Statement of Research
Dr. Homer is a Professor of Educational Psychology in the Learning, Development and Instruction subprogram. He is the director of the Child Interactive Learning and Development (CHILD) Lab at the Graduate Center. His research examines how children acquire and use “cultural tools” to store and transmit knowledge (e.g., language, literacy, and digital technologies), and how these tools transform developmental and learning processes. Dr. Homer has a number of currently active lines of research that are briefly outlined below. (A current list of publications can be found here: Google Scholar Profile.
Videogames for Learning
One area of research is on the development and use of videogames for learning. In this work, Dr. Homer and his collaborators have been investigating how different design patterns in games affect student learning and motivation. They have also been researching ways of embedding assessment into educational games to provide to students and educators. This work is primarily conducted as part of the Games for Learning Institute, an interdisciplinary, cross-university research institute, in collaboration with colleagues from the CREATE lab at NYU. Ongoing research with Dr. Jan Plass (NYY) and Rich Mayer (UCSB) this is supported by a grant from the Institute for Educational Sciences, is examining the use of focused computer games to support the development of executive functions in adolescents.
Homer, B. D., Kinzer, C. K., Plass, J. L., Letourneau, S. M., Hoffman, D., Bromley, M., … & Kornak, Y. (2014). Moved to learn: The effects of interactivity in a Kinect-based literacy game for beginning readers. Computers & Education, 74, 37-49.
Language, Cognition & Symbolic Understanding
A second area of research investigates language, literacy and developmental influences on children’s symbolic abilities, including Theory of Mind. Dr. Homer and his students have been investigating the role of language in young children’s development of symbolic understanding. Other related research includes studies on the relation between literacy and children’s understanding of language, and research on cultural and biological influences on children and adults’ theory of mind.
Homer, B.D., Petroff, N., & Hayward, E. O. (2013). Linguistic Mediation of Children’s Performance in a New Symbolic Understanding Task. Journal of Cognition and Development, 14(3), 455-466. doi:10.1080/15248372.2012.689268
Multimedia Learning Environments
A final line of research involves investigating ways to enhance online learning. Much of this work has been through the Molecules and Minds project, with Catherine Milne, Jan Plass and Trace Jordan, researching the design and effective use of computer-based chemistry simulations. His work in this area investigates how cognitive abilities and prior knowledge affect students’ interactions with and learning from multimedia environments. Ongoing work is investigating the role of “emotional design” in multimedia, and effects of individual differences, such as executive functions.
O’Keefe, P. A., Letourneau, S. M., Homer, B. D., Schwartz, R. N., & Plass, J. L. (2014). Learning from multiple representations: An examination of fixation patterns in a science simulation. Computers in Human Behavior, 35, 234-242.
Plass, J.L., Heidig, S., Hayward, E. O., Homer, B. D., & Um, E. (2014). Emotional design in multimedia learning: Effects of shape and color on affect and learning. Learning and Instruction, 29, 128-140.
Cognitive Development and Learning Processes in Education
Language and Communication Development
Seminar in Communication and Cognitive Development
Advanced Seminar in Communication and Cognitive Development
A Few Past Talks:
Homer, B.D. (2017, March). Using Developmental Theory to Design and Evaluate Games for Learning. Talk given at the Center for Children and Technology, New York, NY.
Homer, B.D. & Eckersall, P. (2016, December). Children, Technology & Robots: Comparative perspectives on humans and technology. Joint talk given as part of the Faculty Shorts Conversation Series, The Graduate Center, CUNY.
Talks available online…