The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Research and Projects

Video Games for Learning

Work in this area investigates the development and use of video games for learning. 

Focused Computer Games that Promote Specific Cognitive Skills
In collaboration with Richard E. Mayer, UCSB; Jan L. Plass, NYU
Funding by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES)

Dr. Homer and his collaborators seek to design and develop computer games targeting executive functions, cognitive skills that predict success in many academic disciplines (Best et al., 2011), in middle school through early college students. More information about this project is available here.

Games for Learning Institute
An interdisciplinary, cross-university research institute with funding by Microsoft Research

Dr. Homer and his collaborators investigated how different design patterns in games affect student learning and motivation. They also examined ways of embedding assessment into educational games to provide to students and educators.

Sample Publications:

Language, Cognition, and Children’s Symbolic Abilities

Work in this area investigates language, literacy and developmental influences on children’s symbolic abilities. Related research includes studies of the relationship between literacy and children’s understanding of language, as well as studies of cultural and biological influences on children and adults’ theory of mind, the ability to reason about the perspective, emotions, and desires of others (Wellman, Cross, & Watson, 2001).

Sample Publications:

Multimedia Learning Environments

Work in this area investigates how cognitive abilities and prior knowledge affect students’ interactions with and learning from multimedia environments. Ongoing work is investigating the role of “emotional design” in multimedia, and effects of individual differences, such as executive functions.

.Molecules and Minds 
In collaboration with Catherine Milne, Jan Plass, Trace Jordan, NYU
Funding by the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES)

Dr. Homer and his colleagues developed and tested computer-based simulations for teaching chemistry to a variety of learners, but particularly low-income, urban students with low prior knowledge in science and technology. An approach that has proven effective is the integration of iconic representation of key information into the simulations.

Sample Publications:

Other Projects

Project HOPE
In collaboration with Selçuk Şirin, Jan L. Plass, NYU; Sinem Vatanartiran, BAU International University
Funding by the Bahcesehir Ugur Foundation, Istanbul, Turkey

Dr. Homer and his collaborators seek to support Syrian refugee children in Turkey by providing them with game-based education opportunities. The first round pilot study provided Turkish language learning, mental health interventions, executive functions training, and coding instruction to children in Urfu, Turkey. More information about this project is available here.

DE-CRUIT Program
In collaboration with Stephan Wolfert; Alisha Ali, NYU; Dawn Stern; Jason Cleveland 
Funding by JM Kaplan Foundation Grant; NYU-Steinhardt Research Challenge Grant; National Endowment for the Arts

Dr. Homer and his collaborators work to scientifically evaluate the DE-CRUIT Program and coordinate performance of research and data analysis. More information about this project is available here.