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February 2017

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Normally, we tend to think of teaching just as something that teachers do, and perhaps if the teacher is diligent, the teacher might engage in some lesson planning to prepare their teaching. We tend to not, however, to think of teaching as something that can be designed. Educational/instructional design is something that is only beginning to be explored more seriously, and our own team here at CRLI has a few things to say about the matter.

A new paper in journal Computers in Human Behavior does just this. A multi-institutional team, including our centre co-director Peter Goodyear, some former CRLI/CoCo academics, and other collaborators, explores the latest research coming from our innovative Educational Design Studio (EDS). The results speak to the powerful affordances of both digital and analogue tools in a design environment, and the importance of collaboration in the design process.

Check out the paper for more details

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One of our associated research groups, the Learning, Cognition, and Brain Sciences research group (LCBS), will be hosting a couple guests from Beijing Normal University the coming week. Dr. Qinhua Zheng and Dr. Jingjing Zhang will join the LCBS meeting and informally discuss their research, primarily involving learning analytics, educational data mining, and educational technologies more broadly. Anyone interested in joining the meeting and hearing about their research is most welcome to do so.

Date: 14th of February; Time: 10am-12pm; Location: CoCo Lab (Room 237 in the Education Building, University of Sydney)

Dr. Qinhua Zheng is associate dean of School of Education Technology and director of Research Centre of Distance Education at Beijing Normal University (BNU). Since 2009, he has worked as an associate professor in Research Center of Distance Education, BNU. Areas of his research interests include the cost-effectiveness analysis of distance education, quality assurance of e-learning,Massive Online Open Courses; learning analytics. These years, his researches mainly focused on how to build the model to explain the online learners’ competency during their web-based learning, and how to use data to show and assess the learners’ situation. He has developed the software “Wisdom Line” to give supports to the online learning institutes in China based the researches.

Dr. Jingjing Zhang received her BSc in Computer Science from BNU, an MRes from University College London (UCL), an MSc and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. As an undergraduate, she was awarded 2003 AIEJ Scholarship for a one-year exchange study at Tokyo Gakugei University. At the University of Oxford (MSc, DPhil), she was a Clarendon scholar and a member of Brasenose College (funded by ORS scholarship). She now directs the Big Data Centre for Technology-mediated Education at the Faculty of Education of BNU, specialising in learning and technology. Before joining BNU, she was first trained in Directorate for Education, OECD Paris, and then interned at the Department of Management, the UN headquarters New York. Dr. Zhang’s work focuses on developing data mining techniques (e.g., complex networking analysis) to explore human relationships and activities online, particularly in the learning sciences. This includes the impact on learning and collaboration in using open educational resources (OERs), massive open online courses (MOOCs), and knowledge visualization.

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We bring good news!

CRLI researchers have won funding for an ambitious, interdisciplinary project to study how people learn to co-create knowledge. Funded by the Sydney Research Excellence Initiative (SREI 2020), researchers from CRLI and across the university will come together to look at how people learn in complex, interdisciplinary environments from schools, to universities, to workplaces and cutting-edge industries. More than simply learning old facts, however, the project will focus on understanding how we learn to co-create new knowledge with others. Increasingly it is realised that this ability to work with knowledge, and to do so in varied interdisciplinary teams, is increasingly important for life and work in a knowledge-generating society. An understanding of how we learn to do this, therefore, is important!

So stay tuned for updates as this project develops. And congratulations to the team, led by Associate Professor Lina Markauskaite. Exciting times ahead for CRLI!

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