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Washington State University

MERIT Laboratory


Olusola Adesope

Lab Co-Director

Olusola Adesope is an award- and grant-winning professor of Educational Psychology in the College of Education at Washington State University-Pullman. Sola’s research is at the intersection of educational psychology, learning sciences, instructional design and technology. His recent research focuses on:

  • The cognitive and pedagogical underpinnings of learning with computer-based multimedia resources;
  • Investigation of instructional principles and assessments in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) domains.
  • Knowledge representation through interactive concept maps & diagrams,
  • The use of meta-analyses and systematic reviews for evidence-based practice and policy-making,


Kira Carbonneau

Lab Co-Director

Kira Carbonneau is a graduate of the Educational Psychology program from the University of New Mexico. Her research examines issues at the intersection of cognitive theory and classroom application and includes interests associated with: cognitive principles of instructional methods, instructional manipulatives in early childhood education, mathematics education, executive functioning and self-regulation. Kira’s most recent research assesses the efficacy of manipulative-based instructional strategies within pre-K classrooms.

Dr. Carbonneau teaches courses related to learning theories, statistics, research methods, and quantitative methods.


Graduate Research Assistants

Rachel Wong

Rachel Wong

Rachel Wong is a Ph.D. candidate in the Educational Psychology program in the College of Education. Her research focuses on multimedia instructional design, learning strategies and techniques to enhance STEM learning at both middle school and college levels. She hopes to provide support to both educators and students within the classroom via her research.



Katie Reilly

Katie Barton

Katie is currently a doctoral candidate studying Educational Psychology. Her interests revolve around note-taking strategies and practices that can be influenced by environmental and social pressures in postsecondary education. She is an Academic Success Coach at Washington State University where she works with students to develop positive learning habits and strategies.


Femi Johnson Sunday

Oluwafemi Johnson Sunday smiling at camera.

Oluwafemi is currently a doctoral student studying Educational Psychology in the College of Education. His research focuses on multimedia instructional design, learning strategies, and STEM education. His interests cut across the use of multimedia in advancing early childhood, different instructional strategies, and how technology impacts mental health. Femi leverages quantitative techniques such as psychometrics, CFA, measurement invariance, SEM, and Monte Carlo approaches in his studies. He loves to provide an inclusive learning environment that promotes cognitive learning and students’ well-being.



Dustin Van Orman

Dustin Van Orman sitting on the ground while smiling upward at the camera.

Dustin Van Orman is a Ph.D. candidate in the Educational Psychology program and instructor of ED PSYCH 401: Classroom Assessment in the Elementary Education program in the College of Education. His research focuses on where and how adults can learn languages best, and how to evaluate language proficiency. He has B.A. degrees in European Studies: Linguistics & Spanish, and Sociology from Seattle Pacific University, and an M.A. degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Nottingham in Ningbo, China.



Olufunso Oje

Funso is currently a master student in the Educational Psychology program at the College of Education. His research interests center around students’ affective learning outcomes and cognitive engagement, with a special focus on supporting students for academic and career success in STEM. He has a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria.


Samuel Aina

Samuel Aina is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the Educational Psychology program. His background in teacher education, training development and instructional technology informed his research interests. His research focus is at the intersection of multimedia learning design, video study, teacher and teaching quality, mathematics education, teacher education reforms, evidence-based practices and meta analyses.