Early Careers Workshop

ICLS 2018: Rethinking Learning in the Digital Age: Making the Learning Sciences Count Early Career Workshop

The purpose of the ICLS Early Career Workshop Consortium is to provide a high quality learning and networking opportunity for early career researchers in the learning sciences by:
• Defining innovative and productive programs of research that lead toward an impressive record of inquiry;
• Focusing learning on high-yield professional activities such as grant-writing, peer editing, networking and building a publishing trajectory;
• Supporting strong data analysis skills and evidence-based arguments in their research projects; and
• Identifying repertoires of practice essential to forming research collaborations and maintaining strong partnerships with educators, policy makers and communities.

The ICLS Early Career Workshop will involve a 2 day event on June 23-24 2018, just prior to the 2018 ICLS conference in London. Early Career Scholars will be chosen through a competitive application process for participation.

The Workshop will be led by Erica Halverson (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Rich Halverson (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Eduardo Guzmán (Universidad de Málaga). Early Career Scholars will interact with senior colleagues from around the world in engaging and relevant collaborative learning and design activities.

The Workshop is open to scholars within 5 years of achieving their PhD in Learning Science related studies. Applications are due on February 1, 2018. (See below for more details about the application process).

The Learning Sciences
The Learning Sciences is an interdisciplinary field that draws on multiple theoretical perspectives and research paradigms with the goal of advancing knowledge and application of knowledge about human learning and development in formal and informal educational settings. Researchers in the learning sciences attempt to understand the nature and conditions of learning, cognition, development, and related areas of human performance, and they investigate cognition in its material, social, and cultural contexts.

The learning sciences have profoundly influenced how researchers conceptualize and study learning with technology and create cyber-infrastructures to enable innovative designs, practices, and assessments of learning. Insights and perspectives of the field are reflected in consensus recommendations for improving STEM education with the support of new technology (e.g., recent reports of NRC) and in new standards for mathematics and science. Learning scientists are also more and more engaged in efforts to support systemic change that reflects a “learning perspective” on the challenges of reform.

The International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS) is the principal disciplinary organization serving this research community. The ISLS sponsors two major journals: The Journal of the Learning Sciences (JLS) and International Journal of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (iJCSCL). The Society also sponsors two conferences in alternating years: the International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) and the International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS). Both of these conferences have become truly worldwide with CSCL being hosted in Europe since 2002 (Maastricht, Bergen in 2003, Rhodes in 2009, Gothenburg in 2015), and in Asia (Taiwan in 2005 and Hong Kong in 2011). ICLS’s maiden international conference was held in Utrecht, The Netherlands in 2008, followed by ICLS 2012 in Australia. The National Science Foundation has provided funding for the ICLS conference since 1991, and for the Doctoral Consortium and Early Career workshops in particular since 2000, most recently at CSCL 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania supporting the participation of a generation of young scholars in the two programs.

The ICLS 2018 Early Career Workshop
The Early Career Workshop is intended to provide an opportunity for researchers who have already completed their PhD programs in Learning Science-related areas, to discuss their research programs and career trajectories with peers and senior researchers in the field. Most applicants will be young researchers in post-doctoral positions or in the early years of positions at universities, informal learning institutions or research laboratories.

Early Career Workshop Objectives

Two objectives underpin the organization and selection of activities for the Early Career workshop:

  1. Fostering community building at two levels:
    a) among the cohort of early career researchers; and
    b) between early career researchers, doctoral consortium participants, and senior researchers in order to develop academic, professional, and personal support networks
  2. Deepening participants’ understandings of the elements of successful academic and professional development, including the building of a research program, requirements for tenure and other professional benchmarks, pointers for grant proposal and journal writing, mentoring graduate students, preparation for multidisciplinary and multi-cultural collaborations, and negotiating a balance among institutional service, academic writing, and teaching.

Early Career Workshop Activities

Before the workshop:

  1. Interaction with assigned faculty mentors to communicate research interests and career goals and identify discussion topics.
  2. Preparation of a short (5 min) multimedia pitch describing their current research that focuses on key ideas, innovative methods, important findings and exciting new avenues for inquiry.

Main workshop activities include:

  1. Sharing current research. Early Career Scholars will present their short talks to all participants and faculty mentors who will provide feedback. Participants will be invited to address those aspects of their research that could be intriguing problems for the Learning Sciences generally, or could be issues other young researchers are likely to be confronting, or issues with the potential for stimulating discussions of methodological and theoretical importance.
  2. Grant-writing workshop. The first day of the workshop will focus on a collaborative brainstorming and writing activities that will invite Early Career Scholars to critically evaluate a Request for Proposal, design a collaborative research plan, develop a multimedia presentation and share it for critique by senior scholars.
  3. Small group career path consultancies. Prior to the workshop in their application, participants will be asked to list areas of academic life that they would like in-depth discussion and advice on. Based on the topics, mentors will be sought to coach and give advice. Participants will also have an opportunity to change or add more topics as they hear from other participants in the workshop. Parallel sessions will be held with small groups. Depending on demand, small groups may rotate to different topics.
  4. Meeting with Journal Editors. Editors from several learning sciences journals including JLS, ijCSCL, and Cognition and Instruction will be invited to participate in an interactive discussion with participants. Prior to the presentation, participants will be asked to list a few topics and/or studies that they can envision submitting to the journals. Participants will then have a chance to discuss their ideas with the editors in small groups for feedback.

In addition, there will be frequent opportunities built into the day for group and individual consultation and networking between Early Career Scholars as well as will Doctoral Consortium Scholars and senior colleagues.

How to Apply

All applications are due on February 1, 2018.
Decisions on acceptance will be made before March 1, 2018.

Applicants will write an e-mail message to ICLSECW2018@gmail.com that should include links to:

  1. a description of your research and/or specialization, career objectives, and motivation to participate (2 page max)
  2. an abstract of your thesis;
  3. your current CV;
  4. a letter of recommendation from someone who can speak to your potential as scholar; and
  5. your most interesting piece of research-related work (this could be a published research paper, a program you wrote, a website, a video-game you designed, a video of an experiment or workshop you conducted, etc.).

When submitting your materials, please include APPLICATION to the ICLS 2018 Early Career Workshop in the subject line of your application. Please direct questions and submit application materials to: ICLSECW2018@gmail.com.

The participants for the workshop will be drawn from doctoral students and early career researchers in universities from among the more than 30 programs across the globe, as well as from researchers in non-profit organizations, museums and other informal learning organizations. Emphasis will be placed on forming diverse groups of participants whose doctoral work or early career research is in a stage that can best benefit from the workshops.

Applications will be reviewed with the goal of selecting participants who reflect individual excellence, interesting projects, and motivation while at the same time contributing to the workshop objectives and the aggregate diversity of the cohort.

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