Stephen J. Aguilar

Stephen J. Aguilar

Assistant Professor of Education

Ph.D., Education and Psychology, University of Michigan M.S., Psychology, University of Michigan M.A., Humanities (Philosophy), University of Chicago B.A., Philosophy & Psychology, Georgetown University

Contact info

aguilars@rossier.usc.eduPhone: 213-740-6864WPH-600BCurriculum Vitae


Educational Psychology


Learning Analytics, Educational Psychology, Motivation & Self-Regulated Learning, Gameful Design, Learning Technologies

Stephen J. Aguilar

Dr. Stephen AguiIar is an Assistant Professor of Education in the Educational Psychology concentration.  His areas of expertise include motivation and self-regulated learning as they relate to the design and implementation of educational technologies. He specializes in learning analytics, data visualizations, and gameful approaches to teaching and learning.

His research focuses on the design, efficacy, and motivational implications of learning analytics-based applications, and how they can be used in ways that promote social justice and educational achievement among ethnic and racial minority students. Specifically, Aguilar studies how data visualizations of academic achievement influence students' academic motivation and self-regulated learning strategies. He was also awarded funding from the American Educational Research Association (AERA) to study how Hispanic students’ sense of control contributes to their post-secondary achievement and aspirations.

Aguilar received a B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology from Georgetown University, a M.A. in the Humanities (Philosophy) from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Education and Psychology from the University of Michigan. Previously, he taught sixth and seventh grade in East Palo Alto, California and served as a the Director of Institute Technology for Teach For America-Los Angeles’s summer institute. 


Professional Experience:

Assistant Professor of Education, 2018 - pres.
USC Rossier School of Education

Provost Postdoctoral Scholar, 2016 - 2018
USC Rossier School of Education

Director of Institute Technology, 2008 Los Angeles Institute
Teach For America Summer Institute 
Los Angeles, CA

Teach For America: 6th & 7th Grade Teacher
All subjects (6th); Science & History (7th)
East Palo Alto, CA

Honors and Awards:

Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholarship, 2016
USC Rossier School of Education
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Data Consortium Fellow, 2016
National Science Foundation: Division of Information & Intelligent Systems

Learning Analytics Junior Fellow, 2013
Learning Analytics Fellows Program University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI


Masters of their Destinies? Hispanic Students’ Sense of Control in Relation to Post-Secondary Outcomes, a Generalized Structural Equation Modeling Approach
AERA Fellowship Program on the Study of Deeper Learning ($20,000)
American Educational Research Association & The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Principal Investigator. November 1, 2016 – December 31, 2017

Technical Knowledge Acquisition
Seedling Grant ($30,000)
Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA); FA8650-15-C-9102,
Significant Contributor. PI: Gully Burns. January 1, 2017 – March 31, 2017

Using Learning Analytics and Natural Language Processing to Explore the Role of Synchronous Chat in Knowledge Construction During Online Course Sessions
Research Grant ($25,000)
2U, Incorporated
Principal Investigator. Co-PI: Melora Sundt. 2017-2018

Assessing the Role of Asynchronous Materials in Supporting Learning
Research Grant ($25,000)
2U, Incorporated
Co-PI. Principal Investigator: Melora Sundt. 2017-2018

Selected Publications

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