Annual Meetings’ Highlights

ISLS 2021 Annual Meeting Bochum logo

ISLS Annual Meeting 2021

Bochum, Germany June 8–11, 2021 Reflecting the Past and Embracing the Future

Interdisciplinarity as a Core Value and a Core Skill: Challenges and Opportunities for the Field of CSCL

Abstract: As a research community, the International Society of the Learning Sciences has always worked hard to maintain representation across multiple dimensions of diversity, including, but certainly not limited to regions and disciplines. The events of the world’s recent history challenge both our personal senses of safety and wellbeing as well as our bonds of community and joint engagement, which rest upon that foundation, a foundation meant to enable a productive synergy in the light of divers ity. In our CSCL research, we advocate for support that increases transactivity in the collaborative interactions supported within our learning environments. Nevertheless, in both our personal and professional lives even we struggle to engage with others even in our own communities who are distinctly different from ourselves. With this in mind, this talk will provide a reflection on interdisciplinarity as a core value and a core skill, unpacking it through the lens of research on its assessment, and considering how research on collaborative support, processes, and outcomes relate to these operationalizations but leave challenges and opportunities for the field going forward. In particular it considers how CSCL in the classroom might aim to prepare students for more challenging collaborations in the workplace and beyond.

Carolyn Penstein Rosé

Dr. Carolyn Rosé

Computer Science,
Carnegie Mellon University

Knowledge Building and the Learning Sciences: Past, Present and the Future

Abstract: Knowledge Building is one of the foundational models of the learning sciences and is more important than ever in the current post-truth era in which the value of science is challenged, and fake news seems rampant. In this talk, I will discuss the past, present and future of Knowledge Building and argue why this model, with its epistemic focus, is important for the learning sciences and education in the post-truth world. I will outline the history of Knowledge Building including its roots in “taking cognitive science to school” and the pioneering instantiation of Knowledge Building in a computer-supported collaborative learning environment, Knowledge Forum®. Current research advance in Knowledge Building focusing on theory-pedagogy-technology integration will be reviewed in light of related themes and issues in the learning sciences. I will also discuss the future development of Knowledge Building aligning with current trends in researching for impact and implementation in multi-level and multi-nation networks for scaling innovation in school systems.

Dr. Carol K.K. Chan

Dr. Carol K.K. Chan

Faculty of Education,
University of Hong Kong

Learning: How the Brain Sees it

Abstract: I would like to take you on a journey that tracks the fate of the memory trace from the first moment that drives learning, through its consolidation, its subsequent representation up to the moment where the decision to retrieve this memory item is taken. This last step ultimately changes the trace since memories are modified when we remember them. In my talk, would like to stress one point: Especially within an educational context, learning often is seen as a device to acquire knowledge. It is rarely seen and optimized under the umbrella of retrieval. From the standpoint of the brain, however, retrieval is often more complicated than acquisition, since the relevant information has to be identified under the zillions of items that we store. Also, the decision to retrieve this item and not the other seems to alter and thereby stabilize the trace. As a consequence, teaching has to mind both the acquisition and the retrieval as two equally important goal posts.

Onur Güntürkün​

Dr. Onur Güntürkün​

Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Presidential Invited Session: Celebrating Black Excellence in the Learning Sciences

In 2020, the world more fully acknowledged a longstanding problem: anti-Black bias and racism. While events in the United States prompted protests and more visible activism, this is a worldwide issue and one example of how both overt and less recognized forms of biases, marginalization, discrimination, and racism create inequitable situations for people around the world. In this presidential plenary session, we will have the opportunity to celebrate that, despite facing systemic obstacles, valued members of our community are helping to advance our collective goal of using scholarship on learning to improve circumstances and opportunities for all.

Featured speakers:

  • Sherice Clarke, University of California, San Diego (USA) introduced by Christa Asterhan, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel)
  • Christopher Wright, Drexel University (USA) introduced by Chandan Dasgupta, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (India)
Victor Lee

Organizer & Facilitator:
Victor R. Lee

ISLS President 2020–2021

Invited Panel: Expanding Conceptions of Learning: Colonialism, Social Movements, and Possible Futures

In memory of Dr. Audrey Msimanga

We are grateful to our dear friend and colleague Dr. Audrey Msimanga for her role in shaping the evolution of our collective work. Audrey’s ideas on agency, freedom and science education in the Global South deepened our understandings of learning and histories in places. May her ideas and commitments to just education live on. We are honored to have had the opportunity to co-think with her. ISLS Annual Meeting, 2021 Invited Panel: Expanding Conceptions of Learning: Colonialism, Social Movements, and Possible Futures.

  • Thomas Philip, University of California Berkeley (USA) (Co-Chair)
  • Lucy Avraamidou, University of Groningen (Netherlands) (Co-Chair)
  • Arshad Ali, The George Washington University (USA)
  • Natalie R. Davis, Georgia State University (USA)
  • Ananda Marin, University of California Los Angeles (USA)
  • Isabel Martins, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
  • Audrey Msimanga, University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)
  • Miwa Aoki Takeuchi, University of Calgary (Canada)
  • Shirin Vossoughi, Northwestern University (USA)