Office & Hours

Office: SZB 506N
Monday: 2-3
Tuesday: 2-3
Wednesday: 2-3
Thursday: 2-3
Or by appointment

(512) 471-0557

(512) 471-1288

Courses of Instruction
"Cognition, Human Learning and Motivation" Undergraduate course taught every semester for students going into teaching as a profession
"Instructional Psychology" Graduate course taught every spring and summer to assist professionals working with teachers in using psychological theory to design instruction.
"Psychology of Teachers and Teaching" Graduate course taught alternative fall semesters for professionals working with teachers to understand both how teachers use psychology and how teacher learning can be maximized.

Mailing Address
The University of Texas at Austin
Educ Psychol Dept
1 University Station D5800
Austin, TX 78712-1294
UT Mail Code: D5800

Full Vita
download vita (pdf)

Please note that Dr. Svinicki will not be accepting new students for the 2015-16 academic year.


Dr. Svinicki has been associated with the department of Educational Psychology since 1990.  Prior to joining the faculty of Educational Psychology, Dr. Svinicki was the faculty development director for the entire University of Texas.

Her area of research and practice is the application of principles of learning and motivation to instruction in higher education and the development of faculty and graduate students as teachers.  She has published widely about these topics, but her most well known book is McKeachie's Teaching Tips:  Strategies, Research and Theory for College and University Teachers.  Written in collaboration with Wilbert McKeachie, this book has been used around the world by university teachers interested in learning evidence-based practices in teaching.  In addition Dr. Svinicki writes a column in the National Teaching and Learning Forum, a newsletter for university faculty and is often invited to speak about these topics at other universities in the US and elsewhere.

Her current research is about student beliefs of entitlement in postsecondary education and about the goals that students working in groups have for their own learning as well as that of the group.


Ph.D. 1972 University of Colorado at Boulder

Representative Publications

Svinicki, M. and Wehlburg, C. (Eds) (2010) Landmark Issues in Teaching and Learning: A Look Back at New Directions For Teaching and Learning  New Directions for Teaching and Learning, no. 117, San Francisco:  Jossey Bass Publisher.

Svinicki, M.D. and Wilkerson, L. (2011)  Faculty development for workplace instructors.  In J. Hafler (Ed.) Extraordinary Learning in the Workplace.  Electronic book available at      New York:  Springer Publishing.

Svinicki, M.D. (2010) The status of educational research in Engineering Education.  Commissioned paper by National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences. 2010

Kucsera, J., Roberts, R., Walls, S., Walker, J., & Svinicki, M. (2011). Goal Orientation Towards Teaching (GOTT) scale. Teachesr and Teaching:Theory & Practice Journal., 17.5.

Kim, M., Cho, Y., and Svinicki, M.D. (2011) Examining Faculty Teaching Concerns Based on Fuller's Teacher Concern Development Model.  Journal of Faculty Development.

Recent Awards

  • Texas Excellence in Teaching Award for the College of Education 2011
  • W. J. McKeachie Career Achievement Award sponsored by the Special Interest Group for Faculty Teaching, Evaluation, and Development of the American Educational Research Association  2008

Current Research Projects and Grants

Currently I have ongoing research in the variables that affect and are affected by student feelings of entitlement in postsecondary education.  I work with a research group of three graduate students to gather student attitudes and course characteristics to ferret out why some students feel entitled to things that go beyond the normal interchange between teachers and students.

 Several students and I have recently been doing work in healthcare professional training, specifically looking for ways to improve interprofessional functioning on health care teams.  We’ve designed training to introduce medical and nursing to the ideas of working together to solve medical problems.

 Finally, I have started working with the UT Center for Teaching and Learning to study how faculty experience building new instructional practices into their courses, the barriers and benefits.

Research Interests and Expertise

Understanding student and instructor variables that influence the effectiveness of teaching and learning in multiple educational settings, including applying the principles of learning and motivation to instructional design and practice.

I have expertise primarily in working with teachers to improve the learning in their classrooms and with students to help improve their strategies for learning.