Stephanie Wassenburg

Postdoctoral Researcher

Human-Computer Interaction Institute
School of Computer Science

Carnegie Mellon University

Psychology, Education, and Child Studies
School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Erasmus University Rotterdam


Hi! I am Stephanie Wassenburg and some of the things I like are running, traveling, dancing, playing board games, and whisky tasting. On this website, you can find more information about my professional interests and achievements. If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email!



After graduating in psychology (Master’s degree cognitive & biological psychology, awarded Cum Laude) at Erasmus University Rotterdam, I started as a PhD student at the Department of Educational Neuroscience at the VU University Amsterdam (December 2010). During my PhD, I studied reading comprehension in primary school children, under supervision of Prof. Jelle Jolles, Menno van der Schoot, and Björn de Koning. The faculty Talent Grant, which I was awarded in 2013, allowed me to obtain experience working abroad by visited the University of Sussex (Brighton, UK) for four months under supervision of Prof. Jane Oakhill. I have conducted both fundamental and applied studies on the cognitive processes and strategies that are involved in deep level reading comprehension. In April 2016, I received my doctorate. After this, I went back to Erasmus University Rotterdam as a Postdoctoral researcher to work with prof. Fred Paas.


The overarching theme of my research is the construction of a meaningful mental representation that is required for comprehension and learning. I am interested in the interaction between the body, cognition, and environment. From this situated perspective, I study topics such as reading comprehension, hand gestures, mental simulation, imagery, metacognition, and educational technology.

In 2017, I was awarded the Rubicon grant. This grant has enabled me to conduct postdoctoral research at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA US (where I currently live), with Prof. Ken Koedinger as my adviser. This research primarily focuses on the effectiveness of creating vlogs (video blogs) as a learning strategy as the growth in technology requires new approaches to learning. In addition, I examine how other educational technologies, such as learnersourcing and intelligent tutoring systems, can support and facilitate the learning process.

Listen to a short recent radio interview (in Dutch) on NPO Radio 1 "de wakkere wetenschapper" where I talk about this research (or find the podcast here.)


At the moment, I'm learning more about computer and data science. I'm hoping to acquire skills, such as machine learning and data visualization techniques, to extend my research to different types of data (for example, big, interactive, and unstructured) in the future.