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Seminars and events

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Two presenters juxtapose their projects to highlight new insights into research involving school-university partnerships.

Self-Directed Learning in Science, by Prof. Nancy Law, The University of Hong Kong.
This is a University-School Project that focuses on network-based capacity building and knowledge co-creation on learning and assessment design, as well as architecture for learning for scalable innovation.

Thinking Like Scientists by Dr Louise Sutherland, leader of I-Science program, The University of Sydney.
This project examines how different participants (scientists, science teachers, teacher educators and preservice science teachers) value aspects of a science-based artifact produced by high school students.

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All children deserve the best possible start in life. Working within a risk and prevention paradigm, many services intervene early, supporting parents’ to cope with adversity. The problem is that telling parents what to do doesn’t work. Partnership models aim to address this, but come with their own challenges. Professionals can retreat from their expertise for fear of being a ‘bossy expert’ and undermining partnership.

This seminar will report findings from a 3-year study across three Australian States, involving over 100 professionals and parents in diverse services. It takes a cultural-historical perspective, framing partnership as a mind-expanding encounter in which professionals and parents collaborate on complex problems. The presentation will reveal the diverse forms of expertise involved, providing answers to questions such as: How can we help parents escape from impossible situations where motives to care for their children pull them in opposite directions? How can professionals guide parent’s learning what they can’t know what is to be learned in advance? Why is the difference between goals and ‘what matters’ to parents so significant? And how can professionals cope with the need to work with incomplete, fragile and uncertain knowledge about those they are trying to help?

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Many researchers argue that students must be meaningfully engaged in the learning resources for effective learning to occur. However, current online learners still report a problematic lack of attractive and challenging learning resources that engage them in the learning process. This endemic problem is even more evident in computer-supported online learning (CSCL) because these environments generally lack authentic interactivity, user-empowerment, social identity, and challenge, thus having a negative effect on learners’ self-motivation and engagement.

This talk will address specific methodologies – including learning analytics, gamification and emotional awareness – for overcoming these and other limitations found in CSCL, based on both highly interactive systems and innovative learning strategies. The knowledge extracted from the collaborative interaction is used to assess participation behaviour, knowledge-building and performance in order to provide feedback and evaluation of the collaborative process. Experiences gained from applying these methodologies to real contexts of CSCL will be shown and discussed.

Santi Caballe is an associate professor and researcher at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), where he is an academic director of the postgraduate program in the area of software engineering. Dr Caballe is an accredited full professor with the Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency. He is affiliated with the Faculty of Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications of the UOC, where he teaches online courses in the area of software engineering and conducts research activity on eLearning, distributed computing and software engineering. He has supervised four PhD theses so far as well as many master's theses.

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This seminar will present the work of a study in which the relationships between epistemic stance and culture were examined. Epistemic stance is a personal theory one holds in relation to knowledge and knowing. The framing of the study and methodology were informed by critical realist ideas. This added to the richness of this quantitative exploration of potentially formative cultural communities and experiences for academics. Over 500 PhD students and academic staff from four universities across eight disciplines participated. The cultural variables explored in relation to epistemic stance were: gender, age, discipline, institution, status, ethnicity, religion, and parent socioeconomic status. Findings indicate that we need to look beyond current discipline to understand groupings within academia. It will be good to discuss the possible implications for how we approach multidisciplinary work, which is at the core of the Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation.

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Rachel W

Assessment is central to all forms of education and there is now a wealth of research examining the impact of assessment on learning. In the last two decades research has highlighted how assessment can work to drive learning; but also the negative consequences of some forms of assessment.

So, in this era of rapid innovation and technological development why has assessment been so slow to change?
Why do assessment systems remain such a polarising aspect of education systems? And, how can our understanding of child development and learning science improve students’ and teachers’ experience with assessments?
In this talk I will consider research evidence and developments in assessment models to make an analysis of the current aspirations, trends, challenges and areas in need of caution in assessment. I will provide a brief review of:
- the assessment challenges facing Australia
- key shifts in the history of assessment and how these relate to our developing understanding of learning
- some innovative assessment approaches from around the globe
- assessment approaches with potential to empower learning in students and educators
I argue for the need to take student-centred approaches to assessment; integrating our understanding of cognitive progressions and recent insights into emotional development to optimise learning.

Rachel Wilson is Senior Lecturer in Research Methodology, Educational Assessment & Evaluation. As such she has broad interests across educational evidence, policy and practice. She has a particular interest in early childhood education and she has recently published a book on Emotional Development, co-authored with her father. She also has an particular interest in trends in educational participation and standards. - See more at: http://sydney.edu.au/education_social_work/about/staff/profiles/rachel.wilson.php#sthash.KMGWnJzf.dpuf

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Intelligent Virtual Agents for education, training and health

This talk will provide an overview of the types and uses of Intelligent virtual agents. Intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) have been a growing area of research within the field of Artificial Intelligence in the past 20 years. An IVA is a piece of software, generally considered to be autonomous in some way, that imitates the behaviour of a human or animal and is embodied within a virtual environment. A primary aim in the field of virtual agents is the creation of believable characters that are useful in their situated paradigm (e.g. games, narratives, education,assistive computing, etc.). There is a significant body of work in the area of believable characters which may be known as pedagogical agents, embodied conversational agents, artificial companions, talking heads, empathic or listening agents depending on their function, level of sophistication or the particular research focus such as emotion and appraisal systems or language technology. The talk will provide an overview of the field, including my research concerning IVAs and memory, emotions and collaborative learning for applications such as debriefing and reminiscing, border security officer training, scientific inquiry and science education, real estate assistance, museum guidance, and adherence to treatment advice.

Deborah Richards is a Professor in the Department of Computing at Macquarie University. Following 20 years in the ICT industry during which she completed a BBus (Comp and MIS) and MAppSc (InfoStudies), she completed a PhD in artificial intelligence on the reuse of knowledge at the University of New South Wales and joined academia in 1999. While she continues to work on solutions to assist decision-making and knowledge acquisition, for the past decade, her focus has been on intelligent systems, agent technologies and virtual worlds to support human learning and well-being.

Event details
When: Wednesday 24 May, 11:30 am - 1pm
Where: Room 612, Education Building A35
Brown Bag: Attendees are welcome to bring their own lunch

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When elite sports professionals train, everything from their breakfast to the millimetres and milliseconds of their training routine, and the technologies that support them, are fussed over by experts: no expense spared for optimum performance! In the research world this is completely different. The way we do things is more likely to be based on personal habits, intuitively formed, rather than a rational and research-refined process. All the while, researchers face an increasingly competitive professional landscape that demands much more in less time. So, might academics have something to learn from Olympic sports coaching?

In this workshop, the presenter will share some practical ideas and technological tools that can be flexibly applied to help researchers work with knowledge more effectively. For example, research tells us that humans remember surprisingly little of what they read. Given how important reading is to academic research, the presenter will suggest technology-enhanced strategies for long-term understanding and remembering of important details. He will also discuss ways researchers can help themselves make deep and relevant connections that support their research. Workshop participants will be shown how to use free Spaced Repetition Software to help absorb their readings more deeply, as well as make connections and gain insights. The presentations will conclude with a demonstration of epistemic games (AKA: knowledge games) that can help structure the way participants think about issues in their research and possible alignments with the literature.

FREE LUNCH AND DRINKS PROVIDED

Following this link for further details, and for registration.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Professor Peter Reimann

The widespread availability of learner-related data has the potential to empower students, teachers, parents and school leaders by providing critical insights into the learning process. However, fostering a culture of data-informed learning and teaching in schools remains a significant challenge. This is in part due to capacity: Teachers are by and large not prepared for advanced data practices, and teacher education providers are currently not well prepared to develop that capacity. Research on developing data literacy for teachers, research so far has focussed mainly on three aspects: 1) analysis of the components that make up this literacy, 2) analysis of existing teacher education programs, and 3) studies on professional development programs conducted with in-service teachers. After an overview of the state of the art, I will address questions regarding What to learn and How to learn about data literacy in more detail, focusing on pre-service teacher education because very little is known at this stage about how to design for and support the learning of education students.

Event details
When: Wed April 12, 2017, 11.30am– 1.00pm (this is a brown bag seminar, attendees are welcome to bring their lunch)
Where: Room 612, Education Building A35
This seminar will not be available online or recorded.
No need to RSVP, just come on the day.

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What are the benefits of providing peer feedback (online) and how can it be made even stronger?

Questions of effectiveness and quality of peer feedback and peer assessment have been very actively discussed from the perspective of the receiver of feedback, however the benefits for the provider of feedback messages have received much less attention, at least in Higher Education. But the benefits could be substantial: The process of peer feedback engages students actively in learning, helps develop self-management and judgment, strengthens the capacity for self-assessment, helps develop subject knowledge, enables students to receive feedback faster and promotes social interaction.

Understanding the benefits to the student providing the feedback is becoming more important as the opportunities for engaging in peer tutoring and peer assessment practices explode in the online space. In addition to designed peer learning practices we need to consider informal peer help and peer tutoring episodes.

Peter will give an overview of recent research on the online provision of peer feedback in relation to research on peer feedback and peer tutoring more generally. He will speculate on how learning benefits for the student provider of online feedback might be increased, based on explanatory models for the learning from teaching effect. He’ll end with some thoughts on how technology can help, not only with providing peer feedback, but with the learning that arises from providing feedback.

Prof. Peter Reimann is the co-Director of the Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI) at the University of Sydney, (formerly the CoCo Research Centre), in addition to having continued involvement in European Commission funded projects in IT research and development for learning. His primary research areas include cognitive learning with a focus on educational computing and the development of evaluation and assessment methods for the effectiveness of computer-based technologies. Current research includes the analysis of individual and group problem solving/learning processes and possible support by means of ICT, and analysis of the use of mobile IT in informal learning settings (outdoors, in museums, etc.).

Event details:

7 April 2017
12 – 1pm
Room 218, Level 2 South,
Fisher Library
REGISTER ONLINE at https://sydney.edu.au/education-portfolio/ei/events/

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At CRLI, we run a weekly seminar series hosting local and international experts who present research on learning and educational innovation in an informal setting. Seminars run on most Wednesdays in semester.

Upcoming seminars in 2017:
A glance of this year's seminar
12-Apr-2017—Peter Reimann
26-Apr-2017—Andrew Martin
3-May-2017—Kate Thompson
17-May-2017—Andrew Gibson
24-May-2017—Deborah Richards
31-May-2017—Kathryn Bartimote-Aufflick
7-Jun-2017—Learning Analytics Research Group (LARG)
14-Jun-2017—Rachel Wilson
28-Jun-2017—Maria Souza e Silva
2-Aug-2017—Louise Sutherland
9-Aug-2017—Nick Hopwood
20-Sep-2017—Tom Carey
4-Oct-2017—James Dalziel
1-Nov-2017—Learning Analytics Research Group

Please note we are in room 612 of the Education Building. We are always looking for more speakers, topics and ideas. If you would like to suggest a seminar topic, propose a speaker (including yourself) or provide feedback, we would love to hear from you at crli.info@sydney.edu.au.

When: Wednesdays, 11.30am. Seminars usually run for an hour followed by a 30min Q&A session.
Where: Rm 612 of the Education bldg. (Unless otherwise specified in the seminar's description page).
Brown bag: You are welcome to bring your lunch to these events.

Ryan Baker is visiting on his way to a keynote at the ASCILITE Conference in Adelaide. He will be giving a talk at 3pm on Friday 25 November at the University of Sydney, all welcome! Friday 25 November, 3pm, rooms 249 & 250, Level 2 South, Fisher Library (F03), University of Sydney. Campus map: http://sydney.edu.au/maps/campuses/?area=CAMDAR

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Modeling Complex Skill with Educational Data Mining

Abstract: In recent years, the emerging methods of educational data mining have made it possible to model performance on complex skills occurring within online education, making it possible in turn to measure learning of these skills over time. In this talk, I will discuss my lab’s work to model the development of these skills, both in structured contexts such intelligent tutoring systems, and less structured contexts such as simulations and serious games. For example, I will discuss our work to infer when students are able to successfully design controlled experiments within simulations, and when they are able to successfully navigate a complex virtual environment to gather evidence that enables them to answer causal questions about events in that virtual environment. By modeling complex student skill and inferring students’ knowledge of these skills, we make it possible to create educational and training environments that can support students in developing robust and useful competencies.

Ryan is Associate Professor of Cognitive Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University, USA. He is in Australia as a keynote speaker at the 2016 ASCILITE Conference, and we’re fortunate to be able to have him with us in Sydney while he’s visiting.

Join us on November 2nd for our last seminar of 2017, the "Learning Analytics Research Group (LARG) showcase session", with presenters Jess McBroom and Associate Professor Kalina Yacef.

LARG is a joint venture of the newly established Quality and Analytics Group within the University's Education Portfolio, and CRLI. The key purposes for establishing LARG are to:
:: build capacity in learning analytics, for the bevefit of the instituion, its staff and its students
:: generate interest and expertise in learning analytics at the University, and build a new network of research colleagues
:: build a profile for The University of Sydney as a national and international leader in learning analytics.

This seminar is the first event in which the LARG will showcase two of ts recent projects.
MINING BEHAVIOURS OF STUDENTS IN AUTOGRADING SUBMISSION SYSTEM LOGS
Presenter: Jess McBroom
EDUCATIONAL DATA MINING RESEARCH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
Presenter: Associate Professor Kalina Yacef

Event details
• When: 11.30am to 1.00pm on 2 Nov 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.

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.

Join us on October 19th for "Sites of Epistemic Cognition", a CRLI seminar with Dr Simon Knight, Research Fellow in Writing Analytics at the University of Technology Sydney.

Simon-Knight267.jpgSimon's PhD research investigated epistemic cognition – cognition regarding the source, justification, complexity, and stability of knowledge – in collaborative information tasks. Students worked on separate computers making use of a tool (Coagmento) that facilitated their activity, providing a chat and collaborative text editor, and tracked their activity.

In this talk, I’ll discuss developing work on conceptualising the design of that research in terms of ‘sites of epistemic cognition’: situations; activities; products; and actors. In a parallel line of work, I have been re-conceiving ‘epistemic cognition’ in light of recent moves in the philosophical literature on ‘social epistemology’. The talk will introduce this novel account, illustrating its use as a lens onto epistemic dialogue.
Event details
• When: 11.30am to 1.00pm on 19 October 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.

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.

Join us on October 12th for "Insights to action: a transformative approach to business analytics", a Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI) seminar with Craig Napier.

To enable innovation, insights, experimentation and discovery, Universities must attempt to harness the value of data in driving more informative and effective decisions. The ease with which people interact and connect with people, devices, the internet and share content is increasing every day and these new sources of information are generating new possibilities for exploration, requiring new capabilities to be developed. Given the increasing volumes of data the problem is not that the data does not exist but shifts to how to make the data available, filter through the noise, reuse and scale initiatives and to generate insights that lead to action. This is a practical session that will focus on:

:: the challenges facing analytics initiatives
:: what we can do to deliver improved insights efficiently
:: how we can share knowledge and expertise and in partnership deliver shared business outcomes that lead to action.

Craig Napier has worked in data-intensive environments for more than 15 years, domestically and internationally, and is program director of Business Intelligence at the University of Sydney where he is developing and delivering enhanced capabilities and insights in business intelligence and analytics. Prior to this, Mr Napier was director of Business Intelligence at the University of Wollongong, systems manager at the University of Wollongong's $62 million SMART Infrastructure Facility (where he was integral in the establishment of the Information and Data Discoverability Centre) and a lecturer in business analytics. Mr Napier is a member of The Data Warehouse Institute (TDWI), coordinator of the Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence & Analytics special interest group of the Australasian Association for Institutional Research and a Fellow of CPA Australia.

Event details
• When: 11.30am to 1.00pm on 12 October 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.

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.

Join us on August 24th for "Speculative method in digital education research", a Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI) seminar with Dr Jen Ross, University of Edinburgh.

JenRoss(3).jpgIn this seminar, Jen Ross discusses Speculative method in digital education research – the subject of a paper she recently published in the journal Learning, Media and Technology. The question of ‘what works’ is currently dominating educational research, often to the exclusion of other kinds of inquiries and without enough recognition of its limitations. At the same time, digital education practice, policy and research over-emphasises control, efficiency and enhancement, neglecting the ‘not-yetness’ of technologies and practices which are uncertain and risky. As a result, digital education researchers require many more kinds of questions, and methods, in order to engage appropriately with the rapidly shifting terrain of digital education, to aim beyond determining ‘what works’ and to participate in ‘intelligent problem solving’ (Biesta, 2010) and ‘inventive problem-making’ (Michael, 2012).

Jen will discuss speculative methods as they are currently used in a range of social science and art and design disciplines, discuss them in terms of epistemology, temporality and audience, and argue for the relevance of these approaches to digital education. Using ‘teacherbot’ (http://www.de.ed.ac.uk/project/teacherbot-interventions-automated-teaching ) and ‘artcasting’ (http://www.de.ed.ac.uk/project/artcasting ) examples from the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Research in Digital Education, the talk will demonstrate speculative method in action, and reflect on some of the tensions such approaches can generate, as well as their value and importance in the current educational research climate.

Dr Jen Ross is a senior lecturer, co-director of the Centre for Research in Digital Education, and Deputy Director (KE) of Research and Knowledge Exchange in the School of Education at the University of Edinburgh. Her research interests include: Online and distance learning and teaching; Cultural heritage learning and engagement; Digital cultures; Reflective practices; Online learning and identity; Higher education; Creativity and Digital futures. You can learn more about Jen at: http://jenrossity.net/blog/.

Event details
• When: 11.30am to 1.00pm on 24 August 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.

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.

Join us on August 31st for a Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI) seminar with Dr Pippa Yeoman, Lessons in reading the learning landscape.

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The human drive to learn is strong, but not irrepressible. The ways in which people engage in learning can be shaped by a range of factors, including developmental, social, economic and political factors. Such influences have been studied widely, but rather little is known about how physical space affects learning activity.

Space matters. The current NSW budget for school infrastructure over the next four years is set at $2.6 billion, and the University of Sydney has committed $2.5 billion to building projects on its Camperdown campus, by 2020. Whilst these figures highlight an area of significant investment in education, there is very little actionable educational research that traces the relations between learning activity and the learning environment. How does your current location support learning activity? Do you look forward to teaching in any particular space? How do you adapt your teaching and learning practices to work with and not against the spaces in which you are scheduled to teach?

Drawing on fieldwork in innovative school and university settings, Dr Pippa Yeoman will present some of the theoretical tools she uses to explore the connections between learning activity and the learning environment. Pippa’s PhD dissertation, Habits & habitats: An ethnography of learning entanglement, can found here.

Event details
• When: 11.30am to 1.00pm on 31 August 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..

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.

Join us on August 10th, when Professor Peter Goodyear and Associate Professor Lina Markauskaite present "Epistemic fluency in higher education: teaching and learning for knowledgeable action and innovation", a Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation seminar.

What does it take to be a productive member of a multidisciplinary team working on a complex problem? What enables a person to integrate different types and fields of knowledge, indeed different ways of knowing, in order to make some well-founded decisions and take actions in the world? How do people become better at these things? How can researchers gain deeper insight in these valued capacities; and how can teachers help students develop them?

Working on real-world problems usually requires the combination of different kinds of specialised and context-dependent knowledge, as well as different ways of knowing. People who are flexible and adept with respect to different ways of knowing about the world can be said to possess epistemic fluency.

Drawing upon and extending the notion of epistemic fluency, in this seminar the presenters outline key ideas they have developed while studying how university teachers teach and students learn complex professional knowledge and skills. Their account combines grounded and enacted cognition with sociomaterial perspectives of human knowing, and focuses on capacities that underpin knowledgeable action and innovative work. This seminar will discuss the critical role of grounded conceptual knowledge; the ability to embrace professional materially-grounded ways of knowing; and students’ capacities to construct their epistemic environments. These and other ideas are elaborated the presenters' recently published book, Epistemic fluency and professional education: innovation, knowledgeable action and actionable knowledge (2016, Springer).

Lina Markauskaite is an associate professor at CRLI. Her primary area is concerned with understanding the nature of capabilities involved in complex inter-professional knowledge work and learning.

Peter Goodyear is an Australian Laureate Fellow at the University of Sydney in Australia and founding codirector of CRLI. Peter’s research focuses on networked learning, the nature of professionals’ ‘working knowledge’ and complexity in educational design.

Event details
• When: 11.30am to 1.00pm on 10 August 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.

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.

Join us on Tuesday August 2nd for a CRLI Methods workshop, Online, on-campus and on country professional development. It will be an informal talk with Melinda Lewis.

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An informal talk about the affordances and constraints of designing and developing online professional development for teaching staff, within the context of the university systems & protocols, and through the content of cultural competence.

Bring your laptop, because participation includes a 'hands-on' experience, exploring the Educational Innovation program for teachers and the National Centre for Cultural Competence online modules launched on Friday 22nd July.

  • Where: CoCo Lab (Room 237, Education Builiding A35)
  • When: Tuesday August 2nd, 12.00-1.30pm
  • Participants should bring a laptop.
  • Join us on August 3rd, when we restart our Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI) Wednesday seminars for semester 2, with a presentation by Associate Professor Nina Bonderup Dohn; "Designing for transformation of situated knowledge.

    Nina-267.jpgNina will present on her and her colleagues’ current project, Designing for Situated Knowledge in a World of Change, supported by the Danish Council for Independent Research. Today's world is characterized by diversity, frequent change, and globalization, which requires people to traverse a range of different settings and to often use knowledge, learnt in one setting, in new contexts. But research in practice theory and situated learning has shown that knowledge is situated, i.e. acquires form and content from the context in which it is learnt. In this talk, Nina will focus on philosophical and design theoretical aspects of this challenge, discussing:
    :: What is involved in transforming knowledge from one context to another?
    :: Is it possible to design learning opportunities for others to support them in learning to transform knowledge across contexts?
    :: If yes, what would be design principles for such learning opportunities?

    Nina Bonderup Dohn is an Associate Professor in Humanistic Information Science at the Department of Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark.

    Event details
    • When: 11.30am to 1.00pm on 3 August 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.

    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.

    Join us on June 15 for a Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI) Wednesday seminar; "Enhancing workplace learning through mobile technology, with Professor Franziska Trede.

    Trede267.jpgWorkplace learning and technology-mediated learning are two key foci for university education. Unfortunately, they often remain separate discourses and practices, even though their integration could provide important opportunities to bridge education and work contexts and build students’ digital capacities; on- and offline professional identities; and technology-mediated work practices. In this 90-minute workshop, participants will learn about the two-year multi-site research project “Enhancing workplace learning through mobile technology", which has been funded by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching and is being led by Charles Sturt University, in collaboration with The University of Sydney, Western Sydney University and Deakin University.

    Lead researcher Professor Franziska Trede will also outline the processes used to develop mobile resources for learning in workplace settings. Participants will trial a set of resources, share their ideas and feedback and, hopefully, develop a better understanding of the possibilities and challenges of effectively using mobile technology to enrich learning experiences on placement. This workshop will outline the theoretical foundations of the project, and draw on preliminary findings aimed at helping students, academics and workplace placement educators make better use of personal, mobile technologies to connect learning and work. It will workshop an emerging mobile technology capacity-building framework and its resources and design patterns and how they could be translated into course specific resources

    Project website ttp://www.csu.edu.au/efpi/wpltech
    Project blog https://wpltech.wordpress.com

    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 15 June 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.

    Join us on June for a Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI) Wednesday seminar; "The Local Games Lab: Grassroots engagement with games, learning, mobile, and place, with Associate Professor Chris Holden.

    Holden.jpgBecause videogames are complex media properties, their design and use in the name of learning has been often limited to researchers and publishers of significant means. More recently however, new tools and changes to the world at large - especially the near ubiquitous adoption of smartphones - have opened up new, more accessible avenues. Games can become something much more akin to vernacular. However, hardware and software are not the only obstacles to meaningful change. It is necessary to rethink our assumptions and traditions regarding who gets to be in the driver’s seat, and develop participatory models of research, implementation, and interpretation.

    One such model is a Local Games Lab—a name for what happens when early adopters can develop experience and expertise to recruit and support diverse participation in game design and use locally. The name also refers to the dimension of place as a strong organizing principle allowing us to bring together diverse stakeholders and an area of game design that may be only ever entertained outside the commercial mainstream. By learning how to grow and sustain game development and use within individual communities, we may be able to reach more than enthusiasts and institutions, and greatly increase the capacity for many to see games as general tools for expression and purpose.

    Since 2008, I have been involved in educational game design myself at UNM and recruited other faculty, students, and community members into the mix as a way to help them achieve their own ambitions through design: The Local Games Lab ABQ. We have developed a tradition of exploration, development, and sharing though we lack the institutional or economic resources to establish and organize such a “center”. In this talk I’d like to share some the history of the Local Games Lab ABQ: our projects and their aims, but also how our local work connects us to themes that extend beyond the provincial: how games, place, and learning comes together in augmented reality, how tools like ARIS—an open-source, easy-to-use augmented reality platform—have both enabled us to create and make use of games and to contribute back to the emerging affinity spaces of those exploring game design for learning across many locales.

    Read more...

    Join us on May 11 for a Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI) Wednesday seminar; "Conceptualizing Debates in Learning and Educational Research: Towards a Complex Systems Conceptual Framework of Learning, with Professor Michael J. Jacobson and Professor Peter Reimann.

    This seminar provides an overview of a paper, just published by Educational Psychologist, that proposes a conceptual framework of learning based on perspectives and methodologies being employed in the study of complex physical and social systems to inform educational research.

    We argue that the contexts in which learning occurs are complex systems with elements or agents at different levels—including neuronal, cognitive, intrapersonal, interpersonal, cultural—in which there are feedback interactions within and across levels of the systems so that collective properties arise (i.e., emerge) from the behaviors of the parts, often with properties that are not individually exhibited by those parts. We analyze the long running cognitive versus situative learning debate and propose that a complex systems conceptual framework of learning (CSCFL) provides a principled way to achieve a theoretical rapprochement. We conclude with a consideration of more general implications of the CSCFL for educational theory and research.

    Michael J. Jacobson, Ph.D., is a Professor and Chair of Education in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, a Honorary Associate in the School of Medical Sciences, and Co-Director of the Learning, Cognition, and Brain Research Group at the University of Sydney. Peter Reimann, Ph.D., is a Professor of Education at University of Sydney and co-director of the Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation.

    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 11 May 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.

    Join us on May 4 for a Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI) Wednesday seminar; "Online and off-screen (inter)actions in online learning, with Janica Nordstrom.

    Evidence is mounting that, in order to understand students’ participation in online learning, research needs to expand the field of inquiry beyond the computer screen, to examine how students physical environment and ‘off-screen’ actions affect their online participation and interactions.

    In this seminar, Janica will focus on her ethnographic doctoral study of one Swedish community-language class taught in blended mode. Community-language schools are schools offering complementary language education to students in K-12 context. In a response to decline in enrolments and motivation, some schools have begun offering online, distance-learning programs. To explore how students constructed their participation in synchronous text-based computer-mediated communication, Camtasia recordings of online lessons as well as video recordings of their physical environment were employed. Focusing on both online and ‘off-screen’ actions, a multimodal interaction analysis approach allowed for simultaneous analysis of complex networks of (inter)actions and how they co-existed. Findings showed that students drew heavily on off-screen interactions and technological resources unknown to their teacher and peers, suggesting that the boundaries of the learning environment were fluid and flexible.


    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 4 May 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.

    Join us on April 27 for a Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI) Wednesday seminar; "Justifying qualitative research" with Dr Fiona Hibberd.

    In psychology, those wanting to justify use of qualitative methods often cite the discipline’s uncritical adherence to an outmoded positivist philosophy of science as the source of its obsession with quantitative practices. They point to more recent philosophies including social constructionism, constructivism, poststructuralism, postmodernism, hermeneutics, phenomenology and critical realism as alternatives to positivism. Proponents of this idea argue that these alternatives better accommodate subjects’ contextual lived experiences and the meanings they give to them; the importance of inquirer–subject interactions, and the theory- and value-ladenness of facts.

    In this talk, Dr Hibberd will argue that using these philosophies to justify qualitative research is misguided; note a different source of mainstream psychology’s preoccupation with quantitative research; and provide a very different justification for qualitative research following from a realist understanding of the nature of reality. Her presentation will demonstrate this rationale unfolds from a metaphysical package about which we have no choice, a package that also exposes the myth that psychologists measure psychological attributes.

    Dr Hibberd specialises in examining the foundational questions in psychology. This involves testing the theories, concepts and presuppositions that drive psychology's research.

    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 27 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.

    Join us on April 20 for a Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI) Wednesday seminar; "Failing to follow instructions: The neuroscience of goal neglect and its implications for teaching complex materials" with Gareth Roberts.

    Failing to follow instructions is a common trait of students who perform poorly in the classroom. Neuroscience research may be particularly informative in understanding this phenomenon, and consequently lead to more effective educational interventions.

    In this talk I will discuss my research stream on goal neglect, a mismatch in behaviour where people are able to verbally recall task instructions but show no attempt to perform them in behaviour. Frequently described in historical accounts of major damage to the frontal lobes, goal neglect is not due to memory, motor or perceptual problems, but rather reflects a core cognitive deficit in coordinating complex steps of behaviour. I will outline the neuroscience of how people learn rapidly from verbal instructions and how this is achieved through the coordinated activity of prefrontal and parietal cortices. In addition, I will provide an overview of research I have conducted with children, adults, and different neuroimaging methodologies. Finally, I will discuss the implications this research has on the teaching of complex material in the classroom, and how these findings can be incorporated into practice.

    Gareth is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of Psychology and CoCo. He applies modern analytical and neuroscientific approaches to investigate the transfer of abstract knowledge to novel situations and how to best influence a participant's learning strategy.

    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 20 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.

    Join us on April 6 for a Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI) Wednesday seminar; "Shall We Play A Game? Connections between visual attention and reading." with Dr Piergiorgio Trevisan.

    Learning to read is difficult for about 10 per cent of students, although this proportion varies significantly, depending on the language involved. Struggling to acquire reading skills has severe consequences for students' literacy and therefore on crucial aspects of life. Reading difficulties are often caused by dyslexia, a neurodevelopmental disorder, the causes of which are still hotly debated. Since most dyslexic children have problems in sound recognition, treatments have mainly focused on phonological aspects, with contrasting results.

    New synergies between education and cognitive science have been established in the past 10 years in different areas, including reading difficulties. A growing number of studies have correlated dyslexia and visual attention, and some experiments have been conducted in Europe suggesting that children’s reading abilities improve when their visual attention is trained.

    Pier's research at the University of Sydney has involved working with about 40 children, using games with different features. The data collected suggests that different types of video games train visual attention in different ways, with different consequences on reading outcomes. Dr Trevisan will present the methodologies, findings and limits of his research, together with discussion for further investigations in the future.

    Event details
    • When: 11.30am to 1.00pm on 6 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

    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

    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".

    Preston267.jpg

    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

    Join us on Tuesdays 23rd February for a special Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation seminar with Dr Antonia Scholkmann, "The assessment of teacher supportive behaviour in open phases of school lessons by means of video analysis – new approaches and findings from Hamburg University".

    Scholkmann_267.jpgVideo analysis has previously shown its potential to shed light on learning processes in naturalistic and especially in open phases of instruction (Knigge, Siemon, Nordstrand, & Stolp, 2013). In its current research, the team of Professor Jens Siemon at Universität Hamburg seeks to assess teachers’ supportive activities in the naturalistic setting of the classroom, and describe every supportive event in a way in which micro-activities (on both the teacher’s and on the student’s side) and process characteristics are adequately considered. For this purpose, existing approaches (van de Pol & Elbers, 2013; Wood, Bruner, & Ross, 1976) were extended with the video-based recording and assessment procedure MuVA (Siemon, Boom, & Scholkmann, 2015) and the new video analysis software Interact (cf. Mangold, 2006).

    In her presentation Dr. Scholkmann, Senior Researcher on the team of Professor Dr. Jens Siemon, Universität Hamburg, will elaborate on the potential of these approaches for analysis of teacher supportive behaviour. She will show both examples of the current material and first results on the amount, quality, micro activities and process characteristics of teachers’ supportive behaviours inferred from their dataset.

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

    Join us on Monday 8th February for a Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation seminar with Dr Lennart Schalk, "Feasibility and benefits of introducing basic physics concepts in primary school: Preliminary results of a longitudinal study".

    Basic physics concepts represent the fundamental building blocks of more advanced scientific concepts that are typically introduced in secondary science education. Dr Schalk will report on the preliminary results of an ongoing longitudinal study that was initiated recently in Switzerland, the so-called MINT study (MINT is an acronym created from the German words for "science", "technology", "engineering" and "mathematics"). The aim of the study is to implement curricula on basic physics concepts in primary school and monitor children’s learning in science education until they graduate.

    In this study, more than 500 primary-school teachers have been educated on how to use evidence-based hands-on teaching materials and scaffold students’ learning with these materials. Data examined in this talk has been gathered from more than 5000 primary-school students across different cohorts and preliminary results indicate that early physics education is likely to prepare students for future learning in science and it is worth the effort to directly align science education from primary to secondary education.

    Lennart Schalk is a senior lecturer at the ETH Zurich, Switzerland. He teaches in primary and secondary teacher-education programs. His research focuses on learning of relational categories and conceptual change in science education as well as the improvement of educational teaching and learning materials.

    Event details
    • When: 4.00pm to 5.00pm on 8 Feb 2016
    • Where: Room 424, Education Building A35
    • This seminar will not be available online or recorded.
    • More information here

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