View the latest updates and emergency notifications on the COVID-19 News & Information website.
School of Education

Ben Seipel, PhD

Associate Professor
Graduate Program Coordinator


Ph.D.  Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota 2011

M.A. Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota 2008

B.M.E Music Education, B.S. Psychology , B.S. Spanish Education, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, 2001

Teaching and Research Interests

Ben completed his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities in 2011. Here at California State University- Chico, he teaches courses on Educational Psychology, Fundamental Practices of Teaching, Assessment in Special Education, and Introduction to Research Methods in Education. His research focused primarily on cognitive processing, reading comprehension, assessment, and online learning. He an original author of both the Multiple-choice Online Causal Comprehension Assessment(MOCCA) and MOCCA-C assessments that diagnose different cognitive processing issues for struggling readers in 3rd-5th grade and college students respectively.  Both of these research projects are funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) through the U.S. Department of Education. Additionally, Ben has secured grant funding to assist Chico State faculty with development of their online courses. This work in online education builds on his own experience of teaching online—for which he has won awards locally and regionally. He has also secured grant funding for professional development opportunities for regional elementary science teachers to implement the Next Generation Science Standards into their classrooms (Project ESTEEM). Prior to his career in research and high education, Ben worked as a Spanish teacher and is also licensed to teach K-12 vocal/general music.

Courses Taught


Davison, M. L., Seipel, B., Clinton, V., Carlson, S., & Kennedy, P. (2020). MOCCA college: An assessment of inferential narrative and expository comprehension.  Editorial Universitat Politècnica de València. 417-425.

Clinton, V., Taylor, T., Bujabee, S., Seipel, B., Carlson, S.E., & Davison, M. (2020).  Inferential comprehension differences between narrative and expository texts: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Reading and Writing. 

Carlson, S.E., Renken, M., Masser, J., & Seipel, B. (accepted; invited chapter). Theories of Learning and Instruction in C. Albers, A. Garbacz, and K. Kelly (eds.) Theoretical Foundations of School Psychology: Research and Practice.

Carlson, S. E., Seipel, B., Biancarosa, G., Davison, M. L., Clinton, V. (2019). Demonstration of an innovative reading comprehension diagnostic tool. In M. Scheffel, J. Broisin, V. Pammer-Schindler, A. Ioannou, & J. Schneider (Eds.), Transforming Learning with Meaningful Technologies, (pp.769-772), Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Seipel, B., & Ferrari, C. (2019). Preparing and Training Higher Education Faculty to Ensure Quality Online Learning and Teaching in E. Smidt and R. Li (eds.) Ensuring Quality and Integrity in Online Learning Programs.

*Liu, B., Kennedy, P., Seipel, B., Carlson, S. E., Biancarosa, G., & Davison, M. L. (2019).  Can we learn from student mistakes in a formative, reading comprehension assessment? Journal of Educational Measurement. Manuscript accepted for publication. *Student author.

Seipel, B., *Mendel, K., & *Young, R. (2019). Teaching Teacher Agency in an Era of Standardization. In J.L Vodopivec, L. Jančec, & T. Štemberger (Eds.), Implicit Pedagogy for Optimized Learning in Contemporary Education. *Student authors.

Biancarosa, G., Kennedy, P. C., Carlson, S. E., Yoon, H., Seipel, B., Liu, B., & Davison, M. L. (2018). Constructing Subscores That Add Validity: A Case Study of Identifying Students at Risk. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 0013164418763255.

Davison, M., Biancarosa, G., Carlson, S., Seipel, B. & *Liu, B.  (2018). Preliminary Findings on the Computer Administered Multiple-choice Online Causal Comprehension Assessment (MOCCA), a Diagnostic Reading Comprehension Test. Assessment for Effective Intervention. *Student author.

Seipel, B., Biancarosa, G., Carlson, C. E., & Davison, M. (2018).  The need, use, and future of cognitive diagnostic assessments in classroom practice. For C.V.X. Wang (Ed.) Handbook of research on program development and assessment methodologies in K-20 education. Hersey, PA: IGI Global.

Seipel, B., & Koch, S. (Sept., 2017). Using Constructivism to Teach Reliability, Validity and Variation to Future Special Education Teachers. The Constructivist, Fall 2017, 56-81

*Pierson, S., Goto, K., Seipel, B., Giampaoli, J., Buffardi, K., & *Wylie, A. (Fall 2016). Methodology for assessing the impact of a pilot mindful eating intervention on food behaviors among third-fifth grade children and their parents. Californian Journal of Health Promotion, 14 (3), 70-76. *Student authors.

Seipel, B., Carlson, S. E., & Clinton, V. (Online August 2016, Print Spring 2017). When Do Comprehender Groups Differ? A Moment-by-Moment Analysis of Think-Aloud Protocols of Good and Poor Comprehenders. Reading Psychology38(1), 39-70.

Seipel., B. (Oct., 2016). Rigorous Democracy: Developing a Theoretical Framework for Democracy, Rigor, and Equity. Education in a Democracy: A Journal of the NNER, 7-40.

Seipel, B. & Slemrod, T. (June, 2016). SmartPens: Assistive, but not intuitive, technology. CCNews, 27(2), 34-37.

Seipel, B., Biancarosa, G., Carlson, S., & Davison, M. (2015). Analysis of Textual Features of a New Reading Comprehension Assessment: MOCCA. Evanston, IL: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. (ED562094)

Seipel, B. (2015). Ring! Ring! Science Calling! Using Interactive Art to Explore Variation, Inheritance, and Evolution. Science and Children. 52(8), 31-36.

Clinton, V., Carlson, S. E., & Seipel, B. (2015). Linguistic Markers of Inference Generation While Reading. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 1-22.

Seipel, B., Carlson, S., Bianco-Simeral, S., Frigaard, M., Wolff, C., & Goto, K. (2014). The Nutritional Moral of the Story:  An Examination of Storybooks used to Promote Healthy Food Choice Behavior. Psychology and Education, 30-41.

Carlson, S., Seipel, B., & McMaster, K. (2014). Development of a new reading comprehension assessment: Identifying comprehension differences among readers. Learning and Individual Differences 32, 40-53. doi: 10.1016/j.lindif.2014.03.003. 

Clinton, V., Seipel, B., van den Broek, P., McMaster, K. L., Kendeou, P., Carlson, S. E. & Rapp, D. N. (2014). Gender differences in inference generation by fourth-grade students. Journal of Research in Reading. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9817.2012.01531.x 

Fehr, C. N., Davison, M. L., Graves, M. G., Sales, G. C., & Seipel, B. (2012). The effect of individualized, online vocabulary instruction on picture vocabulary scores: An efficacy study. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 25(1), 87-102.

Carlson, S., Seipel, B., & McMaster, K. (2011). Using a new reading comprehension assessment to measure discourse representations and identify types of comprehenders. Evanston, IL: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. (ED528950)

Curriculum Vitae

Portrait of Ben Seipel, PhD