Sharon K. Zumbrunn, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Foundations of Education

Sharon K. Zumbrunn, Ph.D.


  • Ph.D. in psychological studies in education, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • M.A. in educational psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • B.S. in elementary education, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Research interests

Understanding relationships among students’ learning, self-regulation, motivation and emotional well-being in the classroom, with a primary focus on writing

Career highlights

  • Recipient of the VCU School of Education’s Distinguished Teaching Award, May 2014
  • Recipient of the VCU School of Education’s Distinguished Junior Faculty Award, April 2011

Recent publications

  • Zumbrunn, S. (under contract). The Science of (Not) Writing: How to Be an Academic Writer and Not Lose Your Head. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
  • Ekholm, E., Zumbrunn, S., & De-Busk-Lane, M. (2017). Clarifying an elusive construct: A systematic review of writing attitudes. Educational Psychology Review.
  • Zumbrunn, S., Ekholm, E., Stringer, J., McKnight, K., & DeBusk-Lane, M. (2017). Student experiences with writing: Taking the temperature of the classroom. The Reading Teacher, 70(6), 667-677.
  • Zumbrunn, S., Marrs, S., & Mewborn, C. (2016). Toward a better understanding of student perceptions of writing feedback: A mixed methods study. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 29(2), 349-370.
  • Ekholm, E., Zumbrunn, S., & Conklin, S. (2015). The relation of college student self-efficacy toward writing and writing self-regulation: Writing feedback perceptions as a mediating variable. Teaching in Higher Education, 20(2), 197-297.
  • Zumbrunn, S., Carter, Y. M. & Conklin, S. (2014). Unpacking the value of writing: Exploring college students’ perceptions of writing. Journal of Research in Education, 24(2), 18-33.
  • Zumbrunn, S., McKim, C., Buhs, E., & Hawley, L. (2014). Support, belonging, motivation, and engagement in the college classroom: A mixed method study. Instructional Science, 42(5), 661-684.


Dr. Sharon Zumbrunn teaches courses in educational psychology and research methods related to the field. As a former elementary teacher, her broad research interests address understanding student learning and motivation, and the contexts that foster student success.

Zumbrunn’s current projects include longitudinal, experimental and mixed method investigations that examine student writing motivation and self-regulation across developmental levels (elementary through college), as well as explore educators’ beliefs about teaching writing and the instructional practices they typically employ in their writing classrooms. One recent project, for instance, investigates the effectiveness of using mobile technology to assess and increase student writing metacognition, motivation and performance.

For more information about Dr. Zumbrunn’s work, please visit her lab, the VCU Educational Motivation & Self-Regulation Lab.

Curriculum Vitae

(804) 827-2625