CIRCL Newsletter – Issue 32, September 2018


Don’t miss out on upcoming NSF proposal opportunities for Cyberlearning researchers, which include both a cyberlearning competition in January as well as opportunities within other existing programs. Overall, the prospects for cyberlearning research are vibrant. Recent awards have been made, and we anticipate another PI meeting sometime in 2019. CIRCL is always available to help you with your ideas for a proposal. Further, by submitting a cyberlearning-related idea to the NSF Idea Machine, you can grow the funding available to our community; let CIRCL know if you’d like our help in polishing and submitting an idea. To grow our community, also take a second to forward this newsletter to your colleagues and graduate students and ask them to subscribe.

Many congratulations this month:

  • Wow! Micki Chi won the Rumelhart Prize for challenging basic assumptions about the mind and defining new approaches that have shaped a generation of cognitive and learning scientists. Read her recent Best Paper Award winner in JLS, too.
  • A warm welcome to Karen Marrongelle, who will lead NSF’s Education and Human Resources Directorate.
  • Victor Lee published a new book, Reconceptualizing Libraries: Perspectives from the Information and Learning Sciences.
  • And congrats to the winners of recent Cyberlearning awards, listed below.
  • Special thanks to those who wrote new content for the CIRCL website, listed below. We are always open to new submissions of primers, perspectives, spotlights, and others ways to publicize your project accomplishments. Stay tuned for an announcement later this year about our new Rapid Community Reports series.

Featured Perspective: Meet Vic Vuchic

Meet Vic Vuchic

Vic Vuchic is Chief Innovation Officer at Digital Promise, and a seasoned thought leader in education technology and philanthropy.

Can you tell us about Learner Positioning Systems (LPS)?

Technology enables personalization and personalized learning, obviously, but what we need to understand is what are the key areas that can vary about how an individual learns, and how knowing that can impact specific outcomes. That’s actually where you gain a lot of leverage by personalizing, right? There are many different approaches you can take around pedagogy and strategies, but I felt there wasn’t enough that built off an understanding of the whole child learner and using that as your center of gravity for design. With LPS, we’re building research-based models that leverage technology and learning science to have a bigger impact in education. What’s unique about LPS is the framing of learner variability and what we know about a specific learner––it maps key factors that kids vary on with how they learn. Currently, we have detailed, research-based models of critical variables that impact learning success for grades preK-2 math, pk-3 reading, and 4-6 literacy. Our first push is with product developers, to incentivize them to develop increased research-based supports that address the variability in all learners. Read more of Vic’s Perspective.

NSF Announcements & Opportunities

Submit your idea to NSF Idea Machine

NSF has several funding opportunities you might consider in the next 6 months. Also, keep a lookout for a new EHR Core Research (ECR) solicitation — the learning environments focus is a great place for cyberlearning projects in the next post-exploratory phase.

NSF also needs you to help create the Big Ideas of the future: The NSF 2026 Idea Machine competition invites bold, original concepts to keep the United States at the forefront of innovation. Submit your Big Idea by October 26, 2018.

NSF Program/Opportunity Due Date

STEM + Computing K-12 Education (STEM+C)

Now through June 3, 2019 (reviewed on a rolling basis)

STEM Education for the Future (DCL)

Deadlines vary; submit by the due date of the applicable funding opportunities listed in the DCL

Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE)

October 1, 2018

Cyber-Human Systems (CHS) in Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS)

October 2, 2018 for LARGE and MEDIUM projects, November 15, 2018 for Small Projects

Advanced Technological Education (ATE)

October 15, 2018

Growing Convergence Research (DCL)

October 15, 2018

Support for Engaging Students and the Public in Polar Research (DCL)

Deadlines vary; submit by the due date of the applicable funding opportunities listed in the DCL

Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL)

November 7, 2018

Discovery Research K‐12 (DRK-12)

November 14, 2018

Cyberlearning for Work at the Human-Technology Frontier

January 14, 2019

Accelerating Discovery: Educating the Future STEM Workforce (AD)

Now through January 16, 2019 (reviewed on a rolling basis)

National Robotic Initiative (NR)

February 5, 2019

Other Opportunities: Data Science & AI Ed Webinars, AERA Grants, & More

Register for Data Science Education Webinars sponsored by the Concord Consortium: Bringing Data Science to Middle School Students by Andee Rubin on September 24 and Getting Personal with Big Data by Jennifer Kahn on October 25.

Register for Future of AI in Education and Training webinars sponsored by Alelo and SIIA on topics including: Can AI Help Us Create More Inclusive Education and Society? By Kaśka Porayska-Pomsta (September 19/20), Can Intelligent Orchestration Systems Help Face-to-Face Classroom Teachers Integrate Small-Group, Individual and Whole-Class Work? by Kurt Vanlehn (October 3/4), Beyond Academics: Intelligent Mentoring Systems for Career Success by Ran Liu (October 17/18), and Analytics and Mining Methods to Understand Students Learning Behaviors in Open-Ended Learning Environments by Gautam Biswas (October 31/November 1) — and listen to past webinars.

AERA invites education research conference proposals for conferences intended to break new ground in substantive areas of inquiry, stimulate new lines of study on issues that have been largely unexplored, or develop innovative research methods or techniques that can contribute more generally to education research. Proposals are due September 28.

The AERA Grants Program invites proposals for both its Dissertation Grants and Research Grants. With support from NSF the AERA Grants Program provides dissertation grants to graduate students and small research grants to doctoral level scholars using large-scale data sets in their research. Proposals are due October 17.

Learn about Professional Learning Through Micro-credentials especially on the topic of learner variability in a webinar by Jennifer Kabaker and Mary Ann Wolf on September 24.

The IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee is working to standardize terminology used to describe Adaptive Instructional Systems (AIS) through the AIS Study Group. This group meets via telecom biweekly on Thursdays at 10 am ET, and a face-to-face meeting is planned in Silicon Valley on October 30-31. Sign up to receive updates and to participate!

Job & Fellowships: U. Washington, Robert Tinker Fellows, Tufts, NC State

The University of Washington invites applications for two tenure-track positions in Learning Sciences and Human Development (LSHD): An Assistant/Associate Professor in Adolescent Development Within & Across Contexts and an Assistant Professor in Community/Civic Engagement as Social Transformation. Review of applications begins October 1.

The Robert F. Tinker Fellows program aims to promote innovation, creativity, and cross-disciplinary conversations for STEM teaching and learning. Organized as a residency program, the fellowship brings individuals to the Concord Consortium to spark new ideas. Application deadline: October 1.

Tufts University invites applications for the McDonnell Family Bridge Professorship in STEM Education Research. The successful candidate will be appointed as a tenured professor in both the School of Engineering and the School of Arts & Sciences, and will help lead the newly-formed Institute for Research on Learning and Instruction (IRLI). Review of applications will begin on November 2.

The NC State College of Education invites applications and nominations for the Goodnight Distinguished Professor in Educational Innovation. The inaugural Goodnight professor will hold an appointment in one of the three departments in the college and will be affiliated through scholarship and research with the William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation.

Resource & Tech Corner

Check out the new CIRCL Primer: Virtual Reality in Educational Settings by Britte Cheng and Cynthia D’Angelo. Why/how might VR help learners? This primer gives research-based insights into this technology. A recent overview of practices that engage underrepresented groups in science and engineering is available in CIRCL Primer: Broadening Youth Participation in Computer Science & Engineering by Judi Fusco & Patti Schank.

Check out videos of keynote talks at Crossroads 2018, a conference on computer science and maker education with a focus on equity and inclusion. Infosys Foundation USA, which sponsored the conference, spotlights work to bridge the digital divide, and recently announced their C3 Grant winners.

The Educators Corner blog (, sponsored by CIRCL, aims to bridge cyberlearning research with classroom practice and broaden the community of people involved in CIRCL. We’re excited to announce the new look of our blog, and the latest post for cyberlearning educators by Angie Kalthoff and Pati Ruiz on What is Pseudocode. Follow CIRCLEducators on twitter for updates.

New Cyberlearning Awards

A sample of new projects with a cyberlearning theme funded by the NSF Cyberlearning program and programs across NSF.

Recent NSF Cyberlearning awards:

Recent cyberlearning-themed awards across NSF:

Books & Publications

The new book Reconceptualizing Libraries: Perspectives from the Information and Learning Sciences, edited by Victor R. Lee and Abigail L. Phillips, brings together cases and models developed by experts in the information and learning sciences to identify the potential for libraries to adapt and transform in the wake of new technologies for connected learning and discovery.

The latest Special Issue of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, A Critical Examination of the Next Generation Science Standards, edited by Troy Sadler and David Brown, examines the NGSS framework and its effects, informed by evidence and theory.

Share Your News

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

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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.