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STL Seminar

A Research on Learning and Educational Innovation Wednesday seminar with Dr Boris Handal.

Dr Boris Handal is an associate professor in educational technologies at the University of Notre Dame Australia. He has taught in schools and universities for over thirty years in Australia, Asia and Latin America. Last year he was invited as a Visiting Professor by the University of Alberta to study the implementation of digital technologies in schools in North America.

During 2014 Boris visited thirty educational sites and interviewed over 100 eminent teachers, principals, district superintendents and academics in the United States, Canada and Australia countries to study the implementation of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets in teaching and learning. During that period evidence and exemplars on issues that currently challenge educators worldwide such as modern pedagogies, digital citizenship, institutional change, equity and professional learning were collected. His upcoming book “Mobile Makes Learning Free” provides new conceptual frameworks to understand best practice in the field of mobile learning.

When: 11.00am - 12.30pm (arrive at 10.45am for refreshments)
Where: Education Building A35, Room 612
This seminar will be live online at http://webconf.ucc.usyd.edu.au/seminar-room2/
More information at http://whatson.sydney.edu.au/events/published/implementing-mobile-learning-in-schools.

A Research on Learning and Educational Innovation Wednesday Seminar with David Ashe.

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When students are asked to think about aspects of ‘sustainability’ they are required not only to understand scientific facts but also to consider that they are both part of the 'problem' and part of the 'solution'. These issues are inherently ill-structured; that is, they may have many viable alternative solutions and it can be difficult to know when a satisfactory solution has been reached. This seminar presents a PhD study that investigated upper primary school students knowledge and thinking as they considered issues related to sustainability. The study focused on how knowledge was used across different contexts and draws conclusions about the use of ‘epistemic challenges’ as a pedagogical tool.

When: 11.00am - 12.30pm
Where: Education Building A35, Room 612
Arrive at 10.45am for refreshment
More information at Epistemic challenges in inquiry science.

David Ashe is a member of the Centre for Research on Computer Supported Learning and Cognition (CoCo) in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney. He has just competed his PhD and currently works as part of a team of researchers investigating how to design better tools and resources for networked online learning.

This seminar is one of our 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. More information is available on our website.


A Research on Learning and Educational Innovation Wednesday Seminar with Kate Thompson and Pippa Yeoman.

As the collection of ‘big data’ (in terms of both depth and breadth) becomes more common, it will become increasingly important to adopt methods for sharing data, analysing common datasets, and making comparisons across studies. In this study of high-school students engaged in a collaborative design task about a local environmental issue, we adopted a multimodal approach, which allowed us to untangle the interplay of epistemic and social activity, negotiation of tools, and the physical and digital setting that typify such environments, allowing us to find explanations for the very different achievements of the learners. Researchers often lack the language to properly convey the activity observed in complex learning environments. We have begun to do this in a way that respects the design of the task, can be related to the learning outcomes, and gives value to the activity of the learners.

When: 11.00am - 12.30pm
Where: Education Building A35, Room 612
Arrive at 10.45am for refreshment
More information at A multimodal method for analysing complex learning environment

This is the second 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. More information is available on our website.


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: http://sydney.edu.au/education_social_work/news_events/events/2015/Semester-One/neuroscience-development.shtml

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

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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.

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This event is the first of this year's “Research on Learning and Educational Innovation: the Wednesday Seminars”, organised jointly by CoCo and STL at the Faculty of Education and Social Work, and hosted on Wednesdays during semester in Room 612 of the Education Building.

damsa-small.jpgIn this seminar, Dr Damsa will attempt to clarify the notion of shared epistemic agency and to illustrate how it is expressed and achieved by undergraduate students in the context of learning through collaborative knowledge construction. Building on works from learning sciences, educational psychology and sociology, shared epistemic agency is defined as a capacity that enables groups to carry out joint activities of knowledge construction that lead to a shared outcome. Two studies examining group projects learning activities in undergraduate courses in teacher education and computer engineering are used to illustrate how it is expressed and analysed in educational settings.

The discussion foregrounds that agency is not something given and should not be taken for granted; it emerges and is achieved in and through the unfolding (co-)construction processes and meaningful participation in activities. In addition, it highlights that creating the premises for the emergence of shared epistemic agency is an effort that can be assigned both to individuals and groups, but also to how the (pedagogical, structural) context facilitates this process.

Dr Crina Damsa is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Education, University of Oslo (UiO), where she is also a member of the teaching staff in the Higher Education master program. Dr Damsa is an active member of the Learning Sciences community and of the European Association for Research of Learning and Instruction.

  • Where: Education Building (A35) Room 612
  • When: 11.00am - 12.30pm (arrive at 10.45am for refreshments)
  • This seminar will be available live online at http://webconf.ucc.usyd.edu.au/seminar-room2/.
  • More information available here.

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