Adam Dubé

Title: 
Dr.
Academic title(s): 

Assistant Professor, Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology

Contact Information
Email address: 
adam.dube [at] mcgill.ca
Phone: 
1 (514) 398-3442
Department: 
Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology
Biography: 

Adam Dubé studies how deep conceptual understanding is acquired and applied. To this end, he investigates how educational technology augments the learning process. Does the tactile nature of tablet computers constitute a ‘hands-on’ interaction and is it a formative factor in tablet computer learning? Is 3D printing a viable method for learning about the construction of everyday objects? Are games able to simultaneously entertain and educate? If so, how does learning within a game occur and does it change how the content is understood? His work also investigates conceptually-based problem solving in the area of simple mathematics. Not only a core knowledge area and interesting in its own right, mathematics provides a broad but organized system for modelling conceptually-based problem solving.

As a postdoctoral research fellow in the Semaphore Lab on Mobile and Pervasive Computing at the University of Toronto (http://semaphore.utoronto.ca), he and Rhonda McEwen investigated whether tablet computers augment learning. The common perception is that people intuitively understand how to use touchscreen technology but there is surprisingly little research to support or refute this claim. When tablets are used to educate, several factors must come together for learning to occur: a) the user has to understand how to use the tablet, b) the tablet has to be constructed and programmed to interpret the input provided from the user, and c) the educational software has to communicate the lesson to be learned in an engaging way. The research fellowship culminated in the creation of the book “Understanding Tablets” which argues that using educational technology is best understood as a form of user-device communication. The book is currently being published by Routledge. 

He received his PhD in Developmental Psychology from the Experimental and Applied Psychology Programme at the University of Regina, where he studied how children, adolescents, and adults develop a conceptual approach to mathematical problem solving. One would think that a conceptual understanding of fundamental additive and multiplicative concepts is mastered in childhood but it turns out that they are only mastered in adolescence. This delayed understanding stems from a combination of students’ attitudes towards mathematics and the unexpected finding that the maturation of inhibitory ability in adolescence facilitates the application of conceptual knowledge to problem solving.

Program: 

Learning Sciences

Degree(s): 

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Toronto

PhD in Psychology, University of Regina

MA in Psychology, University of Regina

Research areas: 
Child Development
Cognition
Technology in Education
Mathematics and Science Learning
Area of expertise: 

Educational Technology; Educational Video Games; Mathematical Cognition; Problem Solving: Cognitive Development; Theories of Learning 

 

 

Office: 
Education Building 530
Current research: 

FRQSC Funded program - How the mechanics of educational video games affect children's approach to mathematics.

SSHRC Funded program - How educational video games affect children's cognitive load during gameplay and its effect on learning. 

Internal Funded program - Designing an educational games using open source software to interrogate how game design tools affect how learning occurs in educational games. 

Awards, honours, and fellowships: 

Grants

 

2017     SSHRC Insight Development Grant ($68,544). P.I. Are tablet computers helping or hindering children’s flexible mathematical problem solving?

2017     McGill Internal Social Sciences and Humanities Development Grant ($6,000). P.I. Why do they persist? Are graphics essential to making a good mathematics game?

2016    FRQSC Établissement de nouveaux professeurs-chercheurs ($50,000). Les jeux informatiques sur tablettes aident-ils à la résolution de problèmes mathématiques souples des enfants? (How can tablets be used to aid children's mathematical problem solving?)

2014    SSHRC Insight Development Grant ($75,000). Co-applicant. "I made this!": Children's participatory learning with 3D printing. 

Awards

2016 Outstanding Reviewer Award: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

2012 Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal, University of Regina

2012 President’s Distinguished Graduate Student Award, University of Regina

2009 SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canadian Graduate Scholarship (Doctoral level) ($105,000)

2009 Psychological Society of Saskatchewan’s Master’s Thesis Award 

2008 Canadian Psychological Association Certificate of Academic Excellence for a Master’s Thesis

2008  Dean’s Scholarship, University of Regina

2007 SSHRC Canadian Graduate Scholarship (Master’s level)

2006 Campion College Graduate Scholarship 

2005  Academic Silver Scholarship, University of Regina

Graduate supervision: 

Accepting students

PhD

2017-Present: Chu Xu, Ph.D., Using video games to facilitate problem solving

2017-Present: Phoebe Wen, Ph.D., Learning in and with video games.

2017-Present: Gulsah Kacmaz, Ph.D., Educational technology in the classroom.

2016-Present: Sabrina Alam, Ph.D., Using cellphone apps as a technological math intervention in the home environment for children with a mathematical learning disability. 

MEd

2017-Present: Yang Lu, M.Ed. Special Activity: Designing a math video game to investigate the role of visuals in educational game engagement. 

2016-2017: Suzanne Robinson, M.Ed. Special Activity: An activity theory approach to teaching with technology: Designing professional development workshops for teachers.          http://pedagogueinprogress.com/

 

Selected publications: 

Turner, H., Resch G., Dubé, A. K., McEwen, R., Record, I., Southwick., D. (In Press). Using 3D digital fabrication to enhance understanding and engagement with young visitors in a museum setting. Curator: The Museums Journal.

Dubé, A. K., & Robinson, K. M., (In Press). Children’s understanding of multiplication and division: Insights from a pooled analysis of 7 studies conducted across 7 years. British Journal of Developmental Psychology

McEwen, R., & Dubé, A. K. (2017). Understanding tablets from early childhood to adulthood: Encounters with touch technology. Routledge. Book. 

Robinson, K. M., Dubé, A. K., & Beatch, J-A. (2017). Children’s understanding of additive concepts. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 156, 16-28.

Dubé, A. K., & McEwen, R. (2016). Abilities and affordances: Factors influencing successful child-tablet interactions. Educational Technology Research & Development. DOI: 10.1007/s11423-016-9493-y

Dube, A. K., & Keenan, A. (2016). Are games a viable home numeracy practice? In B. Blevins-Knabe & A. M. B. Austin (Eds.), Early childhood mathematics skill development in the home environment (pp. 165–184). Springer International Publishing.

Robinson, K. M., & Dubé, A. K. (2016) Children's multiplication and division shortcuts: Increasing shortcut use depends on how the shortcuts are evaluated. Learning and Individual Differences, 49, 297-304.

McEwen, R., & Dubé, A. K. (2016). Intuitive or Idiomatic? An information studies and cognitive psychology study of child-tablet computer interaction. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 67, 1169-1181 DOI: 10.1002/asi.23470

Dubé, A. K., & McEwen, R. (2015). Do gestures matter? The implications of using touchscreen devices in mathematics instruction. Learning and Instruction, 40, 89-98. http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1Rl6P3QACxOFQi

McEwen, R., & Dubé, A. K. (2015). Engaging or distracting: children’s tablet computer use in education. Journal of Educational Technology and Society, 18, 9-23.

Dubé, A. K. (2014). Adolescents’ understanding of inversion and associativity. Learning and Individual Differences, 36, 49-59.

Robinson, K. M., & Dubé, A. K. (2013). Children's additive concepts: Promoting understanding and the role of inhibition. Learning and Individual Differences, 23, 101-107.

Robinson, K. M., & Dubé, A. K. (2012). Children's use of arithmetic shortcuts: The role of attitudes in strategy choice. Child Development Research, Article ID 459385.

Dubé, A. K., & Robinson, K. M. (2010). Accounting for individual variability in inversion shortcut use. Learning and Individual Differences, 20, 687-693.

Dubé, A. K., & Robinson, K. M. (2010). The relationship between adults’ understanding of inversion and associativity. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64(1), 60-66.

Robinson, K. M., & Dubé, A. K. (2009). Children’s understanding of addition and subtraction concepts. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 103, 532-545.

Robinson, K. M., & Dubé, A. K. (2009). Children’s understanding of the inverse relation between multiplication and division. Cognitive Development, 24, 310-321.

Robinson, K. M., & Dubé, A. K. (2009). A microgenetic study of the multiplication and division inversion concept. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 63(3), 193-200.

Robinson, K. M., & Dubé, A. K. (2008). A microgenetic study of simple division. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 3, 156-162.

Book images: 
Professional activities: 

Editorial Board Member
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

Selected talks and presentations: 

Dubé, A. K., McEwen, R., & Alam, S. (2017, June). Child-touchscreen communication: What happens when children learn using tablet computers? Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Jean Piaget Society, San Francisco.

Dubé, A. K., & Keenan, A. (2016, October) Studying the 'game' in educational video games Poster presented at the Society for Research in Child Development’s Special Topic Meeting: Technology and Media in Children’s Development, University of California, Irvine, California.

Dubé, A. K., & McEwen, R. (2016, June) How do tablet computers mitigate the video deficit effect? Poster presented at the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science 26rd annual meeting, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.5104.0881

Robinson, K. M., Dubé, A. K., (2015, March). Children's understanding of multiplication and division: Novel effects identified through a meta-analysis of 7 studies. Poster presented at the biannual meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, Pensilvania.

McEwen, R., & Dubé, A. K. (2014, November). Intuitive or idiomatic? An information-cognitive psychology study of child-tablet computer interaction. Paper presented at  Association for Information Science and Technology 77th Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington.

Dubé, A. K., & LeFevre, J-A. (2014, July). WINC 2: Workshop in numerical cognition. University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.

Dubé, A. K., & McEwen, R. (2014, July). Do gestures matter: The implications of learning mathematics on a tablet computer. Paper presented at the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science 24rd annual meeting, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario. Paper also presented by co-author at the International Communication Association Annual Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico (2015, may).

Dubé, A. K. & McEwen, R. (2014, May). Engaging or distracting? An eye tracking study of Grade 2 children’s use of mathematics applications on the iPad and LeapPad. In E. Maloney (Chair), Factors that influence performance in mathematics. Symposium conducted at Development 2014: A Canadian Conference on Development, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario.

Robinson, K. M., Dubé, A. K., & Harrison, J. (2013, August). Children’s understanding of addition and subtraction concepts. In J. Torbeyns (Chair), Conceptual understanding and procedural knowledge in mathematics: Developmental trends and interplay. Symposia conducted at the 15th biennial EARLI conference, Munich, Germany.

Dubé, A. K., & McEwen, R. (2013, June). Can tablet computers facilitate children’s understanding of mathematics? Paper presented at the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science 23rd annual meeting, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta.

Dubé, A. K., Robinson, K. M., & Harrison, J. (2013, April). Children’s understanding of additive concepts. Poster presented at the biannual meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, Washington.

Riegel, C. R., Robinson, K. M., LeFevre, J-A., Herdman, C., Demyen, B., & Dubé, A. K.  (2012, June). Literary language, new media technology, and eye tracking. Poster presented at the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science 22th annual meeting, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.

Robinson, K. M., Dubé, A. K., & Harrison, J. (2012, June). Children’s understanding of multiple additive concepts. Paper presented at the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science 22th annual meeting, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.

Quote: 

inveniam viam aut faciam

Find a way or make one