United States Air Force Academy

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Dr. Lauren Scharff

Director, Scholarship of Teaching & Learning

Center for Educational Innovation

Dr. Scharff (CEI)
Contact Information

(719) 333-3277




​Lauren Scharff is the Director for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Program and Professor of Behavioral Sciences at the U.S. Air Force Academy, where she has worked since 2008. Prior to that, she was a professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at Stephen F. Austin State University where she worked beginning in 1993. She completed her Ph.D. in Human Experimental Psychology in December 1992 from the University of Texas at Austin. Courses she has taught include introductory psychology, leadership, research methods, biopsychology, and perception, and she has won several teaching awards. Her current research focuses on a variety of topics within SoTL (e.g. metacognition, use of knowledge surveys, critical thinking), although she sometimes still collaborates on research projects in the human factors or visual perception areas. Dr. Scharff is a past president of the Southwestern Psychological Association (2009) and past the United States Regional Vice President for the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (2016-2019). She is co-creator of the award-winning Improve with Metacognition website.


​Ph.D . Completed December 1992: University of Texas at Austin

Major: Human Experimental Psychology: Sensory Vision and Visual Perception
Minor: Math and Applied Science
Title: Effects of Eccentricity and Convergence on the Critical Disparity Gradient.

M.A. Completed August 1989: University of Texas at Austin
Major: Human Experimental Psychology: Sensory Vision and Visual Perception
Minor: Statistics and Math
Title: The Interaction of Color and Luminance in Random-dot Stereograms Controlled for Chromatic Aberrations.

B.A. Completed May 1987: University of Texas at Austin
Major: Honors Liberal Arts (Plan II); in addition completed basic sequence in honors mechanical engineering.
Title: A Comparative Evaluation Testing the Validity of the Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Finger Tapping Instrument

Professional Experience

Director for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and Professor of Psychology, Department of Behavioral Sciences & Leadership, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. (June 2009-Present)

Distinguished Visiting Professor, Department of Behavioral Sciences & Leadership, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. (July 2008-May 2009)

Founding Co-director of the SFA Teaching Excellence Center (Jan. 2006-June 2008)

Full professor promotion approved by Board of Regents (April 2003)

Graduate Program Coordinator for Psychology Department (Sept. 2002-Dec. 2005)

Associate professor promotion approved by Board of Regents (April 1999)

Tenure approved by Board of Regents (April 1998)

Assistant Professor, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas (Jan. 1993-Aug. 1999)

Instructor for Statistical Methods in Psychology, UT Austin (Fall 1991)

Teaching Assistant UT Austin (Fall 1987-Spring 1992)

Honors & Awards

The MERLOT Classics Award for Faculty Development Resources 2017

Outstanding Academy Educators Award for DFE, May 2012

The Lauren Scharff State Representative Symposium Endowed Fund for the Southwestern Psychological Association; established April 2010

AAUW Community Service in Education Award 2008

Florence L. Denmark National Faculty Advisor Award (Psi Chi) 2007

Psi Chi Regional Faculty Advisor Award for 2004-2005 in the Southwestern Region

College Nominee for the Texas Piper Teaching Award 2003, 2005

SFA Foundation Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching 2000

SFASU President's Lagniappe Award Fall 1998 (for work on the ACE/Kellogg Project to revitalize faculty)

College of Liberal Arts Teaching Excellence Award 1998

SFASU President's Lagniappe Award Spring 1998 (for efforts reworking New Faculty Orientation)

AAUW Community Service Award 1998

SFASU Leadership in Service Award 1996

Research and Scholarly Interests


Science of Learning

Human Factors


Select Publications

For a full list see here.

Post, M. Bates, K., & Scharff, L. (May, 2020). Factors Influencing Cooperative and Competitive Decisions in STEM Courses. Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research, Vol 21(1), pp. 34-40; https://www.jstem.org/jstem/index.php/JSTEM/article/view/2413/2151

Post, M., Barrett, A., Williams, M., & Scharff, L. (April 2020). Impact of Team Formation Method on Student Performance, Attitudes, and Behaviors. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Vol 20(1), pp. 1-21.
doi: 10.14434/josotl.v20i1.24128; https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/josotl/article/view/24128/34902

Friberg, J. & Scharff, L. (2020).  Structures and Considerations for SoTL Educational Development. In Evidence-Based Faculty Development Through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), Rachel C. Plews and Michelle L. Amos, Eds. IGI Global Publishers. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2212-7

Jensen, M. & Scharff, L. (2019). Improving Critical Reading with E-Texts: A Controlled Study in a Collegiate Philosophy Course. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Vol 19(3), pp. 48-67. doi:
10.14434/josotl.v19i2.23868, https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/josotl/article/view/23978/32735 SoTL Research

Heft, I. & Scharff, L. (July 2017). Aligning best practices to develop targeted critical thinking skills and habits. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Vol 17(3), pp. 48-67. http://josotl.indiana.edu/article/view/22600

Scharff, L., Draeger, J., Verpoorten , D., Devlin, M., Dvorakova, L., Lodge, J. & Smith, S. (2017). Exploring Metacognition as Support for Learning Transfer. Teaching and Learning Inquiry, Vol 5, No. 1. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20343/5.1.6

Scharff, L. & Draeger, J. (September, 2015). Thinking about metacognitive instruction. The National Teaching and Learning Forum, 24(5), p. 4-6. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ntlf.2015.24.issue-5/issuetoc

Long, S., Derby, L., Scharff, L. LeLoup, J. & Uribe, D. (March, 2015). Leadership development and language learning: A foundational framework. Dimension by Southern Conference on Language Teaching http://scolt.org/images/PDFs/dimension/Dimension%202015_FINAL.pdf

Jensen, M. & Scharff, L. (December, 2014). Using E-Book Annotations to Develop Deep Reading. Journal of Teaching and Learning with Technology. pp. 83-86. http://jotlt.indiana.edu/article/view/12872

Scharff, L. (2013). Getting at the Big Picture through SoTL. In, The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning In and Across the Disciplines, Edited by Kathleen McKinney. Indiana University Press.

Vision Science & Human Factors

Gibb, R., Ercoline, W., & Scharff, L. (December 2011-January 2012). Curbing a Killer. Aero Safety World. The Journal of Flight Safety Foundation, 46-47.

Gibb, R., Ercoline, W., & Scharff, L. (2011). Spatial Disorientation: Decades of Pilot Deaths. Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine, 82(7), 1-8.

Kortum, P. & Scharff, L. (2011). The Impact of Web Site Familiarity on User Performance When Critical Navigation Links Change. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Las Vegas, NV Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

Gibbs, R., Gray, R. & Scharff, L. (2010). Aviation Visual Perception: Research, Misperception and Mishaps. Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing Group.