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February 2015

This event is the first of this year's “Research on Learning and Educational Innovation: the Wednesday Seminars”, organised jointly by CoCo and STL at the Faculty of Education and Social Work, and hosted on Wednesdays during semester in Room 612 of the Education Building.

damsa-small.jpgIn this seminar, Dr Damsa will attempt to clarify the notion of shared epistemic agency and to illustrate how it is expressed and achieved by undergraduate students in the context of learning through collaborative knowledge construction. Building on works from learning sciences, educational psychology and sociology, shared epistemic agency is defined as a capacity that enables groups to carry out joint activities of knowledge construction that lead to a shared outcome. Two studies examining group projects learning activities in undergraduate courses in teacher education and computer engineering are used to illustrate how it is expressed and analysed in educational settings.

The discussion foregrounds that agency is not something given and should not be taken for granted; it emerges and is achieved in and through the unfolding (co-)construction processes and meaningful participation in activities. In addition, it highlights that creating the premises for the emergence of shared epistemic agency is an effort that can be assigned both to individuals and groups, but also to how the (pedagogical, structural) context facilitates this process.

Dr Crina Damsa is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Education, University of Oslo (UiO), where she is also a member of the teaching staff in the Higher Education master program. Dr Damsa is an active member of the Learning Sciences community and of the European Association for Research of Learning and Instruction.

  • Where: Education Building (A35) Room 612
  • When: 11.00am - 12.30pm (arrive at 10.45am for refreshments)
  • This seminar will be available live online at
  • More information available here.


In 1973, when the doors were first opened to the Sydney Opera House, most people had never heard of a “digital experience”. Since then we’ve watched digital devices make their way into every detail of our lives from business to exercise, health, politics, friendships, and romance. They are now continuous players in our moment-by-moment lived experience and the future “Internet of Things” promises little separation between digital and non-digital experience at all. But one critical question remains…

Are we any happier?


Several of our researchers have submitted papers to this year's international Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, CSCL. The conference will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden, from June 7th to 11th, 2015.

STL submissions include:

  • Poster: How Collaborative Successes and Failures Become Productive: An Exploration of Emerging Understanding and Misunderstanding Turning Points in Model-based Learning with Productive Failure. Authors: Alisha Portolese, Lina Markauskaite, Polly Lai, Michael Jacobson

  • Poster: Measuring group progress through a complex computer-supported design task: Identifying the effects of scaffolds on the processes of learning. Author: Kate Thompson

  • Paper: Learning about Collaborative Design for Learning in a Multi-Surface Design Studio. Authors: Roberto Martinez-Maldonado, Peter Goodyear, Yannis Dimitriadis (University of Valladolid), Kate Thompson, Lucila Carvalho, Luis Pablo Prieto (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne), Martin Parisio

  • Paper: Socio-material Representation of Group Knowledge Creation. Author: Natalie Spence

  • Symposium: A multimodal approach to the analysis of complex collaborative learning environments: Using complementary methods of analysis to synthesise new trends in scaffolding research.
    Kate Thompson, Lucila Carvalho, Maryam Khosronejad, Peter Reimann, Dewa Wardak, Peter Goodyear, Roberto Martinez-Maldonado, The University of Sydney; Anindito Aditomo, University of Sydney and The University of Surabaya, Indonesia; Michael A. Evans, Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Counselor Education, North Carolina State University; Yannis Dimitriadis, Universidad de Valladolid; and Gregory Dyke, ICAR, University of Lyon/CNRS, France.

  • Symposium: Researching and Designing for the Orchestration of Learning in the CSCL Classroom.
    Emma Mercier (chair), University of Illinois; Cresencia Fong, University of Toronto; Karin Forssell, Stanford University; Maya Israel, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Andrew Joyce-Gibbons, Durham University; Roberto Martinez-Maldonado, University of Sydney; Saadeddine Shehab, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign; Nikol Rummel (discussant), Ruhr-Universitat Bochum; James D. Slotta, University of Toronto.


Forbes (US) recently mentioned research by Rafael Calvo and Dorian Peters in a piece titled: '“Positive Computing: The Next Big Thing In Human-Centered Design?"'

"It’s a call to action that Calvo and Peters are delivering to a wider audience, not just the innovators working under the shadows of Hangar One. And they are delivering it at a time when technologists have a big opportunity to rethink their approach to design. A new era of computing — wearable, integrated, ubiquitous — is fast approaching. Will it be good or bad for our wellness? If you believe in human agency, then the call to action is real. There’s no time like today to plan for a future in which we can thrive, and not be the victims of our own design."

The article is available online here.

Professor Rafael Calvo, from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, and Dorian Peters, from the Faculty of Education and Social Work, have just published a book: Positive Computing: Technology for Wellbeing and Human Potential. They also run a blog called Positive Computing at

About the Blog

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