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Dr. Alexandra Patzak
PhD, Simon Fraser University
Assistant Professor
Educational Psychology

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Email: apatzak (

George Mason University
Fairfax Campus
West Building 2204
4400 University Dr.
MS 6D2
Fairfax, VA 22030


Alexandra is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education and Human Development. She primarily teaches graduate-level courses focusing on educational psychology, research methods and educational measurement. She holds a Magister (equivalent to MSc) in Psychology, with a specialization in Educational Psychology, Research Methods and Evaluation from the University of Vienna, Austria, and received her PhD in Educational Psychology from Simon Fraser University.

Broadly speaking, Alexandra’s research aims to enhance students’ learning and academic success, particularly focusing on reducing counterproductive self-regulated learning in online learning environments.

Research Interests

Alexandra’s research strives to broaden the framework for theorizing about and researching counterproductive self-regulated learning by merging predominant motivational perspectives with contemporary cognitive models of human decision making.

Alexandra explores how decision making about learning is shaped by metacognition and motivation. More specifically, she explores why and how learners select counterproductive strategies such as academic self-handicapping.

To reduce counterproductive self-regulated learning, Alexandra’s research fuses educational psychology and learning analytics with a particular interest in designing actionable process analytics and scaffolds tailored to learners’ needs. She is also interested in developing and psychometrically validating measures of constructs involved in counterproductive self-regulated learning, and refining methods to wrangle, mine and analyze complex data.

Recent Publications

Patzak, A. (2020). Measuring and understanding self-handicapping in education. [Doctoral dissertation, Simon Fraser University]. Summit Dissertation & Thesis Database.

Vytasek, J. M., Patzak, A., & Winne, P. H. (2020). Analytics for student engagement. In M. Virvou, E. Alepis, G. A. Tsihrintzis & L. C. Jain (Eds.) Machine learning paradigms: Advances of learning analytics (pp. 23-48). New York, NY: Springer.

Vytasek, J. M., Patzak, A., & Winne, P. H. (2020). Writing analytics to support integration of multiple texts. Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge, Frankfurt, Germany: ACM.

Vytasek, J. M., Patzak, A., & Winne. P. H. (2019). Topic development to support revision feedback. Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge. Tempe, Arizona: ACM. doi: 10.1145/3303772.3303816

Winne, P. H., Teng, K., Chang, D.,  Lin, M. P. C., Marzouk, Z., Nesbit, J. C., Patzak, A., Rakovic, M.,  Samadi, D., & Vytasek, J. M. (2019). nStudy: Software for learning analytics about processes of self-regulated learning. Journal of Learning Analytics, 6(2), 95-106.

Patzak, A., & Winne, P. H. (2019, June). Self-handicapping in education: Tracing students’ selections of adaptive versus maladaptive ways of learning. In A. Hadwin (Chair), Adaptive and maladaptive regulation of learning. Symposium conducted at the 47th conference of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE), Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Patzak, A., Vytasek, J., & Winne, P. H. (2018, August). Time management: Definitions, theories, and applications – A systematic review. Poster presentation at the 126th annual convention of the American Psychological Association (APA), San Francisco, CA, United States.

Patzak, A,, Kollmayer, M., & Schober, B. (2017). Buffering impostor feelings with kindness: The mediating role of self-compassion between the impostor phenomenon and gender-role orientation. Frontiers in Psychology, 8(1289). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01289

Winne, P. H., Vytasek, J., Patzak, A., Rakovic, M., Marzouk, Z., Pakdaman-Savoji, A., Ram, I., Samadi, D., Lin, M. P. C., Liu, A., Liaqat, A., Nashaat, N., Mozaffani, Z., Stewart-Alonso, J., & Nesbit, J. (2017). Designs for learning analytics to support information problem solving. In J. Buder & F. W. Hesse (Eds.) Informational environments: Effects of use, effective designs. New York, NY: Springer.

Patzak, A., & Winne, P. H. (2017, August). Using research on decision making to account for why and how students self-handicap. Paper presentation at the 125th annual convention of the American Psychological Association (APA), Washington, DC, United States.

Patzak, A. (2016, June). Self-compassion and the impostor phenomenon. Implications for academic success. Paper presentation at the conference of the 44th Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE), Calgary, AB, Canada.