Randall Spain a Research Psychologist in the Center for Educational Informatics within the Department of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. He received his Ph.D. in Human Factors Psychology from Old Dominion University in 2009. His research uses principles theories and methods of applied psychology to design and evaluate the impact of advanced learning technologies on learning and performance. He has served as co-PI on projects supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate.
Prior to joining the Center for Educational Informatics in 2017, Dr. Spain served as a research psychologist for the U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences (ARI) where he conducted research on emerging training technologies, including intelligent tutoring systems and game-based learning environments, to support Soldier readiness. He also served as a research psychologist at RTI International where he led a multiyear effort to validate cognitive and non-cognitive predictors of job performance for the Transportation Security Administration.
His research has been recognized with several best paper awards from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and the National Training and Simulation Association. Dr. Spain currently serves as an associate editor for Military Psychology.
Ph.D., Human Factors Psychology (2009)
Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA
M.S., Experimental Psychology (2006)
Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA
B.A., Psychology with Honors (2003)
Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA
Best Paper Award, Education Subcommittee – I/ITSEC, 2019
Best Paper Award, Education Subcommittee – I/ITSEC, 2013
Best Paper Award (Honorable Mention) – HFES Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making Technical Group, 2009
Best Paper Award – HFES Perception and Performance Technical Group, 2007
Department Scholar Award for Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Christopher Newport University, 2003
Alpha Chi National College Honor Society, 2003
Selected Book Chapters
Lester, J., Spain, R., Rowe, J., & Mott, B. (2019). Instructional feedback, support, and coaching in game-based learning environments. In J. Plass, R. Mayer, & B. Homer (Eds.), Handbook of Game-based Learning (pp. 209-238). MIT Press: Cambridge, MA.
Katz, I. R., LaMar, M. M., Spain, R. D., Zapata-Rivera, J. D., Baird, J., & Greiff, S. (2017). Validity Issues and Concerns for Technology Based Performance Assessments. In Design Recommendations for Intelligent Tutoring Systems: Volume 5 – Assessment Methods, Sottilare, R., Graesser, A., Hu, X., and Goodwin, G.. (Eds.), pp. 209-224, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Orlando, Florida, 2017.
Spain, R. D., Hedge, J. W., & Ladd, K. M. (2015). An examination of visual search success for transportation security officers and behavior detection officers. In D. D. Schmorrow, C. M. Fidopiastis, (Eds.), Foundations of Augmented Cognition. (pp. 817–824). Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International.
Wisher, R. A., Brusso, R. C., Curnow, C. K., Hatfield, J., Paddock, A., & Spain, R. D. (2015). Formulating best practices and guidelines for emerging e-Learning technologies. In. B. H. Khan & M. Ally (Eds.), International handbook of e-learning volume 1: Theoretical perspectives and research. (pp. 127–137). New York, NY: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781315760933.ch8.
Goldberg, B. & Spain, R. D. (2014). Creating the intelligent novice: Supporting self-regulated learning and metacognition in educational technology. In R. Sottilare, A. Graesser, X. Hu, & B. Goldberg (Eds.), Design recommendations for intelligent tutoring systems, volume 2: Instructional management (pp. 109–134). Orlando, FL: U.S. Army Research Laboratory.
Durlach, P. J., & Spain, R. D. (2012). Framework for instructional technology. In V. G. Duffy (Ed.), Advances in Applied Human Modeling and Simulation (pg. 222-231). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group.
Selected Conference Papers
Spain, R., Rowe, J., Goldberg, B., Pokorny, R., & Lester, J. Enhancing Learning Outcomes Through Adaptive Remediation with GIFT. Proceedings of the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference, Orlando, 2019. (Best Paper in Education Award)
Spain, R., Goldberg, B., Khooshabeh, P., Krum, D., Biro, J., Linder, C., … & Pierce, M. (2019, November). Applications of virtual environments in human factors research and practice. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting (Vol. 63, No. 1, pp. 2308-2312). Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications.
Spain, R. Geden, M., Min, W., Mott, B., and Lester, J. (2019, June). Towards computational models of team effectiveness with natural language processing. Proceedings of the AIED-2019 Workshop on Approaches and Challenges in Team Tutoring. (pp 39-39) Chicago.
Rowe, J., Smith, A., Spain, R., & Lester. J. (2019, May) Understanding novelty in reinforcement learning-based automated scenario generation. Proceedings of the Seventh Annual GIFT User Symposium (GIFTSym7), pp. 76-83, Orlando, Florida, 2019.
Spain, R., Rowe, J., Goldberg, B., Pokorny, R., Mott, B., & Lester, J. (2019, May). Towards data-driven tutorial planning for counterinsurgency training in GIFT: Preliminary findings and lessons learned. In Proceedings of the Seventh Annual GIFT User Symposium (GIFTSym7), Orlando, Florida, pp. 111-120.
Spain, R. D., Mulvaney, R. H., Cummings, P., Barnieu, J., Hyland, J., Lodato, M. A., & Zoellick C. (2013). Enhancing soldier-centered learning with emerging technologies and integrated assessments. Proceedings of the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) (pp. 1423–1434). Orlando, FL: National Training and Simulation Association. (Best Paper – Education Subcommittee)
Menaker, E. S., & Spain, R. D. (2013). Mobile learning anytime, anywhere: But why and how? Proceedings of the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) (pp. 1497–1508). Orlando, FL: National Training and Simulation Association.
Spain, R. D. (2010). A game-based training application to support the development of commanders’ skills in counterinsurgency operations. In Proceedings of the 54th annual meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (pp. 2274-2278). San Francisco, CA: Sage Publication. doi: 10.1177/154193121005402712.