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March 2016

Join us on April 13 for a Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI) Wednesday seminar; "The enactive roots of learning: rethinking educational design" with Professor Daniel D. Hutto.

New and radically reformative thinking about the enactive and embodied basis of cognition holds out the promise of moving forward debates about whether we learn and how we learn. The radical enactive, embodied view of cognition (REC) poses a direct, and unmitigated, challenge to the trademark assumptions of traditional cognitivist theories of mind: theories that characterise cognition as always and everywhere grounded in the manipulation of contentful representations of some kind. REC has had some success in understanding how sports skills and expertise are acquired. But it might be thought that REC-based approaches encounter a natural obstacle when in trying to understand and explain skill acquisition in knowledge-rich conceptually-based domains such as hard sciences and mathematics.

This presentation offers a proof of concept that REC’s reach can be usefully extended even into the domain of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning, especially when it comes to understanding the deep roots of such learning. Drawing on some exciting new empirical studies how REC can contribute to understanding the roots even of STEM learning and inform its learning design.

Daniel D. Hutto is Professor of Philosophical Psychology at the University of Wollongong and member of the Australian Research Council College of Experts. The CRLI Wednesday seminars (formerly CoCo and STL) run on most Wednesdays in semester and host local and international experts who present research on learning and educational innovation in an informal setting.

Event details
• When: 11.30am to 1.00pm on 13 April 2016. This is a brown bag event, you are welcome to bring your lunch to eat.
• Where: Room 612 Education Building A35
• This seminar will not be available online or recorded.
• More information here

On March 4th Professor George Siemens presented a lecture with LARG and Sydney Ideas; "Neuroscience and Learning Analytics: A historic leap in understanding learning?". If you weren’t able to make it, or are interested to hear it again, the audio and slides are now available at http://www.itl.usyd.edu.au/analytics/sydney-larg.htm.

There’s also a set of introductory 'LARG news' slides from the day where you can find out more about current learning analytics initiatives and opportunities at Sydney.

For more information on Sydney Learning Analytics Research Group (LARG) see their website at http://www.itl.usyd.edu.au/analytics/sydney-larg.htm or follow them on Twitter @sydneyanalytics.

Our Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI) Wednesday seminar series restart next week when Dr Christine Preston presents "Toys for learning and teaching science".

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Toys are widely recognised as being highly engaging to children, but formal research into the use of toys to support learning in primary science and learning how to teach primary science is sparse. This presentation provides an overview of pilot studies conducted by honours students in the faculty, as well as a summary of toy use in the Master of Teaching program with preservice teachers. Topics include primary-students' responses when their toys incorporate discrepant events, and how musical toys change young children’s explanations about sound. The qualitative research included individual interviews with primary students using think-aloud data collection techniques. Preliminary findings will be discussed along with the potential for further research in this area.

Dr Christine Preston has a unique teaching background, having taught science in NSW schools at both the secondary and primary level. She has experience as a teacher-education lecturer in science for early childhood, primary and secondary settings. Her current research interests are primary children’s interpretation of scientific diagrams, teaching science using toys, early-childhood science and teaching science education in higher education.

The CRLI Wednesday seminars (formerly CoCo and STL) run on most Wednesdays in semester and host local and international experts who present research on learning and educational innovation in an informal setting.

Event details
• When: 11.30am to 1.00pm on 23 Mar 2016. This is a brown bag event, you are welcome to bring your lunch to eat.
• Where: Room 612 Education Building A35
• This seminar will not be available online or recorded.
• More information here

LARG.jpg The Sydney Learning Analytics Research Group is excited to offer two conference travel grants of $3,500 each - the first to attend the 2016 Educational Data Mining (EDM) Conference, and the second to attend the 2017 Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK) Conference. The call for applications for the 2016 EDM Conference is now open, with the 2017 LAK Conference call to be announced at a later date.

Applicants must have a submission (of any type) accepted for presentation at EDM 2016, and be either a current staff member or current student of the University of Sydney. The call for submissions for EDM is now open - there are several deadlines, the last of which is 2 April 2016. For more information see the Sydney Learning Analytics Research Group (LARG) website.

LARG is a joint venture of the newly established Quality and Analytics Group within the Education Portfolio, and the new Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation at to the Faculty of Education and Social Work. The key purposes in establishing the new research group are: Capacity building in learning analytics for the benefit of the institution, its students and staff; to generate interest and expertise in learning analytics at the University, and build a new network of research colleagues; and to build a profile for the University of Sydney as a national and international leader in learning analytics.

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