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April 2017

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Convenor: Prof. Peter Reimann, CRLI

Communication and collaboration competences are mentioned prominently amongst the graduate attributes of the University of Sydney, they are also listed as essential skills on job descriptions world-wide. However, how to systematically develop such competences remains largely unspecified, and how to assess them is a matter of wide-spread and contentious discussion.

In this workshop, instead of providing ready-made solutions that can be too generic to be directly applied to discipline-specific teaching, we aim to collectively develop a number of educational design patterns. These patterns will provide answers to two guiding questions: (i) how to develop collaboration competences, and (ii) how to assess them for formative purposes -providing students with feedback. As first suggested in architecture (Alexander, 1979), a pattern describes an effective solution to a recurrent problem embedded in a specific context. In education, where solutions take the form of learning designs, we speak of pedagogical design patterns and of assessment design patterns.

We are proposing design patterns as an appropriate means not only for documenting current teaching and assessment practices, but also as the basis for initiating and sustaining a process of continuous improvement and innovation. Patterns are descriptive and they have the potential to guide knowledgeable action. In order to achieve these aims they need to be developed in a participatory manner involving all stakeholders, so as to capture multiple areas of expertise that can lead to the development of new practices. To this end, after the workshop, we will provide an online platform where the patterns we develop will be made available for further refinement.

Teaching staff—with an interest in developing graduate attributes in the areas of collaboration, communication and leadership—will benefit from participating in this workshop.

Event details
When: Friday 19th May 2017, 1-5pm
Where: Room 221, The Educational Design Research Studio (EDRS), Education Building (A35).
Please refer to map for further directions.


The increasing availability of data about the interactions occurring in a learning experience through technology mediation offers the opportunity to explore new ways to support students. However, having a comprehensive set of data points is far removed from effective support actions. Learning is influenced by a large variety of factors and variables. Research areas such as learning analytics need to take into account both theoretical and contextual factors to achieve improvements on a learning experience. In this talk we will explore how this connection can be established and discuss current research initiatives in this space.


Linked (Open) Data is a technology and a political initiative designed to facilitate general access to high quality data from diverse domains. It is a movement which inherits technologies from the Semantic Web effort, and to some extent grew out of some frustration with that initiative. I will discuss some of the background and the current state of the art in the linked data initiative. I will describe DBpedia, an automatically extracted linked dataset from WIkipedia. Finally I will demonstrate an iOS application I developed for using linked data in an educational tool, which has highlighted some of the frustrations with the current status of linked data.


Csaba Veres
I am an Associate Professor from the University of Bergen at the Department of Information and Media Studies, and associated with the Centre for the Science of Learning & Technology (SLATE) at UiB.

I received my Ph.D. in Psycholinguistics, where I was interested in the way semantic representations were computed in sentence comprehension. But my interests were more broad, encompassing everything to do with conceptual structure and how it is learned, and especially the way this interacted with language. In the years following my Ph.D., I drifted away from Psychology and into Computer Science, where I have maintained my interest in semantics and language through my work with semantic web technologies. I prefer working on practical rather than theoretical issues, which is one reason I drifted away from theoretical, experimental cognitive psychology. My focus has been to discover ways in which linguistic knowledge can be used in semantic web applications. This has given birth to a number of applications including semantic text markup and tools which support full blown ontology construction through natural language. I have also been working on what we call Social Semantic Information Systems, which aim to bring semantic technologies into social web applications.

You can also find Csaba on his website and Twitter.


The Sydney Research Excellence Initiative (SREI) — SREI 2020 is a new program to help Sydney researchers test new ideas, push disciplinary boundaries and identify ways to scale up their research.

Closing date for applications is Friday 5.00pm 21 April

This Scholarship (stipend) is offered to current Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates from the University of Sydney to support their participation in the SREI 2020 project "Understanding and facilitating learning in emerging knowledge co-creation spaces", within the Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI). Recipients will work as a part of a multidisciplinary team implementing one of the following six seed projects:

  1. Knowledge co-creation in health and medical technology innovations
  2. Boundary crossing between learning technology research and the educational technology industry
  3. Knowledge co-creation in school-university partnerships
  4. Knowledge practices in learning analytics
  5. Learning for the workplace through innovation and knowledge co-creation
  6. Research dissemination via knowledge co-creation



Reflective Writing Analytics can be thought of as simultaneously working across two epistemic domains: the psychosocial domain that encompasses aspects like personal disposition, cognition and the pedagogical context; and computational domain which includes machine representation, analysis and feedback of analytics to the user. How do we work effectively across these two domains for the benefit of learning and teaching? This is a core question underpinning the research we undertake at the Connected Intelligence Centre (CIC), University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

In this first half of this session, I will present some of the ways that we approach Reflective Writing Analytics at CIC. I will highlight some key characteristics of the psychosocial and computational epistemic domains and outline some of the challenges in bringing them together. To illustrate these ideas, I will draw on examples from our recent work in analysing reflective writing for the purpose of providing actionable feedback to students.

In the second half of the session there will be the opportunity to discuss as a group how similar approaches to those used at CIC might be currently, or in the future, assist the work of those present. By sharing ideas, and raising questions it is hoped that we can harness the collective intelligence of the session, sparking ideas that are helpful for your own work.


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The research in this presentation reports on real-time longitudinal intra-individual data collected in mathematics and English lessons, every school day, across four school weeks. A total of 113 boys and girls in Year 7 from two Australian schools participated.

Using mobile technology (e.g., smart phones, laptops, tablets) to capture intra-individual real-time data, a four-level model was explored, consisting of between-lesson (within-day) ratings at the first level (up to 2 lessons per day), between-day ratings at the second level (5 days per week), between-week ratings at the third level (4 weeks), and between-student ratings at the fourth level (thus, 40 possible time points per student). Multilevel modeling showed substantial between-lesson (within-day) variability in motivation and engagement (M = 34%) and substantial between-student variability (M = 62%). There was not so much variability between days (M = 2%) or between weeks (M = 2%).

We propose the study offers insights for motivation and engagement theorizing (particularly around stability and developmental issues) and technological and logistic guidance for collecting real-time data. Furthermore, these findings derived from boys and girls in two schools replicate those from a previous study (also discussed in this presentation) conducted among a small sample of boys.

The findings again show that every minute of every day for every student matters. To the extent that this is the case, there are policy implications for daily school timetabling, teacher training to better support motivation and engagement through the school day, and the use of mobile technology to monitor students and enable responsive pedagogy and intervention in real-time.



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The current excitement in schools around Makerspaces, robotics, and STEAM education is underpinned by substantial research in how students can learn about Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics, in a connected, collaborative, interdisciplinary approach. The investment in innovative learning spaces, and resources such as 3D printers and electronics provides us with an opportunity to change the way we think about teaching and learning in STEAM disciplines. 

Dr Kate Thompson is the head of the Creative Practice Lab (CPL) at Griffith University. The CPL combines teacher education, digital technologies (including robotics and digital fabrication), with state-of-the-art video recording and online collaboration systems (including a newly designed Virtual Internship). The CPL aims to provide opportunities to engage with innovative research, and to engage in research partnerships with schools to understand pedagogical approaches to STEAM in face-to-face and online environments.

Kate will present stories from her research, including the OLT-funded STEP-UP project, connecting school students, STEAM experts, and in-service and pre-service teachers. This work allows us to understand those moments in which students connect their knowledge and skills across the STEAM fields to answer questions, solve problems and create products. 

Kate will discuss the implications for teacher practice and preservice teacher education.


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