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Christopher Wolters

Director of Dennis Lrng Center, Department of Educational Studies

Program Area: Walter E Dennis Learning Center

(614) 688-2084

Personal Website


Christopher A. Wolters joined the faculty at The Ohio State University and was appointed to the position of Director of the Walter E. Dennis Learning Center in August 2013. He also is a professor for the Educational Psychology program in the Department of Educational Studies. Prior to coming to Ohio State, he was a faculty member at the University of Houston for 17 years where he served terms as program director for the PhD program in Educational Psychology and Individual Differences, and as associate chair for the Department of Educational Psychology. He earned his PhD in the Combined Program in Educational and Psychology (1996) at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Dr. Wolters has an extensive record of professional service that includes positions on the executive committee for Division 15 (Educational Psychology) of the American Psychological Association, Division C (Learning and Instruction) for the American Educational Research Association, and the Southwest Consortium for Innovative Psychology in Education. He is a member of the Editorial Boards for both Educational Psychologist and the Journal of Educational Psychology, where he recently completed a term as an associate editor.

Dr. Wolters has a substantial record of research and scholarly publications focused on understanding students’ motivation and self-regulated learning, including the development of these processes during adolescence and how they interact to influence students’ academic engagement, learning and achievement. Many of his studies have investigated the strategies students use to actively regulate their cognition, motivation, and behavior, and how these strategies relate to academic performance. His most recent publications include empirical studies examining college students’ self-regulation of their motivation, adolescents’ motivation for reading, and chapters describing practical and theoretical aspects of self-regulated learning among college students.

Walter E. Dennis Learning Center


  • PhD, Education and Psychology, University of Michigan, 1996
  • MA, Developmental Psychology, University of Michigan, 1994
  • BA, Psychology, University of Michigan, 1988

Research Interests

Research Summary

Wolters' expertise is focused on investigating and extending a model of self-regulated learning that can be used to understand and improve students’ engagement, learning and academic achievement. He is particularly interested in motivation as both an influence on students’ self-regulation as well as a target of this process. His work also includes efforts to understand the contextual factors that impact students’ motivation and self-regulation, as well as measurement and validity issues central to these areas of research.

Selected Publications

  • Wolters, C., Denton, C., York, M., & Francis, D.  (2013).  Adolescents’ motivation for reading: Group differences and relation to standardized achievement. Reading and Writing. 10.1007/s11145-013-9454-3
  • Wolters, C., Fan, W., & Daugherty, S. (2013).  Examining achievement goals and causal attributions together as predictors of academic functioning.  Journal of Experimental Education, 81, 295–321.
  • Wolters, C., & Benzon, M.  (2013).  Assessing and predicting college students’ use of strategies for the self-regulation of motivation.  Journal of Experimental Education,81, 199-221.
  • Fan, W., Williams, C., & Wolters, C.  (2012).  Parental involvement and school motivation: Similar and differential relations across ethnic groups.  The Journal of Educational Research, 105, 21–35.
  • Wolters, C., Fan, W., Daugherty, S. (2011).  Teacher reported goal structures: Assessing factor structure and invariance.  Journal of Experimental Education, 79, 1–29.
  • Wolters, C. (2011).  Regulation of motivation: Contextual and social aspects.  Teacher’s College Record, 113, 265–283.
  • Wolters, C., Benzon, M., & Arroyo-Giner, C.  (2011).  Assessing self-motivational strategies in self-regulated learning.  In D. Schunk and B. Zimmerman (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation of learning and performance (pp. 298–312).  New York: Routledge.
  • Wolters, C., &  Gonzalez, A.  (2008).  The influence of classroom context on students’ motivation.  In T. Urdan, S. Karabenick, & M. Maehr (Eds.), Advances in motivation and achievement: Vol. 15. Social psychological perspectives (pp. 493-519).  Bingley, UK: JAI Press.
  • Wolters, C., & Daugherty, S. (2007). Goal structures and teachers’ sense of efficacy: Their relation and their association to teaching experience and academic level.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 99, 181-193.