Key challenge: effective learning for all
In a rapidly changing world, learning can be the key to survival – for individuals and communities. Access to learning opportunities is a fundamental human right. But opportunities to learn are unevenly distributed. Chances of successful learning can be slim for many people.
Our research combines multiple areas of expertise to create new advanced technologies for lifelong learning, with the goal of enabling people to learn precisely what, how, when and where they need. This work is guided by our research into the nature of human capability – analysing knowledge, skill, expertise and their development.
Meeting the challenge: The science of learning
The area known as ‘the learning sciences’ has emerged over the last 20 years as a highly-successful multi-disciplinary endeavour combining research in cognitive science, education, computer science, anthropology, sociology and neuroscience.
Its goal is to understand learning – in individuals, groups, organisations and other complex socio-technical systems, such as online networks and communities. Its structure and methods reflect the fact that the many influences on learning operate at different scale levels: ‘from neurons to neighborhoods’.
In addition to this quest for fundamental understanding, research on learning is also ‘use-inspired’. It contributes to the improvement of teaching, but also – in much more extensive ways – to the design and iterative enhancement of tools, resources, techniques and processes that have a significant influence on the quality of people’s learning: formal, informal, lifelong and lifewide.
Interdisciplinary collaboration at Sydney
The University of Sydney has some outstanding strengths in research that improves our understanding of how people learn and how to design technology to support learning. We have created highly effective collaborations, especially between research groups in the faculties of Engineering & IT, Science, and Education & Social Work.
The aim of our network is to accelerate the development of these organic collaborations, bringing new researchers into the network, firming up relationships with external partners and prepare the ground for major initiatives at national and international levels.
STL in action
Want to know more about the network and the sciences and technologies of learning? Stay up-to-date on developments, events, publications and more by following the STL blog at http://blogs.usyd.edu.au/stl and follow @STLSydney on Twitter for timely tweets.