Jason Matthew Harley, PhD

Research Interests:

Dr. Harley’s research aims to enhance surgical and medical education and support health care workers by reducing adverse events and inefficiencies, especially those associated with the incidence of undesirable and unregulated emotions and burnout. They apply psychological and educational theories using interdisciplinary research methods and leverage advanced technologies, including augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI), to accomplish these aims. Dr. Harley’s interdisciplinary research draws on mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) that include both objective (e.g., skin conductance, facial recognition software, eyetracking) and subjective (self-report instruments, semi-structured interviews) measures of emotion and cognition that help us assess a variety of surgical and medical competencies.

Research Projects:

Currently, they are directing the following research projects in their SAILS Lab, many funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC):

  1. Investigating coping strategies that health care workers are using to deal with stress during the pandemic, assessing their effectiveness, and using that information to recommend new measures to protect the mental health of health care professionals.
  2. Developing and testing public education tools to enhance COVID-19 health and media literacy with a special focus on the role of emotion regulation in promoting public understanding and adaptive health behaviour
  3. Implementing and evaluating virtual simulation technology within medical and nursing students’ training at McGill. Specifically, its (a) accessibility and usability, (b) influence on students' expectations to succeed in their education and future-related emotions (e.g., hope), and (c) educational quality.
  4. Exploring the roles of AI in health sciences education. Specifically, through (a) a scoping review and (b) out outreach activities, including a national panel of experts in the field of AI in health sciences education from medical education, associations, and industry (stay tuned!).
  5. Developing an instructional intervention to provide students with information about harassment, tips for how to deal with it, and practice implementing harassment combatting strategies during a standardized simulation. The project also aims to evaluate the effectiveness of this educational intervention to increase medical students’ (a) ability and (b) motivation to effectively combat harassment.

Summary of Work:

Dr. Harley completed their FRQSC and SSHRC CGS-funded Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at McGill University in 2014. They held concurrent postdoctoral fellow positions in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Montréal (FRQSC postdoc award) and in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology at McGill from 2014-2015 (SSHRC). Before returning to McGill, Dr. Harley was a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Alberta and Director of the Computer-Human Interaction: Technology, Education, and Affect (CHI-TEA) Laboratory (2016-2019). In 2018, they won the Outstanding Early Career Researcher Award sponsored by the Technology, Instruction, Cognition, and Learning (TICL) SIG of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). As a faculty member and principle investigator, their research has been supported by multiple grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Killam Research Foundation, and MITACS. To-date, Dr. Harley’s research productivity includes 40 peer reviewed publications. Dr. Harley serves on the editorial board of the journal, Educational Technology Research and Development, as well as on program committees for Intelligent Tutoring Systems and Artificial Intelligence in Education. Their research and teaching have led to appearances in The Guardian, CBC News, Global News, Radio-Canada: Le Téléjournal, CTV News, The Toronto and Edmonton Star, The Edmonton Journal, and other broadcast and print media.

Recent Publications:

Selected publications below. See Google Scholar.

Lou, N. M.+, Montreuil, T. C., Feldman, L., Fried, G., Lavoie-Tremblay, M., Bhanji, F., Kennedy, H., Kaneva, P., Drouin, S., & Harley, J.M. (in press). Nurses and physicians’ distress, burnout, and coping strategies during COVID-19: Stress and impact on perceived performance and intentions to quit. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions.

Liu, Y.+, Hankey, J. Lou, N, M.+, Chokka, P., & Harley, J. M. (in press). Usability and emotions of mental health assessment tools: Comparing mobile app and paper-and-pencil modalities. Journal of Technology in Human Services. DOI: 10.1080/15228835.2021.1902457

Moran, H.R.M.+, Maurice-Ventouris, M.+, Alharbi, M.+, Harley, J.M., & Lachapelle, K.J. (in press). A scoping review on the performance of transcatheter cardiac surgery. The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. 1-14. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2020.11.096

Harley, J.M., Pekrun, R., Taxer, J.L., & Gross, J.J. (2019). Emotion regulation in achievement situations: An integrated model. Educational Psychologist, 54(2), 106-126. DOI: 10.1080/00461520.2019.1587297

Harley, J.M., Jarrell, A., & Lajoie, S.P. (2019). Emotion regulation tendencies, achievement emotions, and physiological arousal in a medical diagnostic reasoning simulation. Instructional Science, 47(2), 151-180. DOI: 10.1007/s11251-018-09480-z

Harley, J. M., Taub, M., Azevedo, R., & Bouchet, F. (2018). “Let’s set up some subgoals”: Understanding human-pedagogical agent collaborations and their implications for learning and prompt and feedback compliance. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, 11(1), 54-66. DOI: 10.1109/TLT.2017.2756629

Bouchet, F., Harley, J.M., & Azevedo, R. (2018). Evaluating adaptive pedagogical agents’ prompting strategies effect on students’ emotions? In J. Vassileva, & R. Azevedo (Eds.) Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Vol. 10858. Intelligent Tutoring Systems (pp. 33-43). Switzerland: Springer.

Jarrell, A., Harley, J.M., Lajoie, S.P., & Naismith, L. (2017). Success, failure and emotions: Examining the relationship between performance feedback and emotions in diagnostic reasoning. Educational Technology Research and Development, 65(5), 1263–1284. DOI: 10.1007/s11423-017-9521-6

Harley, J.M., Lajoie, S. P., Frasson, C., Hall, N.C., & (2017). Developing emotion-aware, advanced learning technologies: A taxonomy of approaches and features. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 27(2), 268-297. DOI: 10.1007/s40593-016-0126-8

Harley, J.M., Poitras, E. G., Jarrell, A., Duffy, M. C., & Lajoie, S. P. (2016). Comparing virtual and location-based augmented reality mobile learning: Emotions and learning outcomes. Educational Technology Research and Development, 64(3), 359-388. DOI: 10.1007/s11423-015-9420-7.

Harley, J. M., Bouchet, F., Hussain, S., Azevedo, R., & Calvo, R. (2015). A multi-componential analysis of emotions during complex learning with an intelligent multi-agent system. Computers in Human Behavior, 48, 615-625. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2015.02.013.

Harley, J. M. (2015). Measuring emotions: A survey of cutting-edge methodologies used in computer-based learning environment research. In S. Tettegah & M. Gartmeier (Eds.). Emotions, Technology, Design, and Learning (pp. 89-114). London, UK: Academic Press, Elsevier.


  • Assistant Professor of Surgery (tenure-track), Faculty of Medicine,
    McGill University
  • Associate Member, Institute for Health Sciences Education,
    McGill University
  • Junior Scientist, Research Institute of the
    McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC)
  • Associate Member, Department of Educational & Counselling
    Psychology, Faculty of Education, McGill University
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Educational Psychology,
    Faculty of Education, University of Alberta
  • Director of the Simulation, Affect, Innovation, Learning, and Surgery (SAILS) Lab


Contact Information:

jason.harley [at] mcgill.ca

Telephone Number:

(514) 934-1934 ext 47233




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