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Research

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Prof Jens F. Beckmann, Dipl.-Psych., Dr.rer.nat.habil.

Professor, Director of Research in the School of Education

Contact Prof Jens F. Beckmann (email at j.beckmann@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

Jens Beckmann is Professor of Educational Psychology, and Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute at Durham, and Honorary Principal Fellow at Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne, Australia. 

Jens joined Durham University, School of Education in 2011 from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia where he was Director of the Accelerated Learning Laboratory. Prior to that he worked at the University of Sydney (Australia), Yale University (USA), the University of Bonn and the University of Leipzig (Germany).

His areas of expertise and his main foci of research have mainly been on the study and the assessment of intellectual abilities. More specifically, he conducts research in three main areas:

Dynamic Testing: Dynamic tests concentrate specifically on intellectual potential instead of the mere registration of what examinees are capable of doing at the given time of testing. He has been working extensively on the development of dynamic assessment procedures (e.g. learning tests).

Complex Problem Solving: His interest here is primarily on knowledge acquisition processes whilst dealing with complex dynamic simulations and their effects on controlling such systems. Research in complex problem solving not only allows studying learning and the acquisition and application of knowledge it can also provide a framework to address issues around instructional design.

Cognitive Flexibility: Cognitive flexibility can broadly be defined as the ability to deal with novelty, adjust to changes, and to break out of routine ways of thinking when necessary. Jens' research in this area is concerned with both conceptualisation (i.e. how to define) and operationalization (i.e. how to measure) of these practically highly relevant facets of intellectual functioning.

Jens welcomes enquiries regarding potential supervision of postgraduate and doctoral research broadly related to the above-mentioned topics.

Research Groups

School of Education

Research Projects

School of Education

Research Interests

  • Cognitive Flexibility
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Dynamic Testing

Selected Publications

Books: authored

Conference papers

  • Beckmann, J. (2015), The prediction of success in an ever-changing world: Assessing cognitive flexibility through dynamic testing, International Conference of the International Association for Cognitive Education in Southern Africa. Personalizing Thinking & Learning in the Conceptual Age. Cape Town, South Africa
  • Tymms, P. , Beckmann, N., Beckmann, J.F. , Elliott, J. & Merell, C. (2013), Does Schooling increase Short-term memory?, 15th Biennial Conference of the European Association for Learning and Instruction. Munich, Germany.
  • Beckmann, J.F. & Goode, N. (2013), On costs of good intentions: The effect of problem contextualisation on knowledge acquisition, 15th Biennial Conference of the European Association for Learning and Instruction. Munich, Germany.
  • Beckmann, J.F. (2011), The Benefit of Being Naive and Knowing it: The Unfavourable Impact of Context Familiarity on Learning in Complex Problem Solving Tasks, 14th Conference of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences. London, England.
  • Beckmann, J.F (2011), With a little help… On the role of guidance in knowledge acquisition in complex, dynamic systems, 14th Biennial Conference of the European Association for Learning and Instruction. Exeter, England.
  • Birney, D. P., Grigorenko, E. L., Stemler, S., Beckmann, J.F. & Sternberg, R. J. (2010), An investigation of the theoretical implications of differential item functioning in the evaluation of educational interventions, 15th International Objective Measurement Conference. Boulder, CO, USA.
  • Howe, A., & Beckmann, J.F. (2010), Does task type affect the efficacy of performance goals? A comparison of discovery and instruction-based skill acquisition, 27th International Congress of Applied Psychology. Melbourne, Vic, Australia.
  • Beckmann, N., , Beckmann, J.F. & Elliott. J.G. (2009), Accuracy feedback in dynamic testing, 13th Biennial Conference of the European Association for Learning and Instruction. Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Beckmann, J.F. (2009), Flexibility in Dynamic Testing: The assessment of cognitive flexibility in high performing adults, 13th Biennial Conference of the European Association for Learning and Instruction. Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Beckmann, J.F. (2009), From process models to diagnostic practice: A unified approach to complex problem solving, 13th Biennial Conference of the European Association for Learning and Instruction. Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Bowman, D.B., Beckmann, J.F. , Minbashian, A., Beckmann, N., MacCann, C., Birney, D.B. & Wood, R.E. (2009), Invited Workshop: The Accelerated Learning Laboratory’s approach to accelerated learning, 8th Australasian Conference on Personality and Individual Differences. Sydney, NSW, Australia.
  • Goode, N. & Beckmann, J.F. (2009), More than just rule application: determinants of control performance under conditions of partial and complete information in complex problem solving tasks, 13th Biennial Conference of the European Association for Learning and Instruction. Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Goode, N. & Beckmann, J.F. (2009), The Benefit of Being Naive but Knowing it: The Impact of Semantic Embedment in Complex Problem Solving Tasks, 13th Biennial Conference of the European Association for Learning and Instruction. Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Beckmann, J.F. (2008), Exploring the potential of dynamic testing in the measurement of cognitive flexibility, Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association. Singapore.
  • Beckmann, J.F. & Bowman, D.B. (2008), Item development for new measures of cognitive flexibility, 43: International Journal of Psychology, 396.

Journal papers: academic

Reports: technical

  • Wood, R.E., Beckmann, J.F. & Birney, D.P. (2012). Flexible Expertise in Senior Executives (Final Report for Linkage Project LP0669552). Sydney: Accelerated Learning Laboratory. Accelerated Learning Laboratory.

Show all publications

Supervises

Selected Grants

  • 2014: UKCAT - Outline Research Proposal (Capacity Building Tender) (£22846.00 from UKCAT)