The Network of Academic Programs in the Learning Sciences (NAPLeS) are currently finalizing a series of new interview and short presentation videos, uploading today Jim Pellegrino’s interview and talk on “Assessment and Evaluation in the Learning Sciences” at http://isls-naples.psy.lmu.de/intro/all-webinars/pellegrino_all/index.html.

This will be followed by contributions of Gerry Stahl (July 16), Michael Jacobson (July 23), Susan Goldman (July 30) and Baruch Schwarz (August 6).

NAPLeS is part of the educational mission of the International Society of the Learning Sciences, a network of PhD. and master‘s programs in the Learning Sciences founded at the 2012 ICLS meeting hosted here at the University of Sydney. The overall mission of NAPLeS is to foster high quality Learning Sciences programs internationally through several mechanisms that support teaching and learning. More information at their webiste.

MJ-Talk-IMG_0084.jpgOn August 14th Professor Michael Jacobson will present "Beyond Failing to Learn: transforming science education", a Royal Society of New South Wales Free Lunchtime Science Talks, as part of the Sydney Science Festival 2015 at the University of Sydney.

"We are going through a major transition in our ability to understand the complexity of our world, one that rivals the move from Roman numerals to the Hindu–Arabic system we use today. This transition stems from the power and ubiquity of computers, which allow scientists to study and understand the behaviour of complex physical, biological and social systems in new and exciting ways. Opportunities are opening up for learning science that actually draws on what kids these days naturally do — play computer games and engage in virtual online worlds. These methods can be adapted for the classroom, which has the potential to transform the way we teach science."

This free talk will take place at the University of Sydney Business School, CBD Campus, Level 17, 133 Castlereagh Street, from 12.30 to 1.30pm on August 14, 2015. More information at here.

Leppink100.jpgOn July 29 CoCo and STL will host a special Research on Learning and Education Innovation seminar - In search for an optimum: From regulated self-learning to self-regulated learning with Dr. Jimmie Leppink of Maastricht University, the Netherlands.

Empirical research inspired by cognitive load theory has resulted in a wide range of guidelines for instructional and assessment design. During my talk, I will discuss how these guidelines can provide a coherent framework for the development of a curriculum, coursework or an individual learning trajectory. Given that assessment methods and learners’ beliefs about these methods can stimulate or hamper learning, it is important to translate end terms of a program, course or trajectory into a coherent assessment program at an early stage. I will discuss how such an assessment program combined with appropriate learning analytics can help to stimulate learning through an enhanced self-regulation on the part of the learner. The talk will be followed by a roundtable where we will discuss what challenge(s) – in practical setting or research – are you dealing with in this context and you would like to discuss? If you wish to submit an abstract, please send no more than 250 words to j.leppink(at)gmail.com

More information at http://sydney.edu.au/education_social_work/news_events/events/2015/Semester-Two/optimum.shtml

When: July 29, 11am–12.30pm, arrive 10.45am for refreshments
Where: Room 612, Education Building A35
No RSVP is needed, just come on the day.
This seminar will not be available live online or recorded.

This is a special seminar. Our regular seminar series will restart for semester 2 on 12 Aug with a presentation by Wenming Zheng.

Dr Kate Thompson will present "A multimodal method for analysing complex learning" as part of the program of events at the NSW Learning Analytics Working Group Meeting on June 30th. Her talk will take place on June 30th from 1.40-2.20pm, in the New Law School Lecture Theatre 106.

As the collection of ‘big data’ (in terms of both depth and breadth) becomes more common, it is increasingly important to adopt methods for sharing data, analysing common datasets, and making comparisons across studies. My work has focused on the analysis of the activity of learners. In doing so, I have applied the Activity-Centred Analysis and Design (ACAD) framework to structure the collection of multiple streams of data in order to apply multimodal learning analytics. I have then used the synthesis methodology (most commonly used in ecology), using the ACAD framework to guide this step, in order to understand the activity of learners in complex, collaborative learning environments in a way that can inform the assessment of learners and the redesign of learning materials. In this presentation, I will describe two projects, one the study of high-school students engaged in a collaborative design task about a local environmental issue, and the other, the long-term analysis of a group of students engaged in an online learning task.

The half day event includes a networking lunch, talks by Prof Adam Bridgeman and Dr Kate Thompson, and a plenary discussion titled "Academic analytics versus learning analytics – Rivals or complementary strangers?" More information, the full program and registration for the meeting is at http://www.itl.usyd.edu.au/events/NSW%20Learning%20Analytics%20WG%20Meeting/536/

Join us on June 24th for Leading and managing a new vision for higher-education learning; linking curriculum, technologies and learning spaces, a Research on Learning and Education Innovation seminar with Shirley Alexander. This event is our last seminar in Semester 1.

Alexander100.jpgThe University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), where the presenter is Professor of Learning Technologies, is well advanced in its billion-dollar investment in its campus masterplan. Seminar attendees will be told how UTS developed its vision for the future of learning in higher education and the ways in which that vision influenced the design of the new learning spaces and the use of learning technologies.

The system of projects that were instigated to roll out that vision will be examined in light of the change-theory literature and used to reflect on successes, failures, and plans for the future.

Shirley Alexander is Professor of Learning Technologies at the University of Technology, Sydney where she is currently Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice President (Education and Students). Professor Alexander's long-term research agenda has been on the effective use of information and communication technologies in learning in education.

This is our last seminar in Semester 1. Our next event is a special seminar on July 29 with Jimmie Leppink of Maastricht University in the Netherlands. Details will be published, when available, on this blog, in the CoCo and STL newsletter, and on the CoCo website.

Join us on 17 June 2015 for "Developing student teachers’ digital competence in Norwegian teacher education - finding meaningful ways of teaching ESL with ICT", a Research on Learning and Education Innovation seminar with Fredrik Mørk Røkenes.

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How are student teachers prepared to teach with ICT and what is the role of teacher education? Teacher education has been criticised for not sufficiently preparing student teachers to teach with ICT in new and innovative ways. In order to meet curricular demands and the expectations of the “New Millennium Learners”, teacher-education programs must prepare student teachers to teach with ICT in today’s technology-rich schools by developing their digital competence.

In this seminar visiting scholar Fredrik will present and discuss tentative findings from his ongoing PhD study which investigates postgraduate ESL student teachers’ digital-competence development in Norwegian teacher education. The study focuses on uncovering approaches used to prepare student teachers to teach ESL with ICT, and examines how these approaches are potentially enabled and inhibited in Norwegian teacher education. Digital storytelling will be used as an example to illustrate a didactical method for student teachers to integrate ICT in ESL teaching, and as a way for teacher-education programs to promote digital competence.

When: 11am–12.30pm (arrive 10.45am for refreshments)
Where: Room 221 ("Design Studio"), Education Building A35
More information at http://sydney.edu.au/education_social_work/news_events/events/2015/Semester-One/ESL-with-ICT.shtml
This seminar will be live online at http://webconf.ucc.usyd.edu.au/seminar-room2/.

Join us on June 10th for "Exploring the Upward and Downward Shifts of Student Mathematical Engagement", a Research on Learning and Education Innovation seminar with Janette Bobis.

This presentation reports on an intervention study aimed at improving middle year (Years 5–7) students’ engagement in mathematics. Motivation and engagement levels in mathematics were assessed prior to and at the completion of a year-long intervention for two different cohorts of students in 2012 (N=339) and 2013 (N=319) using the Motivation and Engagement Scale (Martin, 2008). While 2012 data found downward shifts in student engagement were generally abated and even reversed for some aspects, 2013 results revealed a greater mix of ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ in student engagement levels. Reasons for the variation in findings of the two cohorts are the subject for discussion in this presentation and future exploration.

Associate Professor Janette Bobis is a mathematics educator and researcher in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney. She teaches in the areas of primary and early childhood mathematics education and curriculum studies at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

We would like to invite you to this year's Research Fest. It will take place on Thursday 5 November, in the Charles Perkins Centre Hub, at the University of Sydney. Registration is now open at http://bit.ly/FestReg15.

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 a full day of activities, including plenaries, poster presentations and parallel workshop and roundtable sessions.

Registration to submit posters, presentations and other content will be open until Sept 21st although earlier submissions are recommended. You can register to attend until Oct 21st. Registration is free but needed for catering purposes, light refreshments will be provided. More details on events and schedule will be emailed to registrants and published at http://sydney.edu.au/research/stl/events/fests.shtml

Assessment driving the learning... technology supporting the process, a Research on Learning and Education Innovation seminar with Bob Fox.

This presentation reflects on 10 years of teaching masters courses for practising teachers, where weekly assignment tasks drive the learning and students evidence their understandings in ePortfolios. In class, activities provide opportunities for students in groups to exchange comments and share key learnings between group members and later the class. Students use feedback received from peers and the teacher to make ongoing improvements to their ePortfolios. The final assignment builds on what students have learnt and placed in their ePortfolios. As the technologies evolved over the past decade, the pedagogy model was adapted, but maintained its focus on students improving their work, based on continuous feedback, leading to the development of a capstone assignment that builds on the culmination of the weekly tasks.

The technology supports the learning and evidences the student work. The technology enables evidencing improvements students make to their work, based on feedback they receive from teachers and fellow students. This presentation examines the teaching approach and an integrated learning design model used to enrich student learning experiences and ensure active and reflective student engagement across the entire course, supported by technology.

When: June 3, 11.00am–12.30pm (arrive at 10.45 for refreshments)
Where: Room 612, Education Building A35
More information available here.
This seminar will be live online at http://webconf.ucc.usyd.edu.au/seminar-room2/.

Join us on 27 May for Building better universities, a Research on Learning and Educational Innovation seminar with Jos Boys.

This seminar starts from the belief that we have reached a key moment for the tertiary-education sector, where the services, location, scale, ownership, and distinctiveness of education are being altered dramatically, whether universities and colleges want it or not. Higher education faces many challenges, including marketisation, internationalisation and the impact of new technologies. Most crucially, these shifts are affecting traditional assumptions about the ‘proper shape’ of higher-education institutions, its teaching and learning practices and the roles of – and relationships between – learners, teachers, researchers, managers, businesses and communities.

At the same time, many universities are developing responses to this changing world. What, then, can we learn from such initiatives – both large and small – in university and college provision across the globe? How can they help us think critically, constructively and creatively about alternative learning and teaching frameworks and practices in our own institutions? This seminar, based on Jos's most recent publication, Building Better Universities: Strategies, Spaces, Technologies (Routledge 2015), offers participants the opportunity to discuss the implications of contemporary change on institutional ‘shape’ and on curriculum design and delivery.


Jos Boys is an academic developer with the Learning and Teaching Unit of the School of Education at the University of New South Wales. She has a background in architecture and design, and has worked across many institutions as an academic, researcher and in curriculum design and development. Jos was employed as a research fellow in learning spaces at the University of Brighton, UK, and has several publications in this area, including Towards Creative Learning Spaces: Re-thinking the Architecture of Post-compulsory Education (2011).

When: 27 May, 11am–12.30pm
Where: Room 612, Education Building A35
This seminar will be live online at http://webconf.ucc.usyd.edu.au/seminar-room2/
More information here

Join us on 20 May for "Modelling complex learning spaces", a Research on Learning and Education Innovation seminar, with Director of eLearning Associate Professor Rob Ellis and Professor of Education Peter Goodyear.

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Universities and schools are spending billions of dollars each year creating new kinds of learning spaces, without much evidence to connect built form to educational outcomes. In this talk, we will share some foundational ideas from our new ARC-funded project "Modelling complex learning spaces". This project has a number of aims including discovering how designers of new spaces are able to make use of research evidence in their design processes and how to combine observational and experiential data about space and learning into actionable knowledge for the many people who (re)configure space for learning.

We are interested in the implications of this knowledge in supporting teaching staff in their design of, and teaching in, complex learning spaces, as well as how physical and digital spaces interweave and how network and spatial framings of educational phenomena may be integrated.

When: 11am–12.30pm (arrive 10.45am for refreshments)
Where: Room 612, Education Building A35
This seminar will be live online at http://webconf.ucc.usyd.edu.au/seminar-room2/.
More information available here.

Our 13 May seminar is "Design for learning: communities and flexible design processes" with Davinia Hernández-Leo.

davinia100.jpgDavinia Hernández-Leo is Associate Professor in the Department of Information and Communications Technologies at Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Barcelona (UPF), the coordinator of the Learning Technologies section of the Interactive Technologies Group (gti.upf.edu), Vice-Dean of the UPF ICT-Engineering School and the head of its unit for teaching quality and innovation.

In this seminar Davinia will present a short overview of the Learning Technologies research that we are carrying out at the ICT department of Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. Focusing on the results the METIS European project, which aims at promoting the adoption of design approaches enabling educators to act as (co-)designers of sound (technology-supported) learning activities, she will in particular introduce the Integrated Learning Design Environment (ILDE).

ILDE is a community environment that integrates co-design support for educator communities; learning design editors following different authoring and pedagogical approaches; interface for deployment of designs on mainstream Virtual Learning Environments. ILDE has been used in a variety of community contexts, each of them applying different design processes supported by combinations of selected tools integrated in ILDE.

When: May 13, 11.00am - 12.30pm
Where: Room 612 in the Education Building A35
More information available here
This seminar will be live online at http://webconf.ucc.usyd.edu.au/seminar-room2/.

Analysing online and place-based spaces for networked learning, a Research on Learning and Educational Innovation seminar with Lucila Carvalho.

Lucila.jpgMost research in networked learning has been in higher education and in workplace settings. As technology evolves and becomes more pervasive, and new mobile devices, media habits and social networking practices emerge, attention to other types of (formal and informal) spaces for networked learning becomes necessary. There is also an increased need for analytical tools to support educational designers cope with the complexity of these emerging assemblages of people, things, ideas and experiences.

This seminar discusses analysis and design for networked learning, presenting some of the ideas in The Architecture of Productive Learning Networks (Carvalho & Goodyear 2014), and work developed in the Laureate Program of Professor Peter Goodyear. It illustrates how the activity-centered analysis and design (ACAD) framework was used as the basis for analysing relations between the educational design and the activity of participants in three very distinct learning networks. The three examples comprise one formal and two informal

Lucila Carvalho is a postdoctoral research associate in the Centre for Research on Computer Supported Learning and Cognition (CoCo) at the University of Sydney. She works on Professor Peter Goodyear’s Laureate Fellowship program: "Learning, technology and design: architectures for productive networked learning". She has presented her work at various international conferences in the fields of education, sociology, systemic functional linguistics, design and software engineering. She was co-editor of The Architecture of Productive Learning Networks (Routledge, 2014) and the forthcoming book Place-based Spaces for Networked Learning.

When: May 6, 11.00am - 12.30pm
Where: Room 612 in the Education Building A35
More information available here
This seminar will be live online at http://webconf.ucc.usyd.edu.au/seminar-room2/.

A Research on Learning and Educational Innovation seminar with Roberto Martinez-Maldonado. Note change of venue to room 221 for this seminar only.

This seminar fuses research on CSCL and collaborative design for learning. It reports a study located in a novel multi-surface environment, configured to support small teams who are designing for other people’s learning. From observational and interview data, we show how collaborative design for learning needs to be understood as a complex, multiply-situated activity, in which design problem-solving, tools and space usage depend on the fluent deployment of intuitive knowledge about mutual awareness, shared perception, information persistence and movement.

Roberto267.jpegRoberto Martinez-Maldonado is a postdoctoral research associate on the ARC Laureate Fellowship at CoCo. He finished his PhD in 2014 in the Computer Human Adapted Interaction Research Group (CHAI) at the University of Sydney. His research area is Human-Computer Interaction, with a particular emphasis on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning and Educational Data Mining. His research interests are broad and varied.

When: April 29, 11.00am - 12.30pm
Where: Design Studio, room 221 (note change of venue for this week's seminar only) in the Education Building A35
More information available here

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.


The 2014 Research Fest plenary, "Learning Analytics: Critical Issues", with Professor Simon Buckingham Shum is now available to view online on YouTube.

Education is about to experience a data tsunami from online trace data (VLEs; MOOCs; Quantified Self) integrated with conventional educational datasets. This requires new kinds of analytics to make sense of this new resource, which in turn asks us to reflect deeply on what kinds of learning we value. We can choose to know more than ever about learners and teachers, but like any modelling technology or accounting system, analytics do not passively describe sociotechnical reality: they begin to shape it. What realities do we want analytics to perpetuate, or bring into being? Can we talk about analytics in the same breath as the deepest values that a wholistic educational experience should nurture? Could analytics become an ally for those who want to shift assessment regimes towards valuing the qualities that many now regard as critical to thriving in the ‘age of complexity’?

The annual STL Research Fest took place on Thursday November 6th in the Education Building (A35) at the University of Sydney. The Fest was opened by Professor Pip Pattison, DVC Education, University of Sydney, and closed with an invited lecture from Professor Simon Buckingham-Shum, Professor of Learning Informatics and Director of the Connected Intelligence Centre at UTS. Slides of the keynote and some of the posters displayed are available online at http://bit.ly/STLFest14files.

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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Research by the University's "Learning technology and the learning sciences" network.
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