The International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS) have just announced the upload of videos related to their NAPLeS webinar video series. The first three videos with Iris Tabak and Brian Reiser talking about Scaffolding are now available online and can be accessed here:

At least 15 topics will be covered in the coming weeks. With each lecturer we recorded a 5-minutes “teaser” and a 15-minutes HD video. In addition, we offer interviews about the role of the respective topic for the broader field of the Learning Sciences. The videos are on the same topic as the various webinars but are more condensed and of high video and audio quality to support local courses or joint online courses. More material is currently being edited and will be uploaded over the coming months.

Our various postgraduate study opportunities, including research degrees at the Masters and PhD levels and our coursework Masters in the Learning Sciences and Technology (MLS&T), at the CoCo centre are members of the NAPLES network.

Join us on October 15 for seminar co-presented by Sid Newton and Russell Lowe titled “Hyperimmersive learning and teaching”.

This presentation considers one of the most critical emerging technologies of our time – the hyper-immersive virtual reality video game engine. We will demonstrate the Situation Engine – an application that allows specific and adaptive practical experience to be made available to students in a hyper-immersive digital rendition of a real-world context – and discuss the implications of this and broader digital technologies to teaching and learning professional competence.

We would like to invite you to our annual Research Fest, to be held this year on Thursday 6 November in the Education Building (A35) at the University of Sydney. Registration is now open at More information on the Fest can be found on the STL site.

rf_discuss.jpgThe Research Fest is our annual event inviting the community of researchers and practitioners in the sciences and technologies of learning to come together to exchange ideas, showcase work, form new collaborations, and catch up on recent innovations in learning and knowledge technology research.

Program details are being finalized and will, as always, depend on what our attendees are interested in demonstrating on the day so register as early as possible if you would like to showcase your work. We expect the day will go from approximately 9.45am to 4pm. The Fest will be opened by Professor Pip Pattison, DVC Education, University of Sydney, and will close with an invited lecture from Professor Simon Buckingham-Shum, Professor of Learning Informatics and Director of the Connected Intelligence Centre at UTS. It will also include poster presentations and parallel workshop, seminar and roundtable sessions, as well as opportunities to catch up over breaks and a catered lunch.

Registration to submit posters, presentations and roundtables is open until Oct 20th and attendance only registration is open until Oct 31st although earlier registration would be much appreciated! The Fest is a free event but registration is essential for capacity and catering needs.

We have several events coming up in the next month:


  1. Tuesday Oct 7 - Bonnie Nardi presents Heteromation: Dividing Labor between People and Machine, a jointly-sponsored talk by Human Centered Technology Cluster and the Sciences & Technologies of Learning Network. We have a few spaces left and your RSVP is essential - please go to

  2. Wednesday Oct 15 - our regular seminar series sees Sid Newton & Russell Lowe present on Hyper-Immersive Learning and Teaching at 11am in room 230 of the Education Building. No RSVP needed, just come along.

  3. Wednesday Oct 29 - Professor John Sutton presents on Collaborative Memory and Distributed Cognitive Ecologies at 11am in room 230 of the Education Building.No RSVP needed, just come along.

And don't forget that the 2014 Research Fest will take place on Thursday Nov 6 in the Education Building, more details to follow soon on the program and exact timing!

The Dalai Lama states that “If you wish to make others happy, practice compassion. If you wish to be happy, practice compassion”. According to Stanford neuroscientist, Professor James Doty, we now have the science to show it. At this event Professor Doty, director of Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) will come together with Venerable Bhante Mahinda, spiritual director of the Australian Buddhist Mission and revered Buddhist monk. Through cross-disciplinary dialogue they will provide insight into the critical importance and “value proposition” of compassion and how 21st century science and ancient contemplative practice are learning from each other.

  • Date: Wednesday 3 September
  • Time: 6 to 7.30 pm
  • Venue: Law School Foyer, Level 2, Sydney Law School, Eastern Avenue
  • Cost: Free event, registration required. Register here.

The discussion will be facilitated by Associate Professor Rafael Calvo, director of the University of Sydney’s Positive Computing Lab and co-presented with the Positive Computing lab in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies at the University of Sydney. For more information and to register, go to the events' calendar.


Carlos González and Karen Scott completed PhDs at CoCo in the topic area of conceptions of, and approaches to, teaching using elearning. Both were supervised by Prof Peter Goodyear and Dr Mary Jane Mahony; Carlos’ PhD was awarded in 2009 and Karen’s in 2013. Below is a list of their PhD student publications. They have been fortunate that there is sufficient interest in this topic area to have had papers published in high ranking journals in higher education, the learning sciences and elearning:

  • González, C. (2012). The relationship between approaches to teaching, approaches to e-teaching and perceptions of the teaching situation in relation to e-learning among higher education teachers Instructional Science, 40(6), 975-998.

  • González, C. (2011). Extending research on 'conceptions of teaching': commonalities and differences in recent investigations. Teaching in Higher Education. 16(1), 65 - 80. (ISI)

  • González, C. (2010). What do university teachers think eLearning is good for in their teaching? Studies in Higher Education, 35(1), 61-78.

  • González, C. (2009). Conceptions of, and approaches to, teaching online: A study of lecturers teaching postgraduate distance courses. Higher Education, 57(3), 299-314.

  • Scott KM. (2014). Change in university teachers’ elearning beliefs and practices: A longitudinal study. Studies in Higher Education, ahead-of-print, 1-17.

  • Scott KM. (2014). Taking over someone else's elearning design: Challenges trigger change in elearning beliefs and practices. Research in Learning Technology, 22: 23362.

  • Scott KM. (2013). Does a university teacher need to change elearning beliefs and practices when using a social networking site? A longitudinal study. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44, 4: 571-580.

MJ-Talk-IMG_0084.jpgProfessor Michael Jacobson will be giving two sets of talks as part of a trip to South America in in August and September 2014. He will first visit the Faculty of Education at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile to speak on his work related to learning science with virtual worlds and immersive learning environments.

He then travels to Brazil to present a talk at a four day international seminar Modeling complex systems for public policies. This seminar is being held in Brazilia, Brazil and is sponsored by the Institute for Applied Economic Research, which is an agency that supports public policy formation and development programs in Brazil.

Michael is a Professor and Chair of Education in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney. He also is the Co-director of the Centre for Research on Computer-supported Learning and Cognition (CoCo) and Deputy Director, Institute for Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education. His research has focused on the design of learning technologies to foster deep conceptual understanding, conceptual change, and knowledge transfer in challenging conceptual domains. Most recently, his work has explored learning with immersive virtual environments and agent-based modeling and visualization tools, as well as cognitive and learning issues related to understanding new scientific perspectives emerging from the study of complex systems.

Join us on August 27 when Louise Sutherland presents “Representations in Science: insights using epistemic forms”.

Visual and graphical representations such as graphs, tables, photographs, diagrams, models and equations are intrinsic and integral part of scientific practices. These types of representation are also an inherent part of how science is taught at schools and universities. As such, there is a growing body of research examining the role and effectiveness of the use of representations on students’ learning. Using the conceptual framework of epistemic forms this seminar will suggest a way of categorising existing research. It will discuss how this categorisation can be used to enhance our understanding of the role of representations in science teaching and will offer possible directions for future research.

  • When: 11.00am - 12.30pm (come along at 10.45am for a coffee and chat)
  • Where: Education Building (A35), Room 230

MIT has released a report with recommendations and interesting reflections on the future of education there (blended learning, game-based, modularised, with learning communities, etc). While our context is clearly very different, I think this is worth paying attention to: (note: the pdf has almost 200 pages of appendix; the actual recommendations and discussion are under 30 pages)


Join us on August 13 when Dr Karen Scott presents “Using mobile devices for learning in the hospital setting: Student, physician and patient perspectives”.


In the past five years there has been a phenomenal growth in mobile health and the use of mobile health applications (apps) by health practitioners, patients and families. At the same time, there is growing interest in the use of mobile devices for learning, communication and time management in clinical settings: mobile devices have been found to improve learning and confidence by linking web-based information with the immediacy of clinical experiences. However, junior physicians and medical students often receive mixed signals about their use of mobile devices, with some senior physicians giving directives to use mobile devices and others prohibiting use. Many are concerned about the effect of mobile device use on ethics, patient privacy and data security. Our pilot research examined physicians’ and medical students’ use of mobile devices in clinical settings, as well as their attitudes about others’ use and the attitudes of patients and carers.


Are you an undergraduate student interested in nanotechnology, material science, chemistry, chemical engineering, or physics schools? Associate STL researcher Polly Lai is looking for students to participate a learning activity forming part of a research project to gain an understanding of learning outcomes in undergraduate studies in nanotechnology, material science, chemistry, chemical engineering, o physics programs.


Congratulations to Associate Professor Rafael Calvo who has been awarded an ARC Future Fellowship. Minister for Education, the Hon. Christopher Pyne MP, announced $115 million for the Fellowships on July 23rd, under the Australian Research Council's (ARC) Future Fellowships scheme which promotes research in areas of critical national importance by supporting outstanding mid-career researchers to conduct their research in Australia.

Rafael will use his Fellowship to bring together experts from multiple disciplines to develop new technologies to improve health, performance and quality of life for all Australians, working closely with the Charles Perkins Centre and the Brain and Mind Research Institute in his research on positive computing and health.

If you would like to see Rafael speak, he presents Positive Computing: Technologies for psychological wellbeing and human potential on Friday the 8th of August. The talk will take place at 4pm in room 424 of the Education Building, Camperdown, University of Sydney.

The full list of 2014 Future Fellowships is available on the Australian Research Council website.

RC.jpg On Friday the 8th of August at 4pm Associate Professor Rafael Calvo presents Positive Computing: Technologies for psychological wellbeing and human potential. The talk will take place in room 424 of the Education Building, Camperdown, University of Sydney.

Digital technologies have made their way into all the aspects of our lives that, according to psychology, influence our wellbeing -- everything from social relationships and curiosity to engagement and learning. By bringing together research and methodologies well-established in psychology, education, neuroscience and human-computer interaction, we can begin to cultivate a new field dedicated to the design and development of technology that supports wellbeing and human potential. More specifically, in this seminar I will present an introduction to our Human-Computer interaction work aiming to support psychological wellbeing. The suggested HCI framework builds on psychology, education, design and other disciplines addressing intrapersonal factors of wellbeing such as motivation, engagement, reflective thought and mindfulness, interpersonal factors such as empathy, and extrapersonal such as altruism.


Join us on July 9 for seminar by Dr Nick Kelly titled “Supporting Pre-Service and Early Career Teachers in Australia: Design for a Learning Network”.

Nick.jpgThis talk presents a number of perspectives upon a growing learning network of pre-service and early career teachers in Australia. The learning network has arisen through collaboration between a number of Australian universities, with the aim of facilitating support in the transition between pre-service education and the first years of service.

Nick Kelly is a Research Fellow with the Australian Digital Futures Institute (ADFI) at the University of Southern Queensland whose research addresses areas of teacher education, higher education and modelling the cognition of creativity.He is the author of numerous scholarly works and a researcher on national and international grants (


Last month we held the first session of the CoCo Research Students Doctoral Colloquia for 2014. This initiative started as the need for a venue for doctoral students to present and receive feedback for their work in an academic environment (more information about past Colloquia sessions can be found in this post). Over the course of two and half hours, five students and an audience composed by academics and post-grad students discussed preliminary findings and key issues of their research projects.

The Doctoral Colloquia 2014 featured compelling presentations on topics that included a range of learning settings such as Higher Education, Adult and School Education and a variety of topics involving design for learning, conceptions of ICT, learning technologies and the effects of ICT in informal settings.

After each colloquia, Dewa Wardak and myself (the co-convenors) will provide a summary of the sessions. The dates for the upcoming sessions are:
Tuesday 5th of August
Tuesday 21st of October
We now include a brief summary of the presentations and the links to the presenters’ pages for further information.


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Join us on May 21 for a CoCo seminar by Associate Professor Michael Anderson and Dr David Cameron titled Mashup: drama, playfulness and networked cultures.

This seminar will provide a critical guide to the new forms of playful exploration, co-creativity, and improvised performance made possible by digital networked media. The presentation will draw on some of the themes explored in the forthcoming book of the same name (Bloomsbury, 2015).


ACSME_banner.jpgRegistrations have opened for the twentieth Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education (ACSME) in Sydney from September 29 to October 1st. This year's theme is Student Engagement: From the classroom to the workplace.

The facilitation of student engagement and motivation in their learning and self development requires a carefully crafted curriculum: one that allows student ownership and active participation in their journey through formal education and beyond. How can educators design and implement classroom activities (physical, online or blended) and assessments to facilitate and reward student engagement and encourage ownership of learning and graduate attributes? From school outreach and transition to the hybrid classroom and the workplace, ACSME will build on the shared experience and expertise of the conference participants to guide and mentor attendees towards the development of strategies to ensure success, enduring understanding and a love of science and mathematics in our students.


A year ago, a team of designers met in the CoCo Design Studio to discuss ideas about a game to teach 7 to 12 year olds ecologically sustainable habits. From that design meeting, a game has been developed. Researchers at CoCo have followed the design of the game from the early ideas to a fully functioning environmental 'app' called Habitat the Game.

Having played a part in the creation of the game, we are excited to see that the game will be launched by The Wildlife Conservation Society and the Rainforest Alliance on Tuesday the 13th of May.


architecture lucila peter.jpg

Congratulations to STL researchers and collaborators who recently published the boook The Architecture of Productive Learning Networks .The book co-edited by Peter Goodyear and Lucila Carvalho presents an insightful perspective on design and networked learning.

A comprehensive review about the book from Professor Terry Anderson is now available following this link .

To order a copy of the book you can go here


Join us on April 30 for a CoCo seminar by Associate Professor Richard Walker titled “Learning through after school activities and homework” .

To what extent do after school programs and homework activities lead to beneficial learning experiences in school and to enhanced achievement outcomes?

This seminar will base some answers to this question on research reviewed in the recently published book by Horsley and Walker (2013) Reforming Homework: Practices, Learning and Policy. Answering the question involves considering sociocultural and other research concerning after-school programs developed for ethnically and socioeconomically diverse students. It also involves a synthesis of research findings concerning homework and achievement. The seminar will offer a sociocultural framework for thinking about after-school and homework activities and will suggest ways in which after school learning experiences can be improved for all students.

Dr Richard Walker is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at The University of Sydney. He teaches educational psychology at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and has been awarded several Excellence in Teaching Awards for his teaching in this field.

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