Dr. Yan Yang is an associate professor of Educational Psychology at the University of West Georgia. She has over 20 years of cross-cultural teaching experience spanning from elementary to doctoral levels. Prior to coming to the U.S. in 2005, she taught English as a second language for six years in Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu, China. While working to obtain her doctorate in Educational Psychology, Yang served as instructor and research assistant at Oklahoma State University for four years. She started her full-time career as a tenure-track assistant professor at the University of Texas at Brownsville upon graduation in 2009, after which she moved to University of West Georgia to diversify her professional experience as an academic in 2011 until present.
Dr. Yang mainly teaches courses in educational psychology at both undergraduate and graduate levels. She is known for her individualized approach to project-based learning (iPBL), which was not only well received by her students and colleagues at conferences, but also featured at CollegeSTAR as an exemplary innovative instructional practices applicable across disciplines for college professors. Dr. Yang is also recognized for instructor-led student research. She co-presents and writes with her students at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Her student presentations won numerous awards at both local and regional conferences. Dr. Yang is currently principal investigator of an Open Educational Resources (OER) grant that allows her to transform a CEPD4101 Educational Psychology to a no-cost course for students, which will also help improving education equity and reducing financial- and accessibility-related student attribution rates at UWG.
Dr. Yang’s major research interests are motivation in distance learning and diversity education. She published two dozen articles on peer-reviewed journals with national/international circulations and delivered dozens of research presentations at juried conference organizations at both national/international and local levels including American Educational Research Association (AERA) and American Psychological Association (APA). Dr. Yang was invited to present at AERA as a Best Paper award winner at Eastern Educational Research Association in 2015, and selected as OER Research Fellow in 2019 due to her dedication to OER initiatives and prolific research publications.
Dr. Yang remains active in service activities as a contributing member and leader to various international and national conference organizations and journals. She served on editorial boards as well as reviewed numerous articles for multiple top journals in her field such as Educational Psychology, Learning and Individual Differences, and British Journal of Educational Psychology. Dr. Yang is also active in AERA and APA with varied service roles. She currently serves on executive board and is an elected Atlanta Division Chair at Sino-American Educational Research Association (S-AERA), an international conference organization dedicated to educational research and teaching collaborations of scholars in America and China. In addition to the motivation keynote speeches and consultations to different populations and organizations across countries, Dr. Yang is a visiting professor at Southwest Jiaotong University in China giving seminars and providing consultations to faculty, staff, and students at the Psychology Development and Research Center.
Education / Degrees
- PhD, Educational Psychology, Oklahoma State University, 2009