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 Planning & Assessment 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.

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., 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 (Awaiting Journal Issue).

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 (Awaiting Journal Issue)

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