Creation of the Society


The International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS) was incorporated as a non-profit professional society in September, 2002, founded by Chris Hoadley, Janet Kolodner, and Tim Koschmann. Their goal was to create an organization that would unite the traditions started by the Journal of the Learning Sciences, the International Conferences of the Learning Sciences (ICLS), and the Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Conferences (CSCL) and that would be responsible for sustaining the learning sciences community and its conferences and publications over time.

The three founders were aided in establishing ISLS by an international Interim Board of Directors who met by email and conference calls from 2000 and 2002 to identify a name for the society and an organizational structure and to write by-laws and articles of incorporation. In October, 2002, the founders and Interim Board met in person for the first time during the 2002 International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2002) in Seattle, Washington. They chose founding officers – President (Chris Hoadley), Executive Officer (Janet Kolodner), Financial Officer (Mitchell Nathan) – several committee chairs, and a Founding Board of Directors. The Founding Board and President were to serve for 9 months. Elections were scheduled for Spring, 2003, and the first elected Board of Directors would be put in place at the end of June, 2003.

The founding of ISLS was officially announced at the 2002 ICLS meeting in Seattle, the first set of members paid their dues, and many of the conference attendees attended ISLS’ first business meeting. During fall and winter, 2002-2003, Tim Koschmann and Susan Goldman chaired the first Nominations Committee and chose the first candidates for Board of Directors from among those nominated by paid-up members. Elections were held in Spring, 2003, and the first elected Board of Directors and first elected President (Pierre Dillenbourg) had their first meeting in July, 2003, at the International Conference on Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL), where the society also held its second business meeting.

During 2003-2004, the Society’s first year, the Board and officers worked hard to integrate ISLS’s international, learning sciences, and CSCL communities. The CSCL Community committee was formed to enhance that relationship.

During 2004-2005, the Society’s second year, the major focus of the Board and officers has been publications. The first issue of the ISLS Newsletter, edited by Claire O’Malley, appeared in July, 2004. In December, 2004, a contract was signed with Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. (LEA), publisher of Journal of the Learning Sciences (JLS), making JLS one of the official journals of the Society. In March, 2005, ISLS signed a contract with Springer establishing the International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (ijCSCL) as a journal to debut in 2006 and the second official journal of the society. By late spring or early summer 2005, we hope to have an agreement with the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) to make papers from the whole set of ICLS and CSCL conferences available to members online.

Founding Officers and Directors

Founders of the Society

  • Chris Hoadley
  • Janet Kolodner
  • Tim Koschmann

Interim Board of Directors (2000 – October, 2002)

  • Philip Bell
  • Allan Collins
  • Pierre Dillenbourg
  • Danny Edelson
  • Susan Goldman
  • Mark Guzdial
  • Rogers Hall
  • Giyoo Hatano
  • Naomi Miyake
  • Claire O’Malley
  • Mitchel Resnick
  • Baruch Schwarz
  • Nancy Songer
  • Gerry Stahl
  • Barbara Wasson

Founding Officers

  • President, Chris Hoadley
  • President-elect, Pierre Dillenbourg
  • Executive Officer, Janet Kolodner
  • Financial Officer, Mitchell Nathan

Founding Board of Directors (October, 2002 – June, 2003)

  • Pierre Dillenbourg, University of Geneva
  • Danny Edelson, Northwestern University
  • Susan Goldman, University of Illinois Chicago
  • Giyoo Hatano, Keio University
  • Christopher Hoadley, Pennsylvania State University
  • Tim Koschmann, Southern Illinois University
  • Heinz Mandl, University of Munich
  • Naomi Miyake, Chukyo University
  • Claire O’Malley, University of Nottingham
  • Roy Pea, Stanford University
  • Nancy Songer, University of Michigan
  • Gerry Stahl, Drexel University