Kelsey Schenck

Kelsey Schenck, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of the Learning Sciences in the Simmons Teaching & Learning Department

Kelsey E. Schenck, Ph.D is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning and is affiliated with SMU’s Technology-Enhanced Immersive Learning Cluster (TEIL). She received her Ph.D. in 2023 in Educational Psychology-Learning Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Schenck’s research is at the intersection of embodied cognition, spatial reasoning, and STEM education. She is interested in using a grounded and embodied frame to understand the influence of the cognitive and affective aspects of spatial reasoning on students’ STEM learning and in the design of interventions with immersive technologies such as virtual and augmented reality. Currently, her primary objectives are to investigate the role of spatial ability and spatial anxiety in embodied mathematics, including geometry and proportional reasoning, and to design and implement interventions that utilize the affordances of immersive technologies for building students’ spatial reasoning and STEM skills. Dr. Schenck’s previous experience as a middle-school mathematics teacher in the Dallas area informs her work in designing effective interventions that can be implemented at scale in classrooms.

To pursue this research, Dr. Schenck employs design-based research models and a mixed-methods approach. These approaches, which include speech and gesture analysis, allow for a comprehensive understanding of how the embodied components of spatial reasoning impact students’ STEM learning and offer a robust framework for designing effective interventions with immersive technologies.

Southern Methodist University has engaged Everspring, a leading provider of education and technology services, to support select aspects of program delivery.