School of Education
Cohort: 2021
Unidel Distinguished Graduate Scholar
Fontana Family Graduate Scholarship
Christina Barbieri
Math Methods and Motivation Lab
Learning Sciences
Elena Silla
Elena is a thirdyear PhD student specializing in Learning Sciences. She is primarily interested in mathematics learning and instruction, specifically elementary and middleschool students’ procedural flexibility and strategy choice when solving math problems and the rationale underlying these strategy choices.
She is also interested in students’ sense of belonging to the mathematics classroom and their sense of mathematics identity, and especially how these motivational factors relate to students’ mathematics performance and problemsolving strategies. She hopes to partner with local teachers and schools to conduct research informed by practice.
Education
 M.Ed., Elementary Education, University of Notre Dame, 2017–2019
 B.A., Psychology, University of Notre Dame, 2013–2017
Professional Experience
 Graduate Research Assistant, Mathematical Cognition and Instruction Lab, School of Education, University of Delaware, 2021–present
 Graduate Research Assistant, Rough Draft Math Project, School of Education, University of Delaware, 20222023
 Project Manager, Cognitive Development and Communication Lab, University of WisconsinMadison, 2019–2021
 Undergraduate Research Assistant, Cognitive Development and Communication Lab, University of WisconsinMadison, 2014–2017
 Undergraduate Summer Researcher, Social Cognitive Development Lab, Yale University, 2015
Recent Honors and Awards
 Graduate Paper Award – First Place, University of Delaware, 2023
 Unidel Distinguished Graduate Scholar Award, University of Delaware, 2021
 Fontana Family Graduate Scholarship, University of Delaware, 2021
Recent Publications

Silla, E. M., Barbieri, C. A., & Newton, K. J. (in press). Procedural flexibility in fraction arithmetic and word problems predicts middleschoolers’ differential algebra skills. Journal of Educational Psychology.

Barbieri, C. A., & Silla, E. M. (2023). Evoking learning by examples through reducing misconceptions and highlighting procedures. The Journal of Experimental Education. DOI: 10.1080/00220973.2023.2227969
 Silla, E. M. (2019). One step at a time: A traditional school’s journey into personalized learning [Whitepaper].
 Barbieri, C. A., Clerjuste, S. N., Silla, E. M., & Chawla, K. (under review). Leveraging common mathematical errors to improve mathematical understanding of students with math difficulties.

Bartel, A. N., Silla, E. M., Vest, N. A., Nagashima, T., Aleven, V., & Alibali, M. W. (2021). Reasoning about equations with tape diagrams: Insights from students and math teachers. In E. de Vries, J. Ahn, & Y. Hod (Eds.), 15th International Conference of the Learning Sciences–ICLS 2021 (pp. 685688). International Society of the Learning Sciences, 2021
 Nagashima, T., Bartel, A. N., Yadav, G., Tseng, S., Vest, N. A., Silla, E. M., Alibali, M. W., & Aleven, V. (2021). Using anticipatory diagrammatic selfexplanation to support learning and performance in early algebra. In E. de Vries, J. Ahn, & Y. Hod (Eds.), 15th International Conference of the Learning Sciences–ICLS 2021 (pp. 474481). International Society of the Learning Sciences, 2021
 Nagashima, T., Bartel, A. N., Tseng, S., Vest, N. A., Silla, E. M., Alibali, M. W., & Aleven, V. (2021) Scaffolded selfexplanation with visual representations promotes efficient learning in early algebra. In T. Fitch, C. Lamm, H. Leder, & K. TeßmarRaible (Eds.), 43rd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 18581864). Cognitive Science Society.
 Silla, E. M., Hornburg, C. B., & McNeil, N. M. (2020). Researchbased teaching practices for improving students’ understanding of mathematical equivalence have not made it into elementary classrooms. In S. Denison, M. Mack, Y. Xu, & B. C. Armstrong (Eds.), Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 29372943). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
 Nagashima, T., Bartel, A. N., Silla, E. M., Vest, N. A, Alibali, M. W., & Aleven, V. A. (2020). Experimental survey for diagrammatic selfexplanations. In M. Gresalfi & I. S. Horn (Eds.), Proceedings of International Conference of the Learning Sciences, International Society of the Learning Sciences (pp. 3543). Nashville, TN: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
 Nagashima, T., Yang, K., Bartel, A. N., Silla, E. M., Vest, N., Alibali, M. W., & Aleven, V. (2020). Pedagogical Affordance Analysis: Leveraging Teachers’ Pedagogical Knowledge for Eliciting Pedagogical Affordances and Constraints of Instructional Tools. In M. Gresalfi & I. S. Horn (Eds.), Proceedings of International Conference of the Learning Sciences, International Society of the Learning Sciences (pp. 15611564). Nashville, TN: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Recent Presentations

Silla, E. M., Clerjuste, S. N., & Barbieri, C. A. (2023, June). Cognitive science principles to support the teaching and learning of mathematics [Poster]. Presented at the Policy and Practice Institute 2023 Annual Meeting, Dover, DE.

Silla, E. M., Barbieri, C. A., & Newton, K. (2023, April). The relationship between procedural flexibility with fraction arithmetic and word problems and algebra skills [Round Table]. Presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2023 Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.
 Silla, E. M., Newton, K. J., & Barbieri, C. A. (2023, April). Examining variation in procedural flexibility using latent profile analysis [Paper Session]. Delaware Day, Newark, DE, USA.

Barbieri, C. A., & Silla, E. M. (2023, April). Evoking learning by examples through reducing misconceptions and highlighting procedures [Paper Session]. Accepted for presentation at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2023 Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.
 Silla, E. M., Barbieri, C. A., & Newton, K. J. (2023, March). Procedural flexibility on fraction computation problems predicts algebra readiness skills [Poster]. Delaware Day, Newark, DE, USA.

Silla, E. M., Barbieri, C. A., & Newton, K. (2022, June). Arithmetic and word problembased procedural flexibility measures as predictors of middleschoolers’ differential algebra skills [Poster]. The 4th Annual Mathematics Cognition and Learning Society (MCLS) Conference, Antwerp, Belgium.

Silla, E. M., Vest, N. A., Bartel, A. N., Nagashima, T., Aleven, M., & Alibali, M. W. (2022, June). Middleschool students’ preferences for visual features of tape diagrams and their relation to symbolizing equations [Poster]. The 4th Annual Mathematics Cognition and Learning Society (MCLS) Conference, Antwerp, Belgium.

Bartel, A. N., Silla, E. M., Vest, N. A., Nagashima, T., Aleven, V., & Alibali, M. W. (2022, June). Do tape diagrams in explanations of worked examples foster conceptual understanding? Evidence from early algebra [Poster]. The 4th Annual Mathematics Cognition and Learning Society (MCLS) Conference, Antwerp, Belgium.

Silla, E. M., & Barbieri, C. A. (2022, April). Underlying mechanisms of benefits of varying worked example types on algebra learning [Poster]. The 2022 Cognitive Development Society (CDS) Biennial Meeting, Madison, WI, USA.
 Silla, E. M., Collier, Z., & Barbieri, C. A. (2022, April). The relationship between peer relations, math identity, and math achievement in elementaryaged students [Poster]. Steele Research Symposium at the University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA.

Silla, E. M., Vest, N. A., Nagashima, T., Bartel, A. N., Anthony, L. E., Aleven, V., & Alibali, M. W. (2022, February). Efficacy of tape diagrams: Evidence from an Intelligent Tutoring System [Presentation]. The 3th Annual Mathematics Cognition and Learning Society (MCLS) Conference [virtual due to COVID19].

Vest, N. A., Silla, E. M., Bartel, A. N., Nagashima, T., Aleven, V. A., & Alibali, M. W. (2021, April). Evidence from worked examples: Conceptually rich explanations predict conceptual gains on posttest [Poster]. The 2021 Virtual Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development [virtual due to COVID19].
 Silla, E. M., Tommasi, T.*, Vest, N. A., Bartel, A. N, Buehler, Z., Manhart, H., Petersdorff, M.*, Nagashima, T., Aleven, V., & Alibali, M. W. (2021, April). Fostering conceptual understanding of equation solving via an intelligent tutoring system [Poster]. The Wisconsin Center for Education Research Poster Fair [virtual due to COVID19]

Bartel, A. N., Silla, E. M., Vest, N. A, Nagashima, T., Tang, Y.*, Aleven, V. A., & Alibali, M. W. (2020, September). Do tape diagrams promote a focus on conceptual principles? Evidence from equation solving with an Intelligent Tutoring System [Presentation]. The 2nd Annual Meeting of the Mathematical Cognition and Learning Society Conference [virtual due to COVID19].

Bartel, A. N., Silla, E. M., Vest, N. A, Nagashima, T., Vincent, V. A., & Alibali, M. W. (2020, August). Reasoning about equations with tape diagrams: Do differing visual features matter? [Poster]. The 42nd Annual Virtual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society [virtual due to COVD19].

Palaguachi, C.*, Bartel, A., Silla, E., & Alibali, M. (2020, November). Incorporating interventions in intelligent tutoring systems to enhance conceptual knowledge of mathematics [Poster]. The Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students 2020 [virtual due to COVID19].

Silla, E. (2019, March). Helping students find their voices: The power of Socratic seminars [Oral presentation]. The Indiana Council for Teachers of English, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States.
 Silla, E., Bova, M., Martin, J., & Welsh, M. [coauthors] (2018, July). Handson learning: Giving ELLs the tools for success [Oral presentation]. The ACE Teaching Fellows Conference, Notre Dame, Indiana, United States.

Ahl, R., Silla, E., & Dunham, Y. (2015, October) Givers and keepers: Children expect greater giving from resourcerich than resourcepoor individuals [Poster]. The Biennial Meeting of the Cognitive Development Society, Columbus, OH.

O’Rear, C., McNeil, N.M., Fuhs, M., & Silla, E. (2015, October) Approximate number system (ANS) acuity training in preschoolers from lowincome homes [Poster]. The Biennial Meeting of the Cognitive Development Society, Columbus, OH.
 Silla, E. M., O’Rear, C., McNeil, N.M., & Fuhs, M. (2015, May). Unraveling the relationship between the approximate number system and math achievement [Poster]. The University of Notre Dame Undergraduate Scholars Conference, Notre Dame, IN