Sciences and Technologies of Learning (STL) Research Fest

The Research Fest is our annual event inviting the community of researchers and practitioners in the sciences and technologies of learning to come together to exchange ideas, showcase work, form new collaborations, and catch up on recent innovations in learning and knowledge technology research.

Research Fest 2015 - Nov 5

This year's Fest will be held on Thursday November 5th in the Charles Perkins Centre Hub at the University of Sydney. The details on this year's fest are still being confirmed but it is likely there will be a full day of events.

To be informed when we have more details and when registration opens up, you can sign up to our newsletter here or keep an eye on the STL blog.

Research Fest 2014 - Nov 6

The annual STL Research Fest took place on Thursday November 6th in the Education Building (A35) at the University of Sydney. The Fest was opened by Professor Pip Pattison, DVC Education, University of Sydney, and closed with an invited lecture from Professor Simon Buckingham-Shum, Professor of Learning Informatics and Director of the Connected Intelligence Centre at UTS.

The 2014 Research Fest plenary, "Learning Analytics: Critical Issues", with Professor Simon Buckingham Shum is available to view online on YouTube. Slides of the keynote and some of the posters displayed are available online at


Event Start End Venue
Badge pick-up and registration desk open 9.45 10.00 Common Room (401)
Opening plenary with DVC (Education) Prof Pip Pattison 10.00 10.40 351
Morning tea (catered) 10.40 11.00 Common Room (401)
Poster workshop sessions 1 and 2 11.00 12.25 323 & 325
Workshop session 1 12.30 1.15 Various level 4
Lunch (catered) 1.15 1.45 Common Room (401)
Workshop session 2 1.45 2.30 Various level 4
Closing plenary with Prof Simon Buckingham Shum 2.30 3.30 351


  • A Rubric for the Selection and Creation of Videogames for Teaching and Learning Foreign Languages - Douglas Agar
  • Personalisation of Learning: Students informing practice - Learning and Teaching at UNSW: Sonal Bhalla, Belinda Allen, Lyn Collins, Kristin Turnbull, John Vulic
  • Placing focus in Malawian and UK primary schools: Is there a difference? - David Ashe, Nina Bonderup Dohn
  • Shift in a University Lecturer’s Activation of Mental Resources - Shaista Bibi
    Technology Supported Group Ideation in the Classroom - Andrew Clayphan
  • Developing Staff Capability for Teaching and Learning across Multiple Higher Education Sectors - Christina Del Medico, Ann Wilson, Iain Doherty
  • Scientific Representational Fluency: Defining, Diagnosing and Developing the use of graphs, words, equations and diagrams in science - Matthew Hill, Manjula Sharma, Helen Johnston
  • Learning and Enactment in Techno-Human Ecosystems: Implications for sustainable learning and innovation of farmers in the Philippines - Gilbert Importante
  • Conceptualizing professional identity practices in higher education: The case of engineering students - Maryam Khosronejad
  • Teams making sense of disruptive technologies - Amanda (Mandy) Lacy
  • The Value of Agent-Based Models for Learning about Nanotechnology - Polly Lai
  • The digital habitus of academic missions: Is an eNexus the missing link? - Melinda J Lewis
  • Driving curriculum and technological change to support writing in the engineering disciplines - Hamed Monkaresi, Sarah K. Howard, Rafael A. Calvo, Anindito Aditomo
  • Designing material and digital spaces for learning - Martin Parisio
  • Architecture of Productive Learning Networks Analysis for Design - Ana Pinto
  • Model-based Learning with Productive Failure and Analogical Encoding: Unpacking Learning Dynamics with Contrasting Designs - Alisha Portolese, Lina Markauskaite, Polly Lai, & Michael J. Jacobson
  • Student teachers’ digital competence development in teacher education: A Norwegian case study - Fredrik Mørk Røkenes
  • Promoting Mental Health in Students - Emily Schulz
  • Conceptualising a project team as a site for networked learning – an exploration of expertise and tacit knowing - Paul Sijpkes
  • Designing for Epistemic Agency - How student groups create knowledge and what helps them do it - Natalie Spence
  • Towards Long Term Goals: Gamified Tangible Internet Connected Goal Buttons - Lie Ming Tang
  • Applying SLOW to ICT-rich education - Mirian Tanti
  • eLearning: Exploring the role of a social network site with learning purposes in the primary classroom - Patricia Thibaut
  • Improving dyslexic students’ reading abilities: the role of hypermedia multimodal texts - Piergiorgio Trevisan
  • Traces on the Walls and Traces in the Air (Drawings and Gestures in Educational Design Team Meetings) - Dewa Wardak
  • Personal hypothesis evaluation based on ubicomp sensors using pervasive displays - Farahnaz Yekeh
  • The problem with noise, or the NOISE in the problem? - Pippa Yeoman
  • A Mobile App in the 1st Year Uni-Life: A Pilot Study - Yu Zhao


Title Chairs Timeslot
Personalised Education: Where to Start and in Which Direction Abelardo Pardo, Kalina Yacef, Tim Shaw, Kathryn Bartimote-Aufflick 12.30-1.15  
Optimising online lectures Jo Lander, Karen Scott 12.30-1.15  
MOOCs at the University of Sydney Bob Kummerfeld, Judy Kay    1.45-2.30
Education as a complex system: Implications for educational research and policy Michael Jacobson    1.45-2.30
Beyond the Flipped Classroom: Theory, Research, and Rubber Hits the Road Phil Poronnik, Michael Jacobson  12.30-1.15  
Educational data mining and learning analytics: Opportunities and pitfalls Lina Markauskaite, Abelardo Pardo, Peter Reimann, Kalina Yacef   1.45-2.30
CampusFlora[at]sydney Rosanne Quinnell  12.30-1.15  
From sage on the stage to guide on the side Manjula Sharma, Helen Georgiou, Matthew Hill   1.45-2.30
Just Ask Charlie: Using an app to support professional learning from student feedback Kate Thomson, Jen Scott Curwood, Martin Tomitsch, Graham Hendry, Andrea Lau, and Liam Moy   1.45-2.30
Visit to the Educational Design Research Studio (EDRS) Peter Goodyear, Roberto Martinez-Maldonado & Martin Parisio 12.30-1.15  

Closing plenary - Learning Analytics: Critical Issues, by Professor Simon Buckingham Shum

The closing plenary was Learning Analytics: Critical Issues and presented by Simon Buckingham Shum, Professor of Learning Informatics and director of the Connected Intelligence Centre at the University of Technology, Sydney. Slides of the keynote are available online at

Education is about to experience a data tsunami from online trace data (VLEs; MOOCs; Quantified Self) integrated with conventional educational datasets. This requires new kinds of analytics to make sense of this new resource, which in turn asks us to reflect deeply on what kinds of learning we value. We can choose to know more than ever about learners and teachers, but like any modelling technology or accounting system, analytics do not passively describe sociotechnical reality: they begin to shape it. What realities do we want analytics to perpetuate, or bring into being? Can we talk about analytics in the same breath as the deepest values that a wholistic educational experience should nurture? Could analytics become an ally for those who want to shift assessment regimes towards valuing the qualities that many now regard as critical to thriving in the ‘age of complexity’?

Want to get involved next year?

  • Come along on the day! We welcome everyone to come along and view the posters, hear our keynote speaker, join in the round-tables, share ideas over lunch, and vote for the best poster.
  • Present your work. Posters outlining research at any stage are welcome as are demonstrations of new technologies where they can be accommodated. Share your ideas and benefit from colleagues' feedback and participate in the Best Research Poster competition.
  • Chair a Roundtable. Have a favourite topic in technology-supported learning? Roundtables are a unique opportunity to engage in discussion and enquiry with experts and practitioners in a particular ICT and learning interest area.

Research Fest 2013

The 2013 Research Fest was held on Thursday, 7. November 2013, from 10am to 4pm, in the IT and PNR Buildings of the University of Sydney. It was a free event, open to all researchers and practitioners in the field of sciences and technologies of learning, with 150 registered participants from various institutions.

fest sessions

Guest Talk

In the morning, a very informative and interesting lecture-theatre talk on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) was given by A/Prof Bob Kummerfeld. Find out more about the talk, Make it so number one - Where are SPOCs taking us?, and the speaker.

Research Poster Showcase

After the talk, participants enjoyed morning tea while attending the Research Poster Showcase where they could catch up on various research innovations in sciences and technologies of learning. The session included a diverse showcase of postgraduate research, small projects, collaborative work, and government-funded research. Not only completed projects, but also many works-in-progress were presented.

Below is a list of posters that were presented at the Fest, with the winners of our Best Poster Awards on top. While all participants were just voting for their "favourite" poster (People's Choice), in a separate award (Judges' Choice), the criteria included relevance to the field and significance; quality of research; clear and concise visual presentation; as well as how interesting and engaging each poster appeared.

  • Asynchronous Interactions and Learning on Edmodo: Unpacking Situated Cognition in a Blended Primary Classroom by: Patricia Thibaut, CoCo ( - Best Poster (Judges' Choice)
  • mStories: Exploring New Literacies of Adult Mobile Creative Practice by: Jessica Frawley, School of Software, UTS ( - Best Poster Runner-Up (Judges' Choice)
  • Orchestration in Ubiquitous and Pervasive Environments by: Andrew Clayphan & Roberto Martinez-Maldonaldo, CHAI ( - Best Poster (People's Choice, equal first)
  • Web 2.0 in Education - Challenges for Teachers by: Nina Bonderup, Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark & CoCo's Visiting Scholar ( - Best Poster (People's Choice, equal first)


  • Developing Self-regulated Readers in Online Distance Education: The
    Case of Educational Reading Groups
    by: Panos Vlachopoulos, Learning and Teaching Centre, Macquarie University (
  • Reading Game: Engaging Learners to Become Question-Makers Rather Than Question-Takers by Getting Feedback, Making Friends and Having Fun by: Robert Parker, Learning and Teaching Centre, Macquarie University & Kira Westaway, Department of Environment & Geography, Macquarie (
  • VIZBIplus – Visualising the Future of Biomedicine by: Kate Patterson, Visual Science Communication/Biomedical Animation, Garvan Institute of Medical Research (
  • Guided Self-management of Videos and Animations through Pacing and Sequencing Strategies by: George Hatsidimitris, School of Physics, UNSW (
  • Reinforcing and Enhancing Active Learning with Multimedia (REALM): A Collaborative Project Between the University of Delhi and the University of NSW by: George Hatsidimitris, School of Physics, UNSW (
  • Mapping Students' Online Assessment Preferences by: Negin Mirriahi, Dennis Alonzo & Margot McNeill, Learning and Teaching Unit, UNSW (
  • A Learning Portfolios Approach to Academic Development by: Belinda Allen, Learning and Teaching Unit, UNSW (
  • iQ: An Intelligent Laboratory Queue Management System by: Charlie Choi, David Choi & Nonie Politi, School of Electrical Engineering, UNSW (
  • Highlighting Heutagogy in Self-directional Online Resources for Professional Learning by: Maria Northcote, Faculty of Education, Business and Science, Avondale College of Higher Education (
  • Interface Design for Learning: Multimedia Design Strategies for Learning Experiences by: Dorian Peters, Faculty of Education & Social Work, Sydney (
  • Getting the Point: Tracing Worked Examples Aids Maths Learning by: Agnes Hu, Faculty of Education & Social Work, Sydney (
  • Are We Learning from Our Labs? Adding Contextual Information to a Remote Laboratory in a Virtual World to Help Students Learn by: Tania Machet, School of IT, Sydney (
  • Driving Curriculum and Technological Change to Support Writing in the Engineering Disciplines by: Sazzad Hussain, Latte (
  • Software Platform Development for Data Mining Tutoring System Logs to Track Learning Activities and Behavior by: Sazzad Hussain, Latte (
  • Intelligent Diabetes Lifestyle Coach by: Hamed Monkaresi, Latte (
  • GSR and Blink Features for Cognitive Load Classification by: Nargess Nourbakhsh, Latte (
  • TransitionMate: A Mobile Application for Chronic Illness Transition Support by: Yu Zhao, Latte (
  • Moderator Assistant: Helping Online Health Support Group by: Ming Liu & Rafael Calvo, Latte (
  • A Software Framework for Evaluating Internet Wellbeing Interventions by: Alexey Latyshev, Latte (
  • Learning How to Tackle Long Term Goals by Testing Personal Hypotheses by: Farahnaz Yekeh, CHAI (
  • Well-Met: For Small Groups Working on Long Term Projects by: Christopher Ackad, CHAI (
  • Goals as Foundations for Self Regulated Learning Based on Ubicomp Sensor Data by: Debjanee Barua, CHAI (
  • Distance Synchronous Online Learning: What Are Students Up To on the Other Side of the Screen? by: Janica Nordstrom, CoCo (
  • Educational Design and Autonomy by: Martin Parisio, CoCo (
  • Multimodal Systems of Representations in Educational Design Team Meetings by: Dewa Wardak, CoCo (
  • Inclusive Networked Learning: Designing for Adult Literacy Education by: Ana Pinto, CoCo (
  • School Students' Socio-scientific Thinking: Activating 'Sustainable' Mental Resources by: David Ashe, CoCo (
  • Scholar-Researcher-Teacher: Turning the Learning Sciences Towards Academic Work by: Melinda Lewis, CoCo (
  • Designing for Epistemic Agency: How Student Groups Create Knowledge and What Helps Them Do It by: Natalie Spence, CoCo (
  • Material Entanglement: Learning Activity and the Setting in which It Occurs by: Pippa Yeoman, CoCo (
  • Teachers' Conceptions of ICT Enhanced Teaching: Vocational Education Context by: Shahadat Khan, CoCo (
  • A Perceptual Embodied Approach for Learning Nanotechnology by: Polly Lai, CoCo (
  • Reflective Designers: The Role of Student-to-student Learning of Academic Skills through a Scaffolded Learning Environment by: Jock Boyd, MLS&T, CoCo (
  • Unfolding Professional Identity Practices of Engineering Students by: Maryam Khosronejad, CoCo (
  • TPACK in Pieces: A New Dimension to Understand Teachers' Knowledge by: Shaista Bibi, CoCo (
  • Blended Learning: Integrating Asynchronous Online Discussion into Face-to-face Arabic Reading Classes by: Yahya Qenaey, CoCo (
  • Let’s Fast Track the Slow Times: Applying a Slow Philosophy to ICT-rich Education by: Miriam Tanti, CoCo (

Interactive Parallel Sessions

These Interactive Sessions in breakout rooms (with 15-30 participants) were a unique opportunity to engage in discussion and enquiry with researchers and practitioners in a particular interest area. Each session was designed and chaired by a group of experts who have particular experience and interest in the chosen theme. The formats included workshops, panels, technology demos, and others; all sessions were engaging, interactive, and informative within the sciences and technologies of learning theme.

Below is a list of the sessions; you can also read more about each session.

Interactive Parallel Sessions - Round 1 (before lunch)
  • Closing the Analytics Loop: Designing Learning Tasks with Embedded Learning Analytics by: Abelardo Pardo and Kate Thompson (contact:
  • Exploiting Data to Improve Professional Practice: Introducing MySatNav for Professional Development by: Tim Shaw, Judy Kay, Manju Sharma, and Janette Bobis (contact:
  • Positive Computing - Technology to Foster Psychological Wellbeing in Schools by: Rafael A. Calvo, Felicia Huppert, Sarah Jackson, and Dorian Peters (contact:
  • Evaluation of the New Learning Spaces in the Charles Perkins Centre (CPC) by: Tina Hinton*, Philip Poronnik, Martin Parisio, Lucila Carvalho, and Pippa Yeoman (contact:; *Tina is organising the session but not able to attend)
  • Blended Synchronous Learning: Uniting On-campus and Distributed Learners Using Media-rich Real-time Collaboration Tools - Part 1 by: Matt Bower (contact:
Interactive Parallel Sessions - Round 2 (after lunch)
  • Workshop on Developing the Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) Proposals (Projects & Fellowships) by: Manju Sharma, Abelardo Pardo, Siobhan Lenihan, Helen Drury, Alison Kuiper, Philip Poronnik, and Rafael A. Calvo (contact:
  • Architectures of Productive Learning Networks by: Peter Goodyear and Lucila Carvalho (contact:
  • Classroom Orchestration: Building a Bridge between HCI and the Learning Science by: Judy Kay, Roberto Martinez-Maldonado, Pippa Yeoman, and Andrew Clayphan (contact:
  • Learning Challenging Scientific Knowledge with Virtual Worlds and Computational Modelling Technologies in Australian schools: Interactive Demonstrations and Preliminary Research Results by: Michael Jacobson, Lina Markauskaite, and Charlotte Taylor (contact:
  • Blended Synchronous Learning: Uniting On-campus and Distributed Learners Using Media-rich Real-time Collaboration Tools - Part 2 by: Matt Bower (contact:

Please direct any questions about the event to Dr Agnieszka Bachfischer (