Welcome to the Assessment of Learning and Transfer (ALERT) lab. Dr. Maria Cutumisu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, at the University of Alberta. Her research draws on computing science and education. She graduated with an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in Computing Science from the Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta and she was a postdoctoral scholar at the Stanford Graduate School of Education's AAA Lab. Her research interests include the design, implementation, and evaluation of interactive learning technologies that support learning. She is particularly interested in virtual character behaviours in interactive computer games and their applications in education. More recently, she investigated the impact of K-16 students’ choices (e.g., willingness to choose critical feedback from interactive virtual characters and to revise) on learning outcomes within an online game-based assessment environment to understand how prepared students are to learn and innovate. She also uses eye-tracking techniques to provide a comprehensive understanding of students' learning processes.


Selected P.I. Grants and Scholarships

  • SSHRC Insight Development Grant. A Model of Memory for Critical Feedback. Collaborator: Dr. Daniel L. Schwartz (Stanford University), 2017-2019, $51,700
  • SSHRC Insight Grant - Bridge Funding, University of Alberta. Exploring, Building, and Evaluating Virtual Environments that Support Computational Thinking, 2016, $5,000
  • Support for the Advancement of Scholarship (SAS), University of Alberta. Eye tracking students' feedback choices in an online assessment game, 2018 - 2019, $7,000
  • Killam Cornerstone Small Operating Grant, University of Alberta. Developing and Evaluating a Game That Teaches a Computational Thinking Skill, 2016-2017, $7,000
  • TLEF-PD (Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund - Professional Development), University of Alberta. Hierarchical Linear Models Course, SREE, Carnegie Foundation, Stanford, CA, 2016: $5,000
  • Support for the Advancement of Scholarship (SAS), University of Alberta. Building Social Virtual Environments that Support Computational Thinking, 2016-2017, $6,000
  • Dissertation Fellowship, University of Alberta, 2007 - 2008, $22,000 
  • Precarn Scholarship, Federal NCE, 2003 - 2008, $35,000
  • NSERC CGS-D2 & iCore, 2005 - 2007, $90,000

Selected Co-P.I. Grants

  • SSHRC Insight Development Grant (IDG). Modeling the Mathematical Achievement of Children with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, 2016-2018: $64,149. PI: Dr. H. Brown (Educational Psychology, University of Alberta). Co-PI: Dr. D. Ansari (The University of Western Ontario). Collaborators: Dr. M. Searle (Queen's University), Dr. V. Smith (Educational Psychology, University of Alberta)
  • Alberta Education. Flexible Pathways to Writing: Developing and Implementing Assistive Technology to Support Students' Academic Writing Skills in Inclusive Classrooms, 2016-2018: $119,500. PI: Dr. V. Smith (Educational Psychology, University of Alberta). Co-PI: Dr. H. Brown (Educational Psychology, University of Alberta)
  • Google CS4HS 2016 Academy. Computational Thinking for Computing Science Teachers Professional Development Training, 2016-2017, USD 30,600. PI: H. Duff (Computing Science, University of Alberta). Co-PIs: Drs. C. Adams (Secondary Educational, University of Alberta), R. Hayward (Computing Science, University of Alberta), P. Lu (Computing Science, University of Alberta), C. Macdonell (Computer Science, MacEwan University), M. Carbonaro (Educational Psychology, University of Alberta)
  • Support for the Advancement of Scholarship (SAS), University of Alberta. Examining Achievement Emotions Across Test-taking Environments: Does Environment Influence Affect?, 2016-2017: $6,974. PI: Dr. J. Harley (Educational Psychology, University of Alberta). Co-PIs: Drs. L. Daniels (Educational Psychology, University of Alberta), J. Leighton (Educational Psychology, University of Alberta), M. Gierl (Educational Psychology, University of Alberta) 

Selected Awards

  • Mitacs Globalink Research Internship - Faculty, 2018
  • Mitacs Globalink Research Internship - Faculty, 2017
  • Roger S. Smith Undergraduate Student Researcher - Faculty Award, University of Alberta, 2016
  • Outstanding Research PhD Achievement Award, Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta, 2009
  • Graduate Outreach Award, Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta, 2007
  • Honorary Walter H. Johns Graduate Fellowship, University of Alberta, 2005-2007