Man-Wai Chu

Assistant Professor

PhD - Measurement, Evaluation, and Cognition

University of Alberta

MEd - Secondary Science Education and Teaching

University of Alberta

BEd - Secondary Education and Teaching; Science [major] and Mathematics [minor]

University of Alberta

BSc - Mathematics [major] and Physical Sciences [minor]

University of Alberta

Contact information


Main Campus : EDT814

Research and Scholarly Activity

Research areas

  • Classroom assessment and student learning
  • Science education
  • Educational technology
  • Quantitative research methods
  • Applied statistical methods
  • Educational and psychological measurement
  • Educational assessments


Man-Wai Chu’s research focuses on using innovative assessments, such as interactive digital environments, to measure students’ performance-based skills in the classroom and on standardized tests. An extension of her research with these assessments has led her to studying students’ development of mental models and their associations with affective variables that enhance assessment performance; this research is guided by the Learning Errors and Formative Feedback (LEAFF) model. Man-Wai approaches her research using a variety of quantitative methods such as such as repeated measures design, Hierarchical Linear Modeling, Structural Equation Modeling, and Bayesian Network Modeling.

Current Projects:

Game-Based Assessments

Why Canada Fails to be an Education Superpower


Man-Wai Chu taught high school science and mathematics with the Calgary Catholic School District for several years before continuing with her studies in graduate school. She attended the University of Alberta for all her post-secondary degrees. Her bachelor degrees are in science and education, while her graduate degrees focused on secondary science curriculum and educational assessment. Man-Wai joined the Werklund School of Education in 2015 and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Learning Sciences program. She teaches both graduate and undergraduate classes in research methods, learning theories, and educational assessment.

Professional & Community Affiliations

Man-Wai Chu is on the review board of Alberta Journal of Educational Research and Research in Science Education. She is also an executive board member for the Canadian Educational Researchers’ Association (CERA), which is a constituent of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE). Man-Wai is also a member of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME), and CSSE.


  • Chu, M-W., Babenko, O., Cui, Y., & Leighton, J. P. (2014). Using HLM to explore the effects of perceptions of learning environments and assessments on students. International Journal of Testing, 14(2), 95-121. Doi: 10.1080/15305058.2013.841702
  • Chu, M-W., Guo, Q., Leighton, J. P. (2013). Students’ interpersonal trust and attitudes towards standardized tests: Exploring affective variables related to student assessment. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 21(2), 167-192. Doi: 10.1080/0969594X.2013.844094
  • Chu, M-W., & Lai, H. (2013). Detecting biased items using CATSIB to increase fairness in computer adaptive tests. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 59(4), 630-643.
  • Leighton, J.P., Chu, M-W., & Seitz, P. (2013). Cognitive diagnostic assessment and the learning errors and formative feedback (LEAFF) model. In R. Lissitz (Ed.), Informing the practice of teaching using formative and interim assessment: A systems approach (pp. 183-207). Information Age Publishing.
  • Chu, M-W. (2012). Exploring science curriculum emphases in relation to the Alberta physics program-of-study. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 58(1), 82-105.


  • Werklund School of Education Development Grant (Validation of a Digital Game-Based Science Assessment; May 2017-May 2018; University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta) - $1500
  • Werklund School of Education, Office of Teaching and Learning (Validating Authentic Assessments: Ensuring Individualized Program Planning Knowledge and Skills in Pre-service Teachers; August 2016-August 2018) - $10,000
  • Werklund School of Education, Office of Teaching and Learning (Investigation of Students’ Receptivity and Use of Formative Feedback in Online Graduate Research Courses; January 2016-August 2017) - $9,918
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in Education Conference Best Paper Award for Use of Learning Errors and Formative Feedback (LEAFF) Model to Improve Scientific Inquiry Skills (October 2016, Beijing, China)