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March 2013

The inaugural Digital Rural Futures Conference, addressing the themes of building networks and raising awareness of challenges and opportunities across a broad range of fronts, has opened for registration and submission of abstracts.

A national broadband communications network offers enormous opportunities for Australia’s agricultural sector. In turn, connected farms, and their supporting industries will play a significant role in Australia’s digital economic future.

The conference will take place on 26 - 28 June 2013 at UNE Campus, Armidale NSW. It encourages the submission of abstracts designed to introduce research, groups or institutions, businesses or activities to other conference delegates. Abstracts addressing aspects of the conference themes of data and information management, smart technology, and smart services and decision support systems are due by the 28th of March.



fimg_intro_secondary_01.jpgThe next ASELL Schools Science workshop will be held on Friday 26 April 2013 at SHORE School in North Sydney.

ASELL Schools Workshops are designed to help teachers improve experiments run in their classrooms and to improve students' experiences. This workshop will include a mixture of discussions and laboratory-based activities. We invite interested teachers to attend and/or submit an experiment for evaluation. You are also invited to bring two students from your school as well as another teacher from either your school or another Sydney school. This is a great opportunity to view a range of practicals in a 'hands on' format that your colleagues at other schools use in their teaching, share ideas as well as to network and build your existing community. More importantly, ASELL and the workshop will be a way that teachers and academics can work together in improving science experiments and experiences for high school students.

For more information see the website.

  • Date: Friday 26 April 2013
  • Venue: SHORE School, Blue Street, North Sydney, NSW, 2060
  • Time: 8:30am-4pm
  • Registrations due: 5 April 2013.
  • Cost: Free

Anind.jpgOn April 2, 2013, STL co-sponsor the Human Centred Technology (HCT) workshop "Harnessing Unobtrusive Sensing
to Understand Human Behaviour for Lifelong Goals

Emerging technologies are creating ways to unobtrusively sense and capture data about various aspects of people's lives. This data can be combined with Persuasive and other personalised interfaces to help people achieve their most important diverse long term goals. For the first time, it has become feasible for people to easily capture evidence about their actual behaviour.

This data can serve many valuable purposes. It can be transformed into a dashboard that help people monitor their progress. It can drive personalised applications that help people remember their intended goals. It can also drive personalised information delivery that gives the right information at the right time.

This all day workshop event is sponsored by the Sciences and Technologies of Learning (STL) Network and Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies at the University of Sydney, and organised in conjunction with Persuasive 2013. It is is free to attend - register online by March 31st, 2013.


The ASELL National Science workshop will be held at the University of Sydney on Tuesday 2 April - Friday 5 April 2013. The ASELL project aims to improve the quality of learning in undergraduate science laboratories by making available student tested, peer reviewed experiments which are scientifically and educationally sound.

Universities are invited to send 2-person teams (one academic and one student). The workshop includes a mixture of discussions and laboratory-based activities. Disciplines to be addressed include biology, chemistry, physics and allied disciplines.

  • Registrations due: 18 March 2013.
  • Cost: AUD$660 (GST inclusive) per team (includes food)
  • Contact: Dr Alexandra Yeung at 02 9351 8715
  • Email:

For more information and to register, see their website.

Guest lecture University Zurich Beat March 4 2013.jpgSTL associate researcher, Beat Schwendimann, was recently invited to give a guest lecture at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. The title of his lecture, presented on March 4th, was “Visualizing central connections in biology – a learning sciences perspective”.

The slides (in German) are available online in slideshare and you can find more information about Beat and his research here. Beat is a postdoctoral research associate in the Laureate team at CoCo. His research interests include science education, technology-supported learning environments, inquiry-based learning, collaborative learning, and knowledge visualizations.

American Behavioral Scientist’s upcoming special issue (edited by Caroline Haythornthwaite, Maaren de Laat and Shane Dawson) will feature articles by some of the leading scholars in the field of learning analytics, including one written by Kate Thompson, David Ashe, Lucila Carvalho, Peter Goodyear, Nick Kelly and Martin Parisio. This is an important article for the laureate team, as it brings together work creating an analytical framework to identify and represent key elements of complex learning environments (Carvalho and Goodyear), with the issues involved in collecting and pre-processing large datasets (Ashe and Parisio), such as those generated using the Design Studio, and the methods of collecting, visualizing, and analyzing multiple streams of data (Thompson), using automated and manual learning analytics techniques (Kelly).

Processing and Visualising Data in Complex Learning Environments
Kate Thompson, David Ashe, Lucila Carvalho, Peter Goodyear, Nick Kelly & Martin Parisio

The ability to capture large amounts of data that describe the interactions of learners becomes useful when one has a framework in which to make sense of the processes of learning in complex learning environments. Through the analysis of such data, one is able to understand what is happening in these networks; however, deciding which elements will be of most interest in a specific learning context and how to process, visualize, and analyze large amounts of data requires the use of analytical tools that adequately support the phases of the research process. In this article, we discuss the selection, processing, visualization, and analysis of multiple elements of learning and learning environments and the links between them. We discuss, using the cases of two learning environments, how structure affects the behavior of learners and, in turn, how that behavior has the potential to affect learning. This approach will allow us to suggest possible ways of improving future designs of learning environments.

You can access this article via OnlineFirst

images.jpgFrom Data Sharing to Data Mining at CSCL2013 is a NSF-funded project to create cyberinfrastructure and user community for design-based research (DBR) in the Learning Sciences.

The goal of this project is to bring together members of The Learning Science community, including design-based researchers and system developers with members of the computer science community, who are developing sophisticated data mining and analytic algorithms, to work collectively to design, develop, and beta-test a cyberinfrastructure.

A CSCL workshop has been announced that is part of a broader call for participation in this project. Information about the workshop, “From Data Sharing to Data Mining: A Collaborative Project to Create Cyber-Infrastructure to Support and Improve Design Based Research in the Learning Sciences,” [pdf] is available at the CSCL conference website. All interested researchers to apply for participation in the workshop. However, even if you are unable to attend the workshop, please let the organisers know if you have an interest in participating in the project and would like to receive communications about future meetings.


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Research by the University's Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI).