Deborah Cockerham

Deborah Cockerham

Clinical Assistant Professor, Director of Masters in Science Program


PhD, University of North Texas

  • Major: Learning Technologies
  • Degree Specialization: Behavioral Science
  • Dissertation Title: The Impact of an Inquiry-Based Learning Environment upon Digital Awareness and Well-Being Among Middle Schoolers with Learning and Attentional Disabilities

MS, University of Texas at Arlington

  • Major: Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Degree Specialization: Mind, Brain and Education
  • Dissertation Title: Visual Recognition of Fear and Anger Cues by Children on Autism Spectrum and Neurotypical Peers: An EEG Study

Research Interests

  • Human relationships with technology
  • Strategies and tools for students with learning disabilities, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder 
  • AI applications in K-20 education
  • Learning and motivation in immersive environments
  • Impact of sensory stimuli upon learning
  • Socioemotional learning, well-being, and communication
  • Inquiry-based learning and critical thinking
  • Higher education collaborations with community

Dr. Cockerham founded and directed the Research and Learning Center at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and has been a Visiting Research Scholar at Texas Christian University. She has over twenty years of experience in teaching children and adolescents with a wide range of learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and/or autism spectrum disorders.


  • Lupe Murchison Foundation Award
    • Project: Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Developing Social and Communication Skills for the Workforce.
    • Role: PI  Sum: $10,000
  • 2023 COI Faculty Excellence Award
  • 2020 John Cotton Dana Award for Leadership
    • American Alliance of Museums
  • 2023-24 LASER Scholar
    •  Learning Analytics in STEM Education Research Institute

Recent Publications

Cockerham, D., Kaplan-Rakowski, R., Foshay, W., & Spector, M. (2023). (Eds.) Reimagining education: Studies and stories for effective learning  in an evolving digital society. New York: Springer.

Cockerham, D. (2023). Participatory action research: Building understanding, dialogue, and positive actions in a changing digital environment. Educational Technology Research and Development, 1-29.

Cockerham, D., Lin-Lipsmeyer, L., and Tyler-Wood, T. (Accepted). An Inquiry-Based Approach to Understanding Well-Being and Smartphone Usage: Constructing Research with Adolescent Students. Mind, Brain and Education Journal.

Kaplan-Rakowski, R., Cockerham, D., & Ferdig, R. (Accepted). The impacts of ambisonic sound and immersion on learning in high-immersion and low-immersion virtual reality. British Journal of Educational Technology.

Cockerham, D. (2023). Reimagining higher education pedagogy: Building an active understanding of the research process. In Cockerham, D., Kaplan-Rakowski, R., Foshay, W., and Spector, M.  (Eds.) Reimagining education: Studies and stories for effective learning practices in an evolving digital society. New York: Springer.

Cockerham, D. & Tyler-Wood, T. (2023). Impacts and interventions for central auditory processing disorders: A case study. In Sofologi, M., and Kougioumtzis, R. (Eds.) Perspectives of cognitive, psychosocial, and learning difficulties from childhood to adulthood. IGI Global.

Kaiser, S., Strawn, S., & Cockerham, D. (2023). Teacher self-assessment of technology proficiency and adoption during the COVID-19 crisis. In Cockerham, D., Kaplan-Rakowski, R., Foshay, W., and Spector, M. (Eds.) Reimagining education: Studies and stories for effective learning practices in an evolving digital society. New York: Springer.

Ndolo, S., & Cockerham, D. (2023). Reimagining PBL to Develop Critical Thinking Skills for All Learners. In  Hokanson, B., Exter, M., Schmidt, M., & Tawfik, A. (Eds.) Toward Inclusive Learning Design: Social Justice, Equity, and Community. Springer.

Cockerham, D., Lin, L., Ndolo, S., and Schwartz, M. (2021). Voices of the students: Adolescent well-being and social interactions during the emergent shift to online learning environments. Education and Information Technologies.

Cockerham, D. (2021). Neuroscience applications in educational technology. In M.A. Peters and R. Heraud (Eds.), Encyclopedia of educational innovation. Springer, Singapore.

Shen, Q., Wang, L.Y., Cockerham, D., & Lin, L. (2019, October). Media multitasking, attention, and news evaluation: A study based on undergraduates’ news reading. Educational Innovation through Technology (EITT). The 8th International Conference of Educational Innovation through Technology (pp. 184-189). IEEE.

Tyler-Wood, T. L., Cockerham, D., & Johnson, K. R. (2018). Implementing new technologies in a middle school curriculum: a rural perspective. Smart Learning Environments, 5(1), 22.

Tyler-Wood, T., Johnson, K.R., and Cockerham, D. (2018). Factors influencing STEM career choices: Gender differences. Journal of Research in STEM Education, 4(2), 179-192.

Parker C., Cockerham, D., and Foss, A. (2018). Communicating climate change: lessons learned from a researcher-museum collaboration. Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1499.

Gu, X., Zhang, T., Lin, L., & Cockerham, D. (2017). Gender and race differences among children's anthropometrics and mental health. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sports, (Vol. 88, pp. A85-A85).

Cockerham, D., and Malaia, E. (2017). Neuroscience-based approaches to teaching students on the autism spectrum. Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 224(4), 290-293.

Malaia, E., Cockerham, D., & Rublein, K. (2017). Visual integration of fear and anger emotional cues by children on the autism spectrum and neurotypical peers: An EEG study. Neuropsychologia,

Cockerham, D., Chang, Z., Schellen, M., and Lin, L. (2016, July). Cognitive task performance in technology-enhanced learning environments. Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT), 2016 IEEE 16th International Conference on Learning, (pp. 360-362). IEEE.

Lin, L., Cockerham, D., Chang, Z., and Natividad, G. (2015).  Task speed and accuracy decrease when multitasking. Technology, Knowledge and Learning,  21(3), 307-323.