Jaclyn Steffan

Jaclyn Steffan

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

School of Education

Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Economics

As a passionate and dedicated PhD candidate, Jaclyn Steffan's research focuses on the intersection of education, technology, and cognitive psychology.

Currently her research is investigating the impact of virtual reality on schema acquisition and cognitive load among STEM students, as she is committed to advancing our understanding of innovative teaching methodologies.

In addition to her doctoral studies, she actively contributes to the School of Education at The University of Adelaide as a research assistant. She is actively collaborating on multiple projects that explore modern and developing best practice pedagogies.

Her role as a researcher and educator allows her to translate research insights into practical, impactful classroom strategies, fostering a dynamic and engaging learning environment for students.

With a strong background in both research and teaching, she is enthusiastic about leveraging her skills to drive positive changes in STEM education


Jaclyn's research interests and current projects address the role of virtual reality and it's impact on cognitive load and the transfer of schema.

She is also working as a research assistant within the School of Education conducting literature reviews, collecting and analysing data, assisting with the design and development of university courses and producing micro-credentials based on evidence-based educational practices to assist pre-service and in-service teachers.

Jaclyn is currently working on the following research project:

The effectiveness of virtual reality on cognitive load and schema acquisition of STEM students

There has been an increase in the use of virtual reality (VR) in schools, yet due to a gap in the literature educators and researchers have a limited understanding of how VR contributes to the development of schema and impacts on the human cognitive process.

This research aims to determine if VR has an impact on the acquisition of schema, and how VR effects the cognitive load of students compared with traditional teaching methods.

It is expected that VR will enhance schema and reduce effect on students’ cognitive load due to the vivid and lifelike simulations which afford students the ability to assimilate new learning to previous knowledge.

Jaclyn is a STEM teacher at Adelaide High School 

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