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Learning Sciences/Science of Learning poster conference on Nov. 6

Faculty members of the College of Education are working on initiative to build and foster a broad collaborative environment for research and funded research on learning at Penn State. The purpose of this news release is to invite Penn State faculty to participate in the November 6 Learning Sciences/Science of Learning Poster Conference to be held in the College of Education Chambers Building. The event will be from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and a buffet lunch will be served. Those interested in meeting around LS/Sol conceptual and methodological topics can participate from 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. in roundtable discussion.

Faculty members of the College of Education are working on initiative to build and foster a broad collaborative environment for research and funded research on learning at Penn State. 

The purpose of this news release is to invite Penn State faculty to participate in the November 6 Learning Sciences/Science of Learning Poster Conference to be held in the College of Education Chambers Building. The event will be from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and a buffet lunch will be served. Those interested in meeting around LS/Sol conceptual and methodological topics can participate from 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. in roundtable discussion. 

Learning Sciences Poster Session Themes

(1a) Design Projects - Scaling Up - educational research projects aiming to better understand a problem of practice (e.g., curriculum, instruction, assessment) where new partners can help expand goals and outcomes.

(1b) Design Projects - Interventions – problems of practice projects (e.g., technological/pedagogical/curricular design) seeking educational researchers to help in the design and study of an intervention or solution project.

(2) Teaching & Learning - educational research methodologies focused on student learning practices, processes, and outcomes (e.g., discourse, model-based reasoning, systems thinking, ethical reasoning, motivation, among others). 

(3) Learning Environments - educational research focused on understanding the intersections of the elements within an environment (e.g., social interactions, representations and visualizations, technology supports, and discourse practices).

(4) Learning Sequences - educational research focused on factors that influence learning trajectories, developmental pathways, and learning outcomes. 

(5) Learning Analytics – educational research focused on teaching and learning data bases that can be used to inform and guide iterative designs for instruction, assessment, and evaluation strategies. 

The plan is to have two waves of poster presentations:  11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. to 1:00p.m.  You are cordially invited to submit posters on research currently underway or recently completed.  We welcome posters and posters of papers that you may have prepared and presented at conferences since 2010.  For this particular event we are not soliciting posters that describe course or program development only.  However, if there are measures of learning to report, or iterative interventions to report, then we would welcome such poster presentations.  

We are targeting two broad learning communities at Penn State for the Poster Workshop:

Learning Sciences (LS) and Science of Learning (SoL).

LS research typically addresses the design of formal classroom, computer supported, and/or informal out-of-school learning environments.   In addition, LS research also examines the design of tools, instruments, and materials used in learning environments as well as the interactions of people in activities occurring within systems and in groups.   Building functional and scalable systems is paramount.

SoL research typically addresses the psychological, sociological, and biological mechanisms of learning in humans, animals, or computer systems.  The focus can be on behaviors, language, cognition, mindset, emotions, and disabilities, among others.  Building theory is paramount. 

Dan Schwartz, Dean, School of Education, Stanford University, in a 2014 AERA symposium entitled “The Science of Learning, the Education Sciences – Strange Bedfellows or All in the Family? presented on the NSF Science of Learning Centers program, a 10 year investment in 6 Centers.  In his talk he drew the following distinctions between research in Learning Sciences and in Science of Learning which are both found in the research of the Centers.  LS he describes as an engineering first discipline  - figure out how things work and then seek to understand why.  SoL he describes as understanding how systems adapt.  His principal message was to argued that the two approaches should and could be synergistic.  Here are the distinctions he made for the two research approaches:

Learning Sciences

The Broad Goal: Maximize Human Learning

Example:  What contexts facilitate identity development?

Sciences of Learning

The Broad Goal: Understand how systems adapt

Example: How does the immune system learn?

Features:

Normative goals

Design optimizations

Sufficient Causes 

In Situ

Domain-specific processes

Features:

Outcome neutral goals

Theory optimizations

Necessary causes 

Isolate sub-systems

General mechanisms

Please consider presenting a poster or sending a representative from your research lab, center, institute or program to present a poster.  We can handle 2 or 3 posters from any given group.  Again, the poster need not be a report on new research but it should be recent research.  To accept the invitation to present a poster, please contact Jennifer Glasgow and I (jsg17@psu.edurad19@psu.edu) We will then get back to you for details about Title, Author(s), Abstract information that will be used to prepare a Poster Program.