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March 2015

The 2014 Research Fest plenary, "Learning Analytics: Critical Issues", with Professor Simon Buckingham Shum is now available to view online on YouTube.

Education is about to experience a data tsunami from online trace data (VLEs; MOOCs; Quantified Self) integrated with conventional educational datasets. This requires new kinds of analytics to make sense of this new resource, which in turn asks us to reflect deeply on what kinds of learning we value. We can choose to know more than ever about learners and teachers, but like any modelling technology or accounting system, analytics do not passively describe sociotechnical reality: they begin to shape it. What realities do we want analytics to perpetuate, or bring into being? Can we talk about analytics in the same breath as the deepest values that a wholistic educational experience should nurture? Could analytics become an ally for those who want to shift assessment regimes towards valuing the qualities that many now regard as critical to thriving in the ‘age of complexity’?

The annual STL Research Fest took place on Thursday November 6th in the Education Building (A35) at the University of Sydney. The Fest was opened by Professor Pip Pattison, DVC Education, University of Sydney, and closed with an invited lecture from Professor Simon Buckingham-Shum, Professor of Learning Informatics and Director of the Connected Intelligence Centre at UTS. Slides of the keynote and some of the posters displayed are available online at

26 March - Neuroscience and Development: Implications for Education and Training with Professor Ian Hickie.
A special guest lecture co-presented by the Neuroscience & Education Special Interest Group and the STL Network.

Hickey100.jpgDiscoveries in neuroscience about how the brain develops, learns, and remembers will increasingly impact the study of education, and the processes of learning and teaching in schools. In this talk Professor Ian Hickie, Executive Director of the Brain & Mind Research Institute, will consider what has been discovered over the past ten years or so and where we may be heading.

This lecture will be of particular interest to teachers, early-childhood educators, teacher educators, and parents who want to know what is being learned about children’s brains, and how that new knowledge can improve the way we teach and interact with children in schools and at home.

When: 4.00 to 5.15pm
Where: Education Lecture Theatre 351, the University of Sydney
More information:

Our series of regular Research on Learning and Educational Innovation Wednesday Seminars (formerly the STL/CoCo seminars) restart on Apr 1 when David Boud discusses the changing face of feedback research. See below for more information on this event and for our four other seminars in April, all of which are now in their new home in room 612 of the Education Building.

1 APR - David Boud || The changing face of feedback research


Have we finally found a way for feedback research to make a difference to learning? Feedback is the single aspect of higher-education courses most criticised by students across countries and across disciplines. There have been many institutional attempts to improve this situation, but with little effect. In recent years though feedback has become a focus for educational researchers and new ways of formulating the challenge of feedback have been developed.

The focus of this seminar will changes occurring in the way feedback is conceptualised, and the implications of these changes for assessment practices. Not surprisingly, a key element of this is a renewed emphasis on designing learning activities as if feedback were important.

This is the first of the regular Research on Learning and Educational Innovation Seminars: the Wednesday Seminars (formerly the CoCo/STL seminars) this year. Please note our new location is room 612. They take place most Wednesdays in semester from 11.00 in room 612 of the Education Building. No RSVP or registration is needed, just come along. More information is available on our website.


This research on learning spaces seminar explores how and why attention to the provision of intimate spaces such as quiet rooms, sitting rooms, bedrooms and child-sized openings was seen as indicative of best practice in the design of schools in the middle decades of the twentieth century.

This event is a research on learning spaces seminar, hosted by Dr Helen Proctor of the Faculty of Education and Social Work and the Sciences and Technologies of Learning (STL) network. Dr Catherine Burke is a Reader in the History of Childhood and Education at the University of Cambridge, UK. She is an historian currently exploring cultural and material histories of education and childhood in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.


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