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Photo of Dai, Ting

Ting Dai, PhD

Assistant Professor

Educational Psychology


Building & Room:

3048 ETMSW


1040 W. Harrison St. (M/C 147), Chicago, IL 60607

Office Phone:

(312) 996-1878



Ting Dai is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology.  Her research centers on student motivation, engagement, and epistemic cognition in STEM. Her other line of research focuses on the methodological issues with educational and psychological research, such as missing data and measurement invariance. Dr. Dai' research projects were funded by the Institute of Education Sciences and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Dai teaches structural equation modeling, research design/methods, and assessment. She is on the Editorial Board of  Journal of Educational Psychology, Contemporary Educational Psychology, and Journal of Experimental Education.

Selected Grants

Institute of Education Sciences, US Department of Education, Evaluation of an Intervention to Improve Academic Outcomes for Low-Income Urban Youth through Instruction in Effective Coping Supported by Mentoring Relationships (7/1/2021-6/30/2026), Co-I

Institute of Education Sciences, US Department of Education, Bootstrapping Achievement and Motivation in STEM: An Integrated Cognitive-Motivational Intervention to Improve Biology Grades (8/1/2014-7/31/2018), Co-PI

Institute of Education Sciences, US Department of Education, Inference-Making and Reasoning: Refinement of an Assessment for Use in Gateway Biology Courses (9/1/2016-8/31/2020), Co-PI

Selected Publications

Tang, X. & Dai, T. (2021). How do children’s social behaviors influence longitudinal reading achievement? A conditional autoregressive latent growth trajectory analysis. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 54, 239-251.

Kaplan, A., Cromley, J. G., Perez, T., Dai, T., Mara, K., & Balsai, M. (2020). The role of context in educational RCT findings: A call to redefine “evidence-based practice.” Educational Researcher, 49(4), 285-288.

Kiuhara, S. A., Gillespie, A., Dai, T., Witzel, B.,Morphy, P., & Unker, B. (2019). Constructing written arguments to develop fraction knowledge. Journal of Educational Psychology, 112(3), 584-607.

Dai, T., Van Boekel, M., Cromley, J., Nelson, F. & Fechter, T, (2018). Using think-alouds to create a better measure of biology reasoning. SAGE Research Methods Cases.

Zahner, W., Dai, T., Cromley, J.G., Wills, T., Booth, J.L., Shipley, T., Stepnowski, W. (2017). Coordinating multiple representations of polynomials: What do patterns in students’ solution strategies reveal? Learning and Instruction, 49, 131–141.

Dai, T., & Cromley, J.G. (2014). Changes in implicit theories of ability in biology and dropout from STEM majors: A latent growth curve approach. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 39(3), 233–247.


Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, Temple University
M.Ed. in Educational Psychology, Temple University

Professional Memberships

American Educational Research Association
American Psychological Association
European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction

Selected Presentations

Dai, T., Qiao, L., Snow, M., Cromley, J. G., Kaplan, A., Perez, T., Mara, K. R., & Balsai, M. J. (2020, August). Differential engagement in an online learning support module: How may it affect biology grades? Presidential Poster Session presented at the American Psychological Association 2020 Virtual Convention, August 6-9, 2020.

Research Currently in Progress

Improving Strategies for Addressing Non-Ignorable Missing Data in Educational Research.


Davey, A., & Dai, T. (2020). A systematic approach to identify and evaluate missing data patterns and mechanisms in multivariate educational, social, and behavioral research. arXiv preprint arXiv:2007.14296.