Yu (Tracy) Zhao

Assessment and Learning Analytics Specialist
Mailing Address 
2800 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

Dr. Zhao conducts educational research and assessment for the Learning Design Collaboratory initiative in the Office of Teaching, Learning, & Technology. She provides consultation related to how to understand student-level data and use them to make instructional decisions.  She also supports research in assessing student learning outcomes and teaching effectiveness in diverse learning environments. Her research interests include learning analytics, educational research design, and educational research methodologies.



  • PhD in Educational Psychology, Pennsylvania State University
  • MAS in Statistics, Pennsylvania State University
  • BA in English Literature, Beijing Foreign Studies University, China



Mehta, K., Zappe, S., Brannon, M., Zhao, Y. (2016). An educational and entrepreneurial ecosystem to actualize technology-based social ventures. Advances in Engineering Education, 5 (1), 1-38.

Locke, B. D., McAleavey, A. A., Zhao, Y., Lei, P-W., Hayes, J. A., Castonguay, L. G., Li, H., Tate, R., & Lin, Y-C. (2012). Development and initial validation of the Counseling Center Assessment of Psychological Symptoms-34 (CCAPS-34). Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 45(3), 151-169.

Lei, P-W. & Zhao, Y. (2012). Effects of vertical scaling methods on linear growth estimation. Applied Psychological Measurement, 36(1), 21-39.


Conference presentations:

Zhao, Y. & Lei, P-W. (2016, April). Factors Affecting the Robust Weighted Least Squares Model Fit Measures in Confirmatory Factor Analysis. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC.

Morgan, P., Zhao, Y., & Farkas, G. (2012, April). Early reading failure and later socioemotional maladjustment. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Mehta, K., Morais, D., Zhao, Y., Brannon, M. L., & Zappe, S. E. (2011, June). Milking the Rhino—innovative solutions showcase: Promoting ethics education, user-centered design and social entrepreneurship in the global context. Paper presented at the annual conference and exposition of the American Society for Engineering Education, Vancouver, BC, Canada.