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May 2013

CoCo PhD student Kathrine Petersen for her short presentation on serious games for learning.

Overall, research into “Serious Games” for learning indicates that learning outcomes can be gained through the implementation of well-designed virtual environments that use curricular content and appropriate learning methods. “Serious games” research demonstrates that students find learning in virtual gaming environments enjoyable. Results show that students are both motivated and engage in learning tasks inside the learning environment. Further research indicates that various structure and design elements within the learning environment help improve student’s ability to navigate complex problems. However, while some recent research into “serious games” look at whether these advanced learning environments produce learning outcomes for science and mathematics, more research needs to be conducted that explores appropriate learning methods for teaching specific curricular in areas such as complex literature learning.

This study proposal is a prelude to exploring research into the use of serious games for teaching complex literature curricular through the developing an experimental virtual learning environment to
1) exploring successful research outcomes using serious games for learning curricular content in other learning domains that leads to positive academic learning outcomes
2) to explore existing serious games designed for teaching complex literature content
3) to use successful methods and design elements from the studies in 1 & 2 in the creation of a serious games environment for teaching ancient historical poetic text with emphasis on its themes, metaphor and literary text in context and
4) to assess the qualitative and quantitative academic learning outcomes of graduate students who experience the virtual space.

This semester we are trying something new. As we now have 26 PhD students and three post doc.’s at CoCo, catching up at weekly meeting, seminars and in passing no longer gives us any real insight into each other’s work. It also means that more formal opportunities to speak about our work are harder to organise. Enter the ten minute thesis challenge – more than three, less than eleven and kicking it off was trickier than one would imagine.

How does one describe something that involved 549 hours of observation and is very much a work in progress – coherently in less than eleven minutes? Well I guess that’s the point, having to, gets one thinking.

The aim of my project is to explore the relationship between activity and environment in an innovative school on the outskirts of metropolitan Sydney. I conducted my observations in 2012 in a learning space that supports 180 year five and six students and their team of seven teachers.


Way.jpgJoin us on the 29th of May for a CoCo Seminar by Dr. Jennifer Way titled “The Engagement, Learning and Technology Nexus (ELTN)”.

This presentation describes the first version of a model for describing the interactions between characteristics of a particular discipline (e.g. mathematics, history), the affordances of digital devices and resources (e.g. learning objects, cameras) and the engagement (behavioural, emotional and cognitive) of students in learning experiences. The overall goal is to better understand how to stimulate productive thinking processes that have significance in terms of discipline-specific understandings. Of particular interest is the pre-service teacher education context, in which the ‘students’ are expected to transition into the teacher role and transform their own learning experiences into pedagogy for their own young students.

When: 29 May, 11.00am - 12.30pm. (Arrive at 10.45am for refreshments.)
Where: Education Building (A35), Room 230.
More information at the University events' webpage.
This seminar will be available live online at


Blog AUIC (640x253) (400x158).jpg

The fifteenth Australasian User Interface Conference (AUIC2014), to be held from 20 – 23 January 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand, has issued a Call For Papers.

AUIC 2014 is the forum for user interface researchers and practitioners at the Australasian Computer Science Week (ACSW 2014), the largest annual gathering of computing educators and researchers in Australasia. AUIC provides an opportunity for people with an interest in HCI, HRI, Visual Interfaces, CSCW, and pervasive computing to meet with colleagues and with others in the broader computer science community.

AUIC welcomes original papers, participation and submissions from researchers and practitioners with an interest in techniques, tools, and technology for improving user interfaces over a wide range of areas, including: HCI education; user interface architectures, tools, techniques, and technologies, and their use in complex system; CSCW, group work, groupware, and computer-mediated human communication; and other areas. For more information, see their website.

Are you a scholar, staff member or student involved in the learning sciences and technologies? The Network of Academic Programs in the Learning Sciences (NAPLES) would like to hear from you. The NAPLES network was founded in 2012 in Sydney by members of the International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS) and has 19 universities with more than 31 programs as initial members, including the CoCo Centre's Masters of the Learning Sciences and Technology (MLS&T) and PhD programs.

As a part of creating and expanding the network, NAPLES would like to invite staff and students involved in the Learning Sciences to become involved. If you wish to find out more abut NAPLES, please add your name and details to one of the lists before 15 June 2013.

  • Staff and scholars - What NAPLES hopes to offer includes: the exchange of ideas in teaching and research; access to a resource collection of texts, videos and learning activities for the design of introductory courses for scholars and students in the Learning Sciences; and support for applications for funding of joint projects in the Learning Sciences. NAPLES staff list
  • Students - What NAPLES will offer for students includes: building up an international network; benefiting from specific expertises in other programs; visiting scholarships abroad; and international supervision of doctoral research. To get involved, add your name to the NAPLES student list

Participation is free - for more information see the NAPLES web pages at

As part of the VIVID 2013 Festival's Ideas Theme, members of the STL will speak as part of the evening series of talks at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm, 3rd June, at Seymour Centre, University of Sydney, entitled: "I'm not creative but...."

The talks are on the creative dimensions of computer science and HCI, by Judy Kay, and interaction design for information interfaces in everyday environments by Martin Tomitsch.


The Ninth International Conference on Networked Learning in Higher Education, Lifelong Learning and Professional Development will be hosted by the University of Edinburgh, at the John McIntyre Conference Centre in Edinburgh, on the 7th. 8th & 9th April 2014.

Keynote Speakers: Professor Neil Selwyn & Professor Steve Fuller

This conference is considered a major event in the international 'technology enhanced learning' conference circuit, and provides a friendly, collegiate context for meeting researchers and practitioners in networked learning.

All submissions are peer reviewed, and accepted papers published in conference proceedings

Further details on submission at:
(Full papers must be submitted for peer review by Friday 4th October, 2013)

PRE-CONFERENCE ONLINE HOT SEATs will run from September 2013 to March 2014: Details of Hot Seat hosts can be found at:

Full Conference Details can be found at:

Post-doctoral fellowship (one or more) in LETStudio at University of Gothenburg

The LETStudio is a strategic initiative for promoting interdisciplinary research within the Learning Sciences at The University of Gothenburg. It addresses issues of knowledge, learning, communication and expertise in contemporary society and the research is conducted through interdisciplinary projects.

Closing date: 17th June 2013

Further info

Join us on the 22nd of May for a CoCo Seminar by Dr. Chwee Beng Lee titled “Empowering pre-service teachers’ problem solving using adaptive scaffolding within a systems dynamic learning environment”.

The focus of this presentation is based on a recent submitted ARC discovery project proposal by three institutions, University of Western Sydney, Sydney University and Nayang Technological University-Singapore on the topic of developing pre-service teachers’ problem solving skills through situating them in a web-based learning environment.

When: 22 May, 11.00am - 12.30pm. (Arrive at 10.45am for refreshments.)
Where: Education Building (A35), Room 230.
More information at the University events' webpage.
This seminar will be available live online at

arcuili.jpgJoin us on the 15th of May for a CoCo Seminar by Joanne Arciuli titled “Statistical learning: What is it and why might it be of interest to clinicians and educators?”.

Statistical learning (SL) refers to the brain’s capacity to detect and learn from statistical regularities present in the environment. A substantial body of research demonstrates that SL is a powerful form of implicit learning, one that is present in young infants, is multi-modal, and operates across a variety of stimuli (including, for example, natural speech, musical tones, and geometric shapes). It is thought that SL may contribute to a wide range of mental activities including language acquisition and object recognition.

Dr Arciuli is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences at The University of Sydney and a cognitive scientist with research expertise across the areas of language, literacy and learning. She enjoys interdisciplinary collaborations and has published in journals representing the disciplines of Psychology, Linguistics, Neuroscience and Speech Pathology.

When: 15 May, 11.00am - 12.30pm. (Arrive at 10.45am for refreshments.)
Where: Education Building (A35), Room 230.
More information at the University events' webpage.
This seminar will be available live online at

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