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Marcus L. Johnson

Marcus L. Johnson
Marcus L. Johnson, Professor

School of Education
1750 Kraft Drive
Room 2048 (0302)
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-4622 |

Dr. Marcus Johnson is a Professor in the Educational Psychology and Educational Research and Evaluation programs in the School of Education at Virginia Tech. He joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 2021, following his decade-plus tenure at the University of Cincinnati, where he was the proud recipient of the 2019 UC Faculty Exemplary Service Award, in recognition of his service and leadership on the Faculty Senate committees for Research & Scholarship and Human Relations, Faculty Enrichment Center, and the School of Education’s PhD Council. Nationally, Dr. Johnson has held leadership roles in the American Psychological Association’s Division [15] for Educational Psychology, and the American Educational Research Association’s Division [C] for Learning and Instruction and “Motivation in Education” group; most recently as Division 15's representative on APA's Council of Representatives. Dr. Johnson’s research/scholarship concerning “motivation in education,” has included investigations of traditional and nontraditional college students’ motivations, the use of motivational strategies that enhance cognitive engagement and learning, the effect of policies and practices on both student and faculty motivation, and identifying motivating factors that contribute to students’ school-life balance and achievement. His work assessing underrepresented high school students’ motivations for STEM related college majors and careers, has been supported by the National Science Foundation. Dr. Johnson earned his PhD in Educational Psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and for over a decade he has enjoyed teaching various courses in higher education, from Human Development to Human Learning, and from Educational Assessment to Research Methods. Prior to his work in higher education, Dr. Johnson had taught high school science in diverse settings.

  • Motivation
  • Educational Psychology
  • Lifespan Development
  • STEM & Health Education
  • Conceptual Change Learning
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)
  • Higher Education
  • Multidisciplinary Research
  • PhD Educational Psychology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • MS Educational Psychology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • California Teaching Credential in Secondary Education Single Subject (Biology), University of California, Irvine
  • BS Human Development, University of California, Davis
  • 2021 – Present: Member, Board of Scientific Affairs Task Force on Inequities in Academic Tenure and Promotion, American Psychological Association (APA)
  • 2019 – Present: Representative, Division 15 – Educational Psychology, Council of Representatives, American Psychological Association (APA)
  • 2019 – Present: Co-Chair, Division C (Learning and Instruction) New Faculty Mentoring Program, American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • 2016 – 2018: Treasurer, Motivation in Education SIG, American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • 2015 Spring Reviewer/Panelist, National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) Education and Human Resources Core Research (ECR) program, Washington, DC.

Editorial Activities

  • 01-01-2020 - Present: Editorial / Curatorial Board Member, Journal of Educational Psychology.
  • Associate Editor Contemporary Educational Psychology
  • Academy of Fellows for Teaching and Learning. 2021
  • Black, Brown, and Bruised. Northern Kentucky University. 2021

2019 Faculty Exemplary Service Award, University of Cincinnati

Vaughn, A., Taasoobshirazi, G., & Johnson, M. L. (2019). Impostor Phenomenon and Motivation: Women in Higher Education. Studies in Higher Education. doi: 10.1080/03075079.2019.1568976

Nadelson, L., Heddy, B., Jones, S. H., Taasoobshirazi, G., & Johnson, M. L. (2018). Conceptual Change in Science Teaching and Learning: Introducing the Dynamic Model of Conceptual Change (DMCC). International Journal of Educational Psychology, 7(2), 151-195. doi:10.17583/ijep.2018.3349

Johnson, M. L., & Safavian, N. (2016). What Is Cost and Is It Always a Bad Thing? Furthering the Discussion Concerning College-Aged Students’ Perceived Costs for Their Academic Studies. Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology, 15(3), 368-390.

Johnson, M. L., Taasoobshirazi, G., Clark, L., Howell, L., & Breen, M. (2016). Motivations of Traditional and Nontraditional College Students: From Self-Determination and Attributions, to Expectancies/Values. Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 64(1), 3-15.

Johnson, M. L., Taasoobshirazi, G., Kestler, J. L., & Cordova, J. R. (2015). Models and Messengers of Resilience: A Theoretical Model of College Students’ Resilience, Regulatory Strategy Use, and Academic Achievement. Educational Psychology, 35(7), 869-885.

Johnson, M. L., & Sinatra, G. M. (2013). Use of Task-Value Instructional Inductions for Facilitating Engagement and Conceptual Change. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 38(1), 51-63.

Johnson, M. L., Vaughn, A. R., & Taasoobshirazi, G. (2021). Common Misconceptions and Challenges of Motivation Principles. In M. Yough, J. S. Vogler, & E. M. Anderman (Eds.). Theory to Practice: Educational Psychology for Teachers and Teaching (second volume: Teaching Motivation for Student Engagement). Information Age Publishing Inc.

  • 2014 – 2018 National Science Foundation (NSF), Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) – STEM. Lead Researcher & Co-Principal Investigator, “Design-Based Information Technologies Learning Experiences (DITLE)” ($1,200,000).

Vaughn, A. R., Taasoobshirazi, G., & Johnson, M. (under review). The Relationship between Motivation and Imposter Syndrome in Higher Education Faculty.

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