CIRCL Newsletter – Issue 43, August 2020


This is the last CIRCL newsletter, but to paraphrase Mark Twain, “reports of our demise are greatly exaggerated.” By October, we plan to morph into “CIRCLS.” Our three-year NSF proposal was just recently awarded! We’ve had lots of conversations with NSF in the past six months and you should all know that while the term “cyberlearning” may get less use, research on ambitious combinations of emerging technology and learning theories is on the upswing. Stay posted for new proposal opportunities.

The most important news: CIRCLS will have two postdoc positions, and these will be awesome opportunities for leadership, scholarship, and networking. Please share the job listing with any candidates you know.

Timeline of CIRCL and Cyberlearning

We’ve been busy with two major activities. In June, we met with every past cyberlearning program officer and our CIRCL advisors to review the history and growth of our community from 2012 to the present; the report will be forthcoming. Also, with both the U.S. Department of Education’s National Educational Technology Plan team and the NSF leadership in attendance, we organized an invitational expert panel on Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Learning. A report and further opportunities to participate in AI & learning events will be forthcoming.

CIRCL Educators has been blogging about COVID and (distance) learning, equity, and AI for educators — and is looking for Cyberlearning PIs who would like to collaborate around issues at the intersection of research and practice. Contact us if you’re interested!

Finally, a shout-out to the STEM Video Showcase, which has hosted 67,000 unique visitors to watch three-minute videos of cyberlearning projects. Check out the winning videos, which include some cyberlearning awards. The STEM for All Video Multiplex is currently showcasing Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The videos and superb panel discussion covered the latest scientific innovations at HBCUs and explored ways to use HBCUs as a strategic resource to advance excellence and diversity in STEM. Check it out and learn how to partner with an HBCU.

Funding Opportunities

NSF CISE Core Programs Solicitation: The biggest change is no deadlines for small proposals from IIS, CCF, and CNS. Medium Core Projects and OAC Core Projects are due November 12, 2020. There is no category for Large core projects in IIS, CCF, or CNS. A second big change for IIS is that Cyber-Human Systems is reverting to its older name, Human Centered Computing–– though it is still the same group of program directors and mission. A third important addition to the solicitation is instructions for requesting cloud computing resources through CloudBank, where credits you budget are free of indirect costs so your money will go further.

EHR Core Research Solicitation (NSF 19-508): STEM Learning and Learning Environments, Broadening Participation, and Workforce Development. Proposals due by the first Thursday in October, annually (October 1, 2020).

NSF 19-035 DCL: Fundamental research on Equity, Inclusion, and Ethics in Postsecondary Academic Workplaces and the Academic Profession within the EHR Core Research Program. Proposals due by the first Thursday in October, annually (October 1, 2020).

NSF 19-044 DCL: Fundamental Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) Focused on Undergraduate and Graduate STEM Education within the EHR Core Research (ECR) Program. Proposals due by the first Thursday in October, annually (October 1, 2020).

NSF DRK-12 solicitation invites proposals that address immediate challenges that are facing preK-12 STEM education as well as those that anticipate radically different structures and functions of preK-12 teaching and learning. Proposals are due by October 7, 2020.

NSF DCL: Removal of deadlines for proposals for Small projects submitted to the Core research programs in CISE. In order to allow PIs more flexibility and to better facilitate interdisciplinary research across disciplines, CISE anticipates removing deadlines for submission of proposals for Small projects to all core research programs in CCF, CNS, and IIS, effective October 1, 2020. For those unfamiliar with the “no-deadline” submission process, FAQs and other relevant information will be provided on the divisional (CCF, CNS, and IIS) webpages.

IES has awarded 24 SBIR Awards for a total of $10.3 million for research and development of commercially viable education technology products. These 2020 awards include 16 Phase I projects to develop prototypes of products to improve teaching, learning, and school administration, as well as pilot research to test feasibility and usability. Of the eight Phase II projects, six projects are to support further prototype development and conduct pilot studies in schools, and two are to fully develop tools to measure the return on investment of educational and training programs to inform decision making by prospective postsecondary students.

Conferences & Calls

Webinar Panel: Race, Equity and Mathematics Education. On August 11, 2020 from 3-4:30 pm ET, an expert panel will address where we are and where we need to go in the mathematics education of African American K-12 students. Register for this webinar.

Call for Papers: Designing, Evaluating and Assessing Learning and Engagement in School, Library, Museum and Community Makerspaces. This special issue will bring together articles from projects that have explored conceptualizing and designing assessment of learning and engagement in Makerspaces from a variety of approaches and theoretical frameworks. Submissions due August 15, 2020.

Call for Papers: AI for K-12. This special issue of IJAIED seeks contributions that address core challenges in how to envision, design, develop, and implement AI K-12 education. Extended Abstracts (1,000 words) due August 20, 2020.

ISLS 2021 will be held June 7-11, 2020 at Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany. This annual meeting will bring together the international community of the learning sciences in a new format building on the past two programs: Learning Sciences (LS) program and Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) program. Papers are due November 6, 2020; workshops and tutorials are due December 11, 2020. Also visit ICLS 2020 online to view keynote videos, best paper awards, and the ISLS presidential address.

The International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction: Learning Analytics of Embodied Design — Enhancing Synergy invites submissions of manuscripts to the IJCCI Editorial Manger by November 1, 2020. Kindly forward all inquiries to Dor Abrahamson (

Connected Science Learning seeks manuscripts related to bridging in-school and out-of-school STEM learning. Although each issue is organized around a theme, manuscripts do not have to relate to a specific theme and can be of general interest to the journal’s audience. See Upcoming themes and column descriptions.

Featured Perspective: Meet Roger Azevedo

Meet Roger Azevedo

Roger Azevedo is a professor in the Department of Learning Sciences & Educational Research at the University of Central Florida. He is the Lead Scientist for UCF’s Learning Sciences Faculty Cluster Initiative. Roger examines the role of cognitive, metacognitive, affective and motivational self-regulatory processes during learning with computer-based learning environments.

Can you say more about how you want to help students?

We would love to focus on training students to engage in emotion regulation. Being trained as a cognitive scientist, we typically focus on cognition rather than emotions and motivation. Our research, particularly over the past 10 years, has come around to understand that if I can’t regulate my emotions, it’s going to impact my memory, my learning, and my performance. Can we collect data through physiology, facial expression, or log files, and come up with a model so that we can have agents we embed in the software that can detect emotions and then help train students to regulate their emotions? If you’re not able to regulate confusion, can I get you to acknowledge that you’re confused about a particular diagram or simulation — and tell me why? Could a virtual human model allow students to practice emotion regulation strategies? Read more of Roger’s perspective.

Job Opportunities

Also see #learningsciencesjobs and NSF EHR Job Openings

The new Center for Integrative Research in Computer and Learning Sciences (CIRCLS) invites applications for two post-doctoral positions. These positions will offer unique opportunities to (1) gain an overview of state of the art at the intersections of computing sciences and learning sciences, (2) build a network of relationships with leading NSF-funded researchers, and (3) publish research that synthesizes emerging insights from the field.

Utah State University seeks an Assistant/Associate Professor in the Department of Instructional Technology & Learning Sciences. Candidates should have research on one of the following areas: (1) game studies, including e-sports and other interactive learning environments; (2) learning experience design, including emerging media design, user experience design, and/or instructional design; (3) library and information studies, including the digital humanities. Review begins on September 15, 2020.

The Danish Institute for Advanced Study (DIAS) invites applications for an Assistant Professor in the field of Cognitive Aspects of Human Interaction. The application deadline is September 6, 2020.

New Cyberlearning Awards

A sample of new projects funded by the NSF Cyberlearning program.

Recent NSF Cyberlearning awards:


Congratulations to this year’s JLS Best Paper awardees, Dr. Angela Calabrese Barton and Dr. Edna Tan for their 2019 paper, Designing for rightful presence in STEM: The role of making present practices.

Open access ILS Journal

A new openly accessible special issue of the Information and Learning Sciences, A Response to Emergency Transitions to Remote Online Education, is filled with 42 articles addressing emergency transitions to remote teaching. All 42 articles, each ~3500 words, are being offered for free (no paywall; full access to all PDFs) for the next 6 months in an effort by the editors, authors and publisher Emerald, to help educators prepare their ongoing pandemic response.

Assessing “Risk” in Augmented and Virtual Reality in Pre-service Teacher Education by Joanna Weidler-Lewis considers the rise of augmented and virtual reality simulators (AR and VR) as a proxy for teacher education preparation in classrooms through the example of Mursion.

Share Your News

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

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CIRCL is supported by NSF grants 1837463 and 1233722. 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.