermedia: Are poor readers at a disadvantage? Proceedings Cognition and Exploratory Learning in the Digital Age (CELDA) 2006,  Barcelona, Spain.: AACE

Boechler, P. M. (2005). Understanding cognitive processes in educational hypermedia. In C. Ghaoui (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Human Computer Interaction. Hershey, PA: Idea Group Publishing.

Dawson, M.R.W., Boechler, P.M. & Orsten, J. (2005). Allocentric coding of direction to represent distances between locations in a metric space. Spatial Cognition and Computation, 5,1, 29-68. 

Boechler, P.M, & Dawson, M.R.W. (2005). The effects of spatial layout on relationships between performance, path patterns and mental representation in a hypermedia information search task. International Journal of Interactive Technology and Smart Education, 2, 1, 31- 46.

Boechler, P.M. & Dawson, M.R.W. (2002) The effects of navigation tool information on hypertext navigation behavior: A configural analysis of page-transition data. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 11, 2, 95-115.

Boechler, P.M. (2001). How spatial is Hyperspace? Interacting with hypertext documents: Cognitive processes and concepts, Cyberpsychology and Behavior, 4, 1, 23-46.

Courses Taught

EDIT 486 – Interactive Multimedia – Video Games for Teaching and Learning
EDU 575 – Theory and Practice in Educational Technology
EDPY 497 – Psychological Theory and Technology in Education
EDPY 597 – The Psychology of Technology-based Learning
EDPY 509 – Child Development: Theories and Issues
EDPY 402 – Child Development for Educators
EDU 510 –  Fundamentals of Educational Research