People: Dan Spencer

Dan Spencer

Research Scholar Online and Distance Education
Address Box 7113 Raleigh NC 27695 Phone: 919-515-4679
Photo of Dan Ashton Spencer

Biographical Info

Dan Spencer received a BSc in Psychology in 2011 and MSc in Psychological Research in 2012 from Bangor University, Wales, as well as a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from NC State University in 2017. Following the completion of his doctoral degree, he joined DELTA as an Education Specialist and then as DELTA’s inaugural Postdoctoral Research Scholar. Dr. Spencer is currently a Research Scholar in DELTA’s Research & Analysis team.

As a research scholar at DELTA, Dan provides support for empirical research efforts that contribute to maintaining and evaluating DELTA’s strategic plan. Specifically, he is conducting data-driven research focused on understanding student success, motivation, and perceptions in online, blended, and face-to-face courses, as well as the wider effectiveness of course redesign initiatives conducted at DELTA. He provides assistance in the designing of qualitative and quantitative methods for collecting and analyzing assessment data, as well as disseminating the findings to those at NC State and the wider academic community.

Dr. Spencer’s research interests center around designing, developing, and evaluating the effectiveness of pedagogical interventions for online, face-to-face, and blended courses. In particular, his focus has been on improving self-regulation and motivation in both individual and collaborative environments, as well as the use of assessment data and processes to improve student learning outcomes and perceptions.


Selected Scholarly Publications

Cooper, M., Bullard, L. G., Spencer, D., & Willis, C. (2020). Direct and indirect assessment of student perspectives and performance in an online/distance education chemical engineering bridging course. Chemical Engineering Education, 54(2), 59-70.

Curry, K. W., Jr., Spencer, D., Pesout, O., & Pigford, K. (2019). Utility value interventions in a college biology lab: The impact on motivation. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 57(2), 1-21.

DiFrancesca, D., & Spencer, D. (2022). The new normal: How virtual learning can benefit K-12 students. Theory into Practice, 6(4), 362-372.

Rutherford, T., Spencer, D., Azevedo, R., & Davidson, A. (2018) Applying self-regulated learning to the dynamic STEM classroom. In M. K. DiBenedetto (Ed.), Connecting self-regulated learning and performance with instruction across high school content areas (pp 185-209). Springer, Cham.

Sheats, M. K., Temple, T., & Spencer, D. (2020). Veterinary student experiences in a community-and competency-based primary care rotation: A case study. Education in the Health Professions, 3(2), 54-62.

Spencer, D., Kleiankina, O., McKeown, C., Tredwell, D., & Calderon Lima, R. (2022). Learning to learn: A metacognitive approach to class piano instruction. College Music Symposium. (Accepted for Publication)

Spencer, D., Nietfeld, J. L., Cao, L., DiFrancesca, D. (2021). Exploring the interplay between student attributions and metacognitive monitoring skills in a post-secondary classroom environment. Journal of Experimental Education.

Spencer, D., Thomson, M. M., & Jones, J. P. (2018). Changes in Enhancing Socially-Shared Metacognition among Undergraduate Students during an Online Introductory Geology Course. In Fitzgerald, C., Laurian-Fitzgerald, S. & Popa, C. (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Student-Centered Strategies in Online Adult Learning Environments (pp. 406-439). Hershey, PA: IGI Global Publishing.

Spencer, D., & Temple, T. (2020). Examining students online course perceptions and comparing student performance outcomes in online and face-to-face classrooms. Online Learning Journal, 25(2), 233-261.

Spencer, D., Willis, C., Shen, Y., Fenn, M., & Viel, S. (2022). Utilizing a hybrid learning approach in a calculus for life and management sciences classroom. PRIMUS.

Spencer, D., Willis, C., Tredwell, D., White, J., & Briska, K. (2020). Facilitating Inspiration: Design of the Textiles Archive Design Application (TADA). eLearn, 2020(12).

Wright, L., Spencer, D., & Olivio-Hoyo, M. Lessons learned: A reflection on the impact of COVID-19 on implementing an AR application. Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Science Education Research. (Accepted for Publication)