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Jennifer J. Stiegler-Balfour

Jennifer Stiegler-Balfour is an Associate Professor of Psychology and the principle investigator of the Reading Comprehension and Cognition (RCC) Lab. The primary questions addressed in the RCC Lab are focused on gaining a better understand of the memory processes involved in reading comprehension and learning. Among her current projects is a series of studies focused on examining the impact of emerging technologies such as iPads, Kindles and other tablets on reading compehension and learning processes. Dr. Stiegler-Balfour teaches courses including Psychology Statistics and Research Methods, Cognition and Memory, Psychology of Consciousness and a seminar in Cognition and Learning. Since 2011, Dr. Stiegler-Balfour has also served as the faculty advisor of the UNE Chapter of the PSI CHI Honor Society. 

Education

Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology

University of New Hampshire

2010

M.S.T. in College Teaching

University of New Hampshire

2010

B.A.

Hood College

2005

Expertise

Cognitive psychology; memory processes underlying reading comprehension; reading interventions; and learning.

Research

Current Research

The foundation of Dr. Stiegler-Balfour’s research is focused on exploring basic and applied questions of human cognition with a focus on understanding and improving learning during reading.

At the center of her research is the pursuit of a deeper understanding of the various factors which differentiate skilled- from less-skilled readers, and the actions which can be undertaken to remediate reading deficits. Her work in assessing the dynamic relation between reading skill, text characteristics and reading strategies has been recognized by the Society for Text and Discourse in the form of the Jason Albrecht Outstanding Young Scientist Award (2010).

One of Dr. Stiegler-Balfour’s current research projects investigates the connection between technology and reading comprehension and learning. Specifically, this line of research examines whether reading on digital mediums (e.g. iPads, Kindles, computers) can be a reasonable alternative to traditional print text, particularly for individuals who have lower reading skill. Further studies are underway to determine how reading on digital devices can be optimized for readers. 

Research Interests

Through her research, Dr. Stiegler-Balfour is committed to developing a deeper understanding of the cognitive processes involved in reading comprehension, memory, and learning. 

Selected Publications

                                                                            * denotes student author

Stiegler-Balfour, J. J., Jakobsen, K. V., Stroud, M. J. , & Daniel, D. B. (in press). APA-style citations can create a roadblock to textbook comprehension for less-skilled readers. Teaching of Psychology.

Smith, E.R., Stiegler-Balfour, J. J., Williams, C. R., Walsh, E.K., & O'Brien, E.J. (in press). Access to Prior Spatial Information. Memory & Cognition.

Stiegler-Balfour, J. J. & Benassi, V. A. (2015). Guiding questions promote learning of expository text for less-skilled readers. Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 1, 312-325. doi:10.1037/stl0000044 

Stiegler-Balfour, J. J. (2015). Teaching online courses in psychology. In D. Dunn (Ed.). The Oxford Handbook of Undergraduate Psychology Education (pp. 275-285). Oxford University Press, NY: NY.

Troisi, J.D., Leder-Elder, S., Stiegler-Balfour, J. J., Fleck, B.K.B., Good, J.J. (2015). Effective teaching outcomes associated with the mentorship of early career psychologists. Teaching of Psychology, 42, 242-247. doi: 10.1177/0098628315587623

Troisi, J. D., Leder-Elder, S., Stiegler-Balfour, J. J., Fleck, B. K. B., Good, J. J. (2015). Not all types of mentors are created equal: Comparing the effectiveness of intra-departmental, intra-university, and self-selected mentors. Teaching of Psychology, 29, 17-22.

Stiegler-Balfour, J. J., Benassi, V. A., Tatsak, H.*, Taatjes, A. * (2014). The influence of guiding questions on skilled- and less-skilled readers’ understanding of written discourse. In V. A. Benassi, C. E Overson, & C. M. Hakala (Eds.), Applying the science of learning in education: Infusing psychological science into the curriculum (pp. 293-298). Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology website: http://teachpsych.org/ebooks/asle2014/index.php. ISBN:  978-1-941804-29-2.

Benassi, V. A., Tappin, E. M., Overson, C. E., Lee, M. J., O’Brien, E. J., White, B. P., Stiegler-Balfour, J. J., & Hakala, C. M. (2014). Applying the science of learning: The cognitive toolbox. In V. A. Benassi, C. E  Overson, & C. M. Hakala (Eds.), Applying the science of learning education: Infusing psychological science into the curriculum (pp. 194-205). Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology website: http://teachpsych.org/ebooks/asle2014/index.php. ISBN: 978-1-941804-29-2.

Stiegler-Balfour, J. J. (2014). Turning your foundation into a launching pad. In J. Busler, B. Beins, & W. Buskist (Eds.), Preparing the new professoriate: Helping graduate students to become competent teachers, 2nd ed (pp. 220-225). Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology website: http://teachpsych.org/page-1862898. ISBN: 978-1-941804-33-9.

Stiegler-Balfour, J. J. (2013). Maximize student- and peer evaluations: Leveraging feedback to become a more effective teacher and improve student learning. In J. Keeley, S. E. Afful, J. J. Stiegler-Balfour, J. J. Good, & S. Leder  (Eds.), So you landed a job – what’s next? Advice for early career psychologists from early career psychologists (pp. 14-26). Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology website:   http://teachpsych.org/ebooks/ecp2013/index.php. ISBN: 978-1-941804-26-1

Afful, S. E., Stiegler-Balfour, J. J., Good, J. J., Leder, S., & Keeley, J. (2013). Realistic expectations for your first few years. In J. Keeley, S. E. Afful, J. J. Stiegler-Balfour, J. J. Good, & S. Leder (Eds.), So you landed a job – what’s next? Advice for early career psychologists from early career psychologists (pp. 128-131). Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology website:  http://teachpsych.org/ebooks/ecp2013/index.php. ISBN: 978-1 941804-26-1

Keeley, J., Afful, S. E., Stiegler-Balfour, J. J., Good, J. J., & Leder, S. (2013). Introduction: A field guide to this book. In J. Keeley, S. E. Afful, J. J.Stiegler- Balfour, J. J. Good, & S. Leder (Eds.), So you landed a job – what’s next? Advice for early career psychologists from early career psychologists (pp. 1-4). Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology website: http://teachpsych.org/ebooks/ecp2013/index.php. ISBN: 978-1-941804-26-1

Stiegler-Balfour, J. J. (2013). Consciousness. In S. E. Afful, J. J. Good, J. Keeley, S. Leder, & J. J. Stiegler-Balfour (Eds.), Introductory psychology teaching primer: A guide for new teachers of psych 101 (pp. 37-41). Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology website: http://teachpsych.org/ebooks/intro2013/index.php. ISBN: 978-1-941804-27-8

Stiegler-Balfour, J. J. (2013). Memory. In S. E. Afful, J. J. Good, J. Keeley, S. Leder, & J. J. Stiegler-Balfour (Eds.), Introductory psychology teaching primer: A guide for new teachers of psych 101 (pp. 26-30). Retrieved from Society for the Teaching of Psychology website: http://teachpsych.org/ebooks/intro2013/index.php. ISBN: 978-1-941804-27-8

Good, J. J., Keeley, J., Leder, S., Afful, S., & Stiegler-Balfour, J. J. (2013). Supporting our junior faculty: Assessing the concerns and needs of early career faculty. Teaching of Psychology, 40, 340-345. doi: 10.1177/0098628313501048

Stiegler-Balfour, J. J., & Overson, C. E. (2012). Useful resources for preparing the new professoriate. In W. Buskist, & Benassi, V. A (Eds.), Effective college and university teaching: Strategies and tactics for the new professoriate (pp. 207-217). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. ISBN: 978-1-4129-9607-5

Cook, A. E., Lassonde, K. A., Splinter, A., Guéraud, S., Stiegler-Balfour, J. J. & O’Brien, E. J. (2012). The role of relevance in the activation and instantiation of predictive inferences. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 29 244-257. doi: 10.1080/01690965.2012.748926

Blanc, N., Stiegler-Balfour, J. J., & O’Brien, E. J. (2011). Does the certainty of information influence the updating process? Evidence from the reading of news articles. Discourse Processes, 48, 387-403. doi: 10.1080/0163853X.2011.552844

Funded Grants

Stiegler-Balfour, J.J. Center for the Enrichment of Teaching and Learning Research Grant, University of New England:  Flipping problem-based learning on its head: Creating more dynamic learning experiences through the inverted classroom model, 2016-2017.

Stiegler-Balfour, J.J. Center for the Enrichment of Teaching and Learning Research Grant, University of New England: Using an inverted classroom approach to support problem-based learning in a research methods course, Spring 2016.

Stiegler-Balfour, J.J. (PI), & Robnett, R. College of Arts and Sciences Scholarly Research Mini-Grant, University of New England: Reading Comprehension and Alzheimer's Disease: Understanding the effects of related and unrelated text distracters, 2012-2013.

Stiegler-Balfour, J. J. (PI), & Benassi, V. A. Society for the Teaching of Psychology Partnership Grant (Division 2, American Psychological Association), Applying the science of learning in face-to-face and online psychology courses, 2012.

Stiegler-Balfour, J. J. (PI). Master Teacher Program Award, (Division 2, American Psychological Association), Applying the science of learning in face-to-face and online psychology courses, 2012.

Stiegler-Balfour, J.J. (PI). College of Arts and Sciences Scholarly Research Mini-Grant, University of New England: Learning from text: Effects of reading skill and text factors, 2011-2012.

Research Topics

Jennifer Stiegler-Balfour

Jennifer J. Stiegler-Balfour

,

Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychology

Program Coordinator, Psychology