CIRCL Newsletter – Issue 31, July 2018


What’s your $30 million Big Idea? The NSF 2026 Idea Machine is looking for new thematic, promising ideas that span NSF. The earlier 2016 Big Ideas have gotten traction at NSF, and several attracted $30 million budget lines. CIRCL is ready to facilitate teams to articulate concepts that could shape the future of learning and engage talent in computer science, social and behavioral sciences, engineering and more – let us know how we can help you! We view cyberlearning as an exemplar of a community with mission, support, and history to do convergence research, and would love to hear from your NSF project about what you see as convergent science, what were key factors in doing it, and how a resource center like CIRCL can help.

Many excellent cyberlearning presentations were featured at the London Festival of Learning. Proceedings are available online and keynotes will be posted soon. Also see this recap of a workshop hosted by Concord Consortium on Designing 2030. In addition, the video showcase attracted over 50,000 attendees in May. See cyberlearning videos and overall winners. Speaking of big ideas, check out the recording of the CIRCL eColloq Webinar: Building the Foundational Skills Needed for Success in Work at the Human-Technology Frontier by Sarita Pillai and Joyce Malyn-Smith. Got something to publish? A new journal Computer Based Learning in Context is discussed below. Did you notice that a new cross-agency STEM Education Advisory Panel was announced? Follow us for the latest Cyberlearning news.

Finally, we’re continuing to work towards the launch of a new, online, peer-reviewed “Rapid Community Reports” series. Interested? Drop us a line and get involved.

Featured Perspective: Meet Claudia Mazziotti

Meet Claudia Mazziotti

Claudia Mazziotti received her PhD in 2017 from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany, working with Nikol Rummel on the development of a tutoring platform and the role of collaborative learning for productive failure.

You were recently in the U.S. on a Gateway Fellowship. What did you do with your time here?

At the end of my PhD, I applied for a Gateway Fellowship to work with Jeremy Roschelle with a vision of bringing educational technology to practice in the domain of mathematics and science, leveraging collaborative learning, and with an eye toward the best way to implement and scale the vision. With Jeremy and Barbara Means, I worked on a book chapter about implementation and scaling up of inquiry environments. I also joined research group meetings at SRI, visited Berkeley to talk with people in Marcia Linn‘s WISE group, interviewed experts about how to implement educational technology, and conducted a literature review of how to combine collaborative learning with more open ended exploratory learning and a teacher dashboard. In my interviews, I heard a variety of different perspectives around implementing and scaling up. Read more of Claudia’s Perspective.

NSF Announcements & Opportunities

NSF DCL: STEM Education for the Future invites proposals to solve educational challenges created by the technology revolution whose results can enable our country to better prepare its scientific and technical workforce for the future, use technological innovations effectively for education, advance the frontiers of science, and adapt to both new work environments and new education pathways needed to prepare students at all levels for those environments. Proposals should be submitted by the due date of the applicable funding opportunities listed in the DCL.

The NSF 2026 Idea Machine is a competition to help set the U.S. agenda for fundamental research in science and engineering. Participants can earn prizes and receive public recognition by suggesting the pressing research questions that need to be answered in the coming decade, the next set of Big Ideas for future investment by the National Science Foundation (NSF). It’s an opportunity for researchers, the public and other interested stakeholders to contribute to NSF’s mission to support basic research and enable new discoveries that drive the U.S. economy, enhance national security and advance knowledge to sustain the country’s global leadership in science and engineering. The competition will launch late August 2018.

NSF Advanced Technological Education (ATE) invites proposals on the education of technicians for the high-technology fields that drive our nation’s economy. Proposed work should involve partnerships between academic institutions and industry to promote improvement in the education of science and engineering technicians at the undergraduate and secondary school levels. Proposals due October 4, 2018.

NSF has announced a new cross-agency STEM Education Advisory Panel with a mission to provide advice and recommendations on topics related to STEM programs and activities across the Federal Government, such as whether societal and workforce concerns are adequately addressed, and ways to better integrate and transition programs and activities from pre-kindergarten through graduate study and into the workforce, and from in-school and out-of-school.

NSF EHR wishes to inform the community that staff are currently updating the EHR Core Research (ECR) funding opportunity. Proposals are no longer being accepted under program announcement NSF 15-509. Please check back for details on the new FY19 ECR funding opportunity.

Conferences & Calls for Papers

Call For Papers: Computer-Based Learning In Context. Submissions are invited for the inaugural special issue of this free, open-access journal on how learners’ contexts impact their interactions, within as well as around computer-based learning, and how those differences in interaction impact learning, long-term learner outcomes, and educational effectiveness. Papers are due October 30, 2018.

EC-TEL 2018 will be held September 3-6 in Leeds, UK, with a conference theme: “Lifelong technology enhanced learning: Dealing with the complexity of 21st century challenges”.

Fusion 2018 will be held October 2-4 in Burlingame, CA. Fusion aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice, and it’s a great conference for meeting superintendents and teachers. CIRCL has a few free passes for cyberlearning researchers who participate in planning a cyberlearning session – contact CIRCL if you’d like to discuss.

HICSS 2019 will be in Maui on January 8-11. HICSS is the longest standing scientific conference in the information systems and technology field.

Spotlight: Learning Analytics Goes to School

Based on a blog post and interview with Andy Krumm, Director of Learning Analytics Research, and Barbara Means, Executive Director of Learning Sciences Research, both at Digital Promise.

Collaborations among researchers and practitioners have long been framed as an ideal, but the elements of what makes for an effective collaboration are often not well understood, and the funding for such work has been scarce. Recently, however, both government and private research funders have become interested in collaborations under the label of research-practice partnerships. Over the past 5 years of work with educational organizations, we’ve identified multiple factors that contribute to successful partnerships, such as the importance of forming trusting relationships between researchers and practitioners, using an explicit improvement method to guide research activities, and intentionally designing learning opportunities that build the capacity of both researchers and practitioners. Our new book, Learning Analytics Goes to School, co-authored with Marie Bienkowski at SRI Education, describes a particular kind of partnership that is focused on leveraging complex data from various technologies to improve teaching and learning. Read More about Learning Analytics Goes to School.

Job Opportunities: University of Wisconsin, Purdue, SRI

The Complex Play Lab at the University of Wisconsin–Madison seeks a postdoctoral research associate to conduct research and manage efforts related to NSF awards related to games, computational learning, and assessment.

Purdue University seeks two PhD students to work on a mobile learning project to develop innovative learning technologies and new interventions, and to document the feasibility of interventions to improve students’ academic outcomes and engagement by enhancing reflection and feedback in large-lecture STEM courses.

SRI International has the following job openings in their Menlo Park, CA or Arlington, VA office:

Resource & Tech Corner

Women remain an untapped resource for increasing and sustaining a diverse STEM workforce, holding less than 25% of STEM jobs. Out-of-School-Time STEM Programs for Females: Implications for Research and Practice presents a series of chapters detailing out-of-school-time (OST) STEM programs specifically aimed at young women. The chapters discuss implications for researchers as well as educators and administrators based on data gathered from seven programs, each with a distinct content emphasis, geographic location, and context.

A new data interoperability case study by Digital Promise explores ways to advance data interoperability — the seamless, secure and controlled exchange of data — and some of the challenges and solutions offered across the field. offers videos statistics, and textual summaries to educate the public on the mechanisms of global warming — even in less than a minute. The site and resources, created by Michael Ranney and colleagues, have been studied through a series of randomized controlled experiments that indicate that while virtually no Americans know how global warming works, succinct, mechanistic explanations can transform attitudes.

Books & Publications

Fishman, B; Teasley, S; Cederquist, S. (2018). Micro-Credentials as Evidence of College Readiness: Report of an NSF Workshop. University of Michigan. A report on a May 2017 NSF-funded workshop hosted by the University of Michigan School of Information on the promise and pitfalls of using digital micro-credentials, also known as digital badges, in the college admission process.

Krumm, A., Means, B., & Bienkowski, M. (2018). Learning Analytics Goes to School: A Collaborative Approach to Improving Education. Routledge. Presents a framework for engaging in education research and improving education practice through the use of newly available data sources and analytical approaches.

Madaio, M., Peng, K., Ogan, A., & Cassell, J. (2018). A climate of support: a process oriented analysis of the impact of rapport on peer tutoring. In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS). Won Best Paper Award at ICLS.

Holstein, K., McLaren, B., & Aleven (2018). Informing the Design of Teacher Awareness Tools through Causal Alignment Analysis. In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS). Won Best Student Paper Award at ICLS. This paper describes iterative refinement of a pair of smart glasses that notifies teachers of students that may benefit most from their help.

Holstein, K., McLaren, B. M., & Aleven, V. (2018). Student learning benefits of a mixed-reality teacher awareness tool in AI-enhanced classrooms. In Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED’18). Won Best Paper Award at AIED. Expands on research (above) to illustrate how presenting teachers with real-time analytics about student understanding can benefit learning.

Fischer, F., Hmelo-Silver, C. E., Goldman, S. R., & Reimann, P. (Eds.). (2018). International Handbook of the Learning Sciences. Routledge. In more than 50 chapters, leading experts synthesize past, current, and emerging theoretical and empirical directions for learning sciences research.

Luckin, R. (2018). Machine Learning and Human Intelligence: The future of education for the 21st century. UCL IOE Press. Offers a framework for understanding the complexity of human intelligence, and recommendations for how educators can draw on what AI does best to nurture and expand our human capabilities.

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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.