Curriculum Vitae (PDF)
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Bernacki, Matthew

Assistant Professor, Learning Sciences

T: 919.843.5550
113 Peabody Hall
CB 3500


Matthew Bernacki is an Assistant Professor who joined the UNC SOE faculty in 2018. He earned his Ph.D. in educational psychology in 2010 from Temple University in Philadelphia and also holds master’s degrees in Experimental Psychology from Saint Joseph’s University and Social Work from Temple University.

Prior to arriving at UNC, Matt held post-doctoral appointments at the Learning Research & Development Center (University of Pittsburgh) and the Human Computer Interaction Institute (Carnegie Mellon University) through the jointly-housed LearnLab, and a faculty appointment in Educational Psychology and Higher Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Matt’s research focuses on (1) the roles that motivations and metacognitive processes play when learners use technologies like hypertext, intelligent tutoring systems, and learning management systems, (2) the development of interventions and software to promote effective learning strategies, and motivation to learn AND (3) the development of learning materials and environments that personalize learning to students’ interests.

Outside the Lab, Matt is a dad, cook, hiker, and nature- food- and baseball-tourist.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. 2010 - Temple University, Educational Psychology

Research Interests

  • Self-regulated Learning
  • Metacognition
  • Motivation
  • Learning technologies
  • Learning analytics
  • Personalized learning

Teaching Areas

  • Learning theory
  • Learning technologies
  • Personalization
  • Learning analytics


  • EDUC 825: Development and Learning

Honors & Awards

  • Mentor Protégé of the Year Award, NASA (2017)
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award, UNLV (2017)
  • Public Sector Innovation Award - Mission, Splunk, Inc. (2016)

Funded Research

  • Learning Theory and Analytics as Guides to Improve Undergraduate STEM Education (NSF DRL 1420491)
  • Developing the Skill and Will to Succeed in STEM (NSF DRL 1742185)
  • Personalizing Mathematics to Maximize Relevance and Skill for Tomorrow's STEM Workforce (NSF DRL 1759238)

Selected Professional Affiliations

  • Editorial Board member, Journal of Educational Psychology
  • Editorial Board member, Contemporary Educational Psychology
  • Editorial Board member, Journal of Experimental Education
  • IES Principal Reviewer (Basic Processes)
  • Advisory Board member, Splunk Machine Learning Group
  • Consultant, UNLV College of Education Learning Analytics Initiative

Selected Publications

Bernacki, M.L. & Walkington, C. (2018). The role of situational interest in personalized learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 110(6), 864-881. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/edu0000250

Hilts, A., Part, R., & Bernacki, M.L. (2018). The roles of social influences on student competence, relatedness, achievement, and retention in STEM. Science Education, 102, 744-770 https://doi.org/10.1002/sce.21449

Bernacki, M.L. (2018). Examining the cyclical, loosely sequenced, and contingent features of self-regulated learning: trace data and their analysis. In D.H. Schunk & J.A. Greene (eds.) Handbook of Self-Regulated Learning and Performance. New York: Routledge.

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