Avery H. Closser

About Me

Hi there! I am a learning scientist discovering how we can leverage the inherently embodied nature of learning to improve instructional materials for educational technologies and classroom settings. Currently, I am a postdoctoral researcher working with David Purpura in the Human Development and Family Science Department at Purdue University. I am also a new member of the IES-funded Digital Learning Platforms to Enable Efficient Education Research Network as the first research team funded to join.  

Originally from Virginia, I attended the University of Richmond for my B.A. in psychology where I pursued research on perception, embodied cognition, and spatial memory. Afterwards, I spent two years teaching English as a Second Language in Thailand and Spain where I discovered my passion for education, multimodal communication, and traveling. This self-discovery led me to pursue research on how students' perceptions and cognitive processes impact the way they think and learn about math at Worcester Polytechnic Institute where I completed my M.S. and Ph.D. in Learning Sciences & Technologies. Now, I'm interested in uncovering how students' individual and developmental characteristics may influence the way they are impacted by scaffolding in instructional materials to inform the design of educational technologies and open instructional materials.

Beyond research, I adamantly believe in team science and empowering others. I actively pursue opportunities to support fellow researchers and to promote women in STEM through various projects, mentorship roles, and by creating learning communities.