Dr. Fang Zhao

Dr. Fang Zhao Photo: FernUniversität

Dr. Fang Zhao

Junior Research Group Leader "Multimedia"

Email: fang.zhao

Universitätsstr. 27 – PRG / Building 5
Room B 104 (1st floor)
58097 Hagen

What is my role within CATALPA?

As a cognitive and educational psychologist, I lead the junior research group Multimedia and conduct research on the various areas on multimedia learning and multitasking.


CATALPA offers an interdisciplinary working environment, where I can find cooperation partners in different areas. It funds my junior research group, which extends my academic career.

    • Junior Research Group Leader of the Research Group Multimedia at Research Center "Center of Advanced Technology Assisted Learning and Predictive Analytics" (CATALPA) FernUniversität in Hagen (since April 2021)
    • Research assistant, FernUniversität in Hagen (2016-03.2021)
    • Research assistant, University Koblenz-Landau (07.2015-12.2015)
    • Ph. D. in Psychology, University of Koblenz Landau (2012-2015)
    • M.A. in Linguistics, Translation Studies, Durham University, U.K. (2010-2012)
    • B.A. in Linguistics, English Language, Henan University, China (2006-2010)
  • I am interested in various topics on multimedia learning: comprehension of texts and graphics, interactive learning with simulation, learning with videos, and exploration-exploitation dilemma in interactive learning. I am also interested in how people learn sequences under multitasking: basic sequence, timing sequence, complex hierarchical sequence like Origami folding.

    • Multimedia
  • 2022


    • Aufschnaiter, S., Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Kiesel, A., & Thomaschke, R. (2022). Investigating time-based expectancy beyond binary timing scenarios: Evidencefrom a paradigm employing three predictive pre-target intervals. Psychological Research, 86(2007-2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-021-01606-2
    • Leh, A., Langhanns, C., Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., & Müller, H. (2022). Muscle activity in explicit and implicit sequence learning: Exploring additional measures of learning and certainty via tensor decomposition. Acta Psychologica, 226, 103587. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2022.103587
    • Zhao, F., & Gaschler, R. (2022). Graph schema and best graph type to compare discrete groups: Bar, line, and pie. Frontiers in Psychology. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.991420
    • Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Schnotz, W., & Wagner, I. (2022). Lower grade students tend to give up early in multimedia learning. European Journal of Psychology of Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10212-022-00612-1
    • Zhao, F., Schützler, L., Christ, O., & Gaschler, R. (2022). Learning statistics with interactive data graphs using r shiny: Generally preferred, but not generally advantageous. Teaching Statistics. https://doi.org/10.1111/test.12324



    Web Documents

    • Zhao, F., Schäfer, L. O., van Rijn, L., & Wöhrle, J. (2021). Snails on the chase: Howto cope with anxiety in academic career. Elephant in the Lab. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5574873



    • Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Kneschke, A., Radler, S., Duttine, C., & Haider, H. (2020). Origami folding: Taxing resources necessary for the acquisition of sequential skills. PLoS One, 15(10), e0240226. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0240226
    • Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Nöhring, O., Röttger, E., & Haider, H. (2020). Sequential modulation of across-task congruency in the serial reaction time task. Acta Psychologica, 205(103043). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2020.103043
    • Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Schnotz, W., & Wagner, I. (2020). Regulating distance to the screen while engaging in difficult tasks. Frontline Learning Research, 8(6), 59–76. https://doi.org/10.14786/flr.v8i6.663
    • Zhao, F., Schnotz, W., Wagner, I., & Gaschler, R. (2020). Texts and pictures serve different functions in conjoint mental model construction and adaptation. Memory & Cognition, 48(1), 69–82. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13421-019-00962-0



    • Gaschler, R., Zhao, F., Röttger, E., Panzer, S., & Haider, H. (2019). More than hitting the correct key quickly: Spatial variability in touch screen response location under multitasking in the serial reaction time task. Experimental Psychology,66(3), 207–220. https://doi.org/10.1027/1618-3169/a000446
    • Röttger, E., Haider, H., Zhao, F., & Gaschler, R. (2019). Implicit sequence learning despite multitasking: The role of across-task predictability. Psychological Research, 83(3), 526–543. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-017-0920-4
    • Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Thomaschke, R., Röttger, E., & Haider, H. (2019). Sequence knowledge on “when” and “what” supports dual tasking. Journal of Cognition, 2(1), 18. https://doi.org/10.5334/joc.76



    • Gaschler, R., Kemper, M., Zhao, F., Pumpe, I., Ruderisch, C.-B., Röttger, E., & Haider, H. (2018). Differential effects of cue-based and sequence knowledge-based predictability on multitasking performance. Acta Psychologica, 191, 76–86. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2018.09.004
    • Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Travi, T., Imgrund, B., Kossack, V., Röttger, E., & Haider, H. (2018). Effects of overlap between consecutive words on speeded typing inform about representation of serial order within words. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 14(3), 139–149. https://doi.org/10.5709/acp-0244-6
    • Zhao, F., & Mahrt, N. (2018). Influences of comics expertise and comics types in comics reading. International Journal of Innovation and Research in Educational Sciences, 5(2), 2349–5219.



    • Broeker, L., Kiesel, A., Aufschnaiter, S., Ewolds, H. E., Gaschler, R., Haider, H., Künzell, S., Raab, M., Röttger, E., Thomaschke, R., & Zhao, F. (2017). Why prediction matters in multitasking and how predictability can improve it. Frontiers in Psychology, 8. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02021

    Chapters in Edited Books

    • Schnotz, W., Wagner, I., Zhao, F., Ullrich, M., Horz, H., McElvany, N., Ohle, A., & Baumert, J. (2017). Development of dynamic usage of strategies for integrating text and picture information in secondary schools. In Methodology of Educational Measurement and Assessment (pp. 303–313). Springer International Publishing.