CIRCL Newsletter – Issue 27, November 2017


Opportunity knocks. Our November newsletter features a variety of opportunities — including approaching NSF funding deadlines, calls for ICLS, L@S, and AIED (co-located at the Festival of Learning in London), AERA Division C award nominations, and upcoming registration for the 2018 STEM Video Showcase! And if you’re job hunting, check out new career opportunities at NSF, UCSD, Concord Consortium, and more.

At a recent memorial service for Bob Tinker, founder of the Concord Consortium, the lead speaker spoke of Bob’s “equation” that Science Education + Belief in Equality + Care for People = progress. Bob was on a mission, and we need to keep making his equation work! CIRCL is here to help you share your expertise and have impact. In our featured perspective, Alyssa Wise outlines the most important things she would like people to know about learning analytics. And in case you missed it, check out recordings of recent CIRCL webinars on Making Sense of Multimodal Learning Analytics with Marcelo Worsley, Implicit Learning Assessments with Jodi Asbell-Clarke, and Research on Pedagogical Agents with H. Chad Lane. Contact us if we can help you find a partner, share your expertise, or amplify your news.

NSF Opportunities: Cyberlearning, Workshop DCL, Science of Learning, STEM Ed Advisory Panel

Cyberlearning-related NSF funding opportunities with upcoming due dates:

Due Date Opportunity
January 8, 2018

NSF Cyberlearning for Work at the Human-Technology Frontier funds exploratory and synergistic research in learning technologies to prepare learners to excel in work at the human-technology frontier. See the recording of an informational webinar hosted by CIRCL in October.

January 22, 2018

DCL: Principles for the Design of Digital STEM Learning Environments funds up to 9 synthesis and design workshops to support the design of the next generation of digital learning environments for STEM content.

January 17, 2018

Science of Learning funds basic research to develop theoretical insights and fundamental knowledge about learning principles, processes and constraints.

NSF, the Department of Education, NASA, and NOAA have jointly established a STEM Education Advisory Panel to guide our nation’s Federal STEM education efforts. The Panel (Committee) membership will consist of 11 individuals from academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and industry, including in-school, out-of-school, and informal education practitioners. NSF encourages individuals to submit recommendations for highly qualified individuals to serve on the Pane by November 30.

CIRCL Team & Community Update: XR in EDU, Fusion, & More

Fishbone challenge

It’s been a busy fall! In addition to releasing the Cyberlearning Community Report (check out Five Great Reasons to Read It) co-authored by 22 PIs of NSF cyberlearning grants, CIRCL staff and community members took part in several events. Cynthia D’Angelo presented an education research perspective on xR technologies at xR in EDU, emphasizing the challenge of integrating xR in real classrooms and the need to apply learning sciences principles in design. Jeremy Roschelle led a workshop on scenario-based planning for radically different futures of learning with technology at EdSurge Fusion; Judi Fusco and Patti Schank helped facilitate and also presented a poster on the Cyberlearning Community Report. Colleagues presenting at Fusion included Neil Heffernan (smarter homework), Janice Gobert (technology-enhanced assessment) and Emma Mercier (collaborative learning) — check out their perspectives on the CIRCL site to learn more about their work! CIRCL staff also attended a League of Innovative Schools meeting hosted by Digital Promise, where superintendents from 93 League Districts shared challenges (like supporting students’ socio-emotional learning skills) and successes (like involving students in the design of the school day, connecting school with community and experiential learning) for their districts. Send us your updates to share with the community!

Featured Perspective: Meet Alyssa Wise

Meet Alyssa Wise

Alyssa Wise is Associate Professor of Learning Sciences and Educational Technology in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at NYU Steinhardt. Her research is situated at the intersection of the learning sciences and educational data science, focusing on the design of learning analytics systems that are theoretically grounded, computationally robust, and pedagogically useful for informing teaching and learning.

What do you want people to know about learning analytics?

The most important thing for people to know about learning analytics is that it doesn’t magically produce answers. There is so much data available nowadays (not all of it particularly useful by the way) that I think people sometimes have a false sense of learning analytics as a set of fully automated techniques that turn raw data into meaningful information. In reality there are three critical things that are often overlooked: First, the importance of human decision making. There are a large number of choices that need to be made in cleaning and analyzing data that have critical influences on the results you get (e.g. what data do you include and exclude, how do you deal with missing data points, how do you craft features from the data, what algorithms do you use and what parameters do you set for them). Read more of Alyssa’s Perspective.

Opportunities: Conferences, Calls for Nominations, & More

The 2018 Bay Area Learning Analytics Conference is February 24 at the University of California, Berkeley. BayLAN brings together researchers from both industry and academia who are using data and technology to improve education. Deadline for submissions is December 15.

The weeklong 2018 London Festival of Learning from June 24-30 will include the following 3 co-located conferences:

  • International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) is June 23-27, with the theme “Rethinking learning in the digital age: making the Learning Sciences count”. Papers, Posters, Symposia are due November 17; Pre-conference Workshops and Tutorials are due December 15; Early and Mid-Career Workshop and Doctoral Consortium: February 16, and Industrial/Commercial papers, and Crossover Papers: February 1.
  • Learning at Scale (L@S) on June 26-28 seeks contributions that address innovations in scaling and enhancing learning, empirical investigations of learning at scale, new technical systems for learning at scale, and novel syntheses of relevant research. Papers are due January 21.
  • Artificial Intelligence in Education Conference (AIED) is June 25-30 with the theme “Bridging the Behavioral and the Computational: Deep Learning in Humans and Machines”. Papers are due January 31.

AERA Division C invites nominations for the following, with January deadlines:

Call for Chapter Proposals: Research, Interrupted: Confronting and Overcoming Challenges in Education Research. Research does not always go as planned. We invite proposals for chapters that share stories of how research was interrupted and how authors navigated and made sense of their experiences. Interested authors are invited to submit a proposal by December 15.

If you are engaged in an NSF-funded project to improve STEM or computer science education, we invite you to submit a video to the 2018 STEM for All Video Showcase, a week long event that will take place May 14-21, 2018. Registration for presenters is January 15 – February 15.

Transcend is partnering with visionary school operators and communities to build and spread school models that support 21st century learning. A key part of Transcend’s work is building and mobilizing the Yellow Hats League, a diverse network of individuals and organizations who inform, design, and spread innovative learning environments that enable every child to realize her greatest potential. Learn more about the Yellow Hats League and how to join.

Job Opportunities

The Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL), in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) announces a nationwide search for temporary Program Directors at NSF. Formal consideration of applications will begin on December 1, 2017 and will continue until selections are made.

The UCSD Design Lab has open tenure track faculty positions: Associate or Full Professor in Design/Jacobs School of Engineering/Social Sciences/Health Sciences and Assistant Professor in Design/Division of Social Sciences or School of Medicine.

The Concord Consortium has 2 open Postdoctoral positions in their Massachusetts office: a Postdoctoral Researcher in Cognitive Science or Learning Science to work on the frontier of developing artificial intelligence that supports authentic scientific inquiry, engineering design, and computational thinking, and a Postdoctoral Researcher in Learning Science and/or Mathematics Education to conduct design-based research on technological solutions to integrate computational thinking into high school math classrooms.

The University of Nottingham invites applications for Assistant Professor in Learning Sciences to contribute to the inter-disciplinary work of the Learning Sciences Research Institute (LSRI), actively seeking out external research funding and publishing high quality work.

Digital Promise seeks an Early STEM Education Researcher to help investigate ways to promote children’s learning in science, mathematics, engineering and computational thinking, and exploring how media and technology can be used in innovative and developmentally appropriate ways. This position is in the new Learning Sciences Research group led by Drs. Roschelle & Means. Digital Promise anticipates hiring additional learning science researchers on a rolling basis; see more Digital Promise job postings.

Resource & Tech Corner

Citizen Inquiry: Synthesising Science and Inquiry Learning brings together citizen science and inquiry-based learning to illustrate the pedagogical advantages of this approach. It shifts the emphasis of scientific investigations from scientists to the general public, by educating learners of all ages to determine their own research agenda and devise their own investigations underpinned by a model of scientific inquiry.

Justin Reich and Mizuko Ito have published a new report, From Good Intentions to Real Outcome: Equity by Design in Learning Technologies, that synthesizes research on why educational technology efforts so often fail to achieve equitable outcomes, and offers some guiding principles to address these pitfalls.

The latest issue of Connected Science Learning addresses the theme of STEM for Early Learners, with articles on professional development for informal and K-12 educators, engaging low-income families with engineering, and a research–practice partnership focused on improving early mathematics learning. NSTA invites content for upcoming issues on Making Experiences That Inspire STEM Learning (due January 15) and STEM Learning Connected to after school Settings (due April 15).

Oregon State University Ecampus has created a database compiling research on the efficacy of online learning. The Online Learning Efficacy Research Database, which launched this week, is a searchable resource of academic studies that was created in response to skepticism about online education.

Books and Publications

Have a recent publication or article about your cyberlearning project, or that you think the community should know about? Let us know and we’ll announce it here!

The Cyberlearning Community Report: The State of Cyberlearning and the Future of Learning With Technology highlights examples of exciting NSF-funded work by our community as we integrate the latest innovations in learning science and computer science into new research designs and methods. Check out Five Great Reasons to Read It.

Share Your News

Have some news (project highlights, publications, job opportunities, etc.) that you want to share? Contact CIRCL.

CIRCL is supported by NSF grants IIS-1233722, IIS-1441631, and IIS-1556486. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.