The Third Annual Meeting of the International Society of the Learning Sciences

Conference theme: Building knowledge and sustaining our community

June 13–17, 2023 • Montréal, QC, Canada

The third Annual Meeting of the International Society of the Learning Sciences once again brings together the Learning Sciences community as a whole by combining its two conference programs: the Learning Sciences (ICLS) and Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL). This annual meeting’s theme is “Building Knowledge and Sustaining our Community”, with the goal of engaging our community deeply in the time periods before, during and after the annual meeting. Building on the previous three years of remote, virtual conferences, we are excited to return to and improve on the traditional retreat experience of in-person programs. We recognize the value of in-person presentations, learning, networking, mentoring, and knowledge-building in these meetings, while valuing the affordances of online for inclusion and accessibility. Therefore, this annual meeting will promote an in-person conference experience, with presenters in physical attendance, while adding some capacity for interactive remote participation, and accommodations for presenters who are unable or choose not to travel.

Responding to our Changing Times

In this annual meeting, we expect that papers will explore the many unfolding educational and social movements, as well as the new roles and practices for technology and distributed communities that have evolved rapidly over recent years. Despite the growing opportunities for digital and social media for knowledge building among teachers, learners and researchers, there remains a need for theoretical and practical advances in the learning sciences, to support such moves. For example, while a move to online learning has been argued to be more inclusive for many learners, it has also been shown to disadvantage many others. Similarly, while the move to online work has liberated many from the drudgery of commuting and allowed freedom of location, the loss of close personal contact and emplaced work practices has raised new challenges for the efficacy of work and well being of workers. These same movements raise challenges for the ISLS and other academic societies, and more generally in our lived experience of academic research and practice. Hence, the ISLS itself will benefit from a deeper understanding of these rapid social changes. The ISLS is evolving rapidly, along with the rest of the world, making it all the more critical that we maintain our organizational identity, reinforce our connections and build knowledge within and beyond our community.

With regard to the annual meeting, we recognize the evolution of such events, both within the ISLS and in various other meetings that many of us attend (e.g., AERA, LAK, EDM, EARLI, etc). There has been an interest in changing these events, even before the pandemic, as “standard talk session formats” were seen as anachronistic modes of knowledge sharing. As the local organizing committee for this year’s event, we felt it would be ill-advised to advance any dramatic new forms of engagement without substantial community discourse. Hence, we have organized a series of ChangeLab workshops that will engage a spectrum of voices from the ISLS in formative discussions that provide recommendations and strategic directions for annual meetings, going forward.

Supporting Community

This year’s annual meeting will be the first time the ISLS community will gather face-to-face in the joint assemblies of the ICLS and CSCL conferences. We recognize the importance of celebrating the distinct identities and characters of these two professional communities that exist within ISLS, and supporting their ongoing efforts to establish and maintain clear identities within the broader ISLS community. For example, the Local Organizing Committee will work with the CSCL and ICLS Conference committees to support two distinct conference programs, but also to create opportunities for those who identify more with one of these conferences to convene and support their own community process. As in the past two years, we will support distinct submissions for the two conferences, each with its own distinct conference program and published proceedings. What is more, we are also making efforts to include professional tracks within these conferences that allow professionals to connect with each other as well as across research and professional communities.

New Roles for Technology in Knowledge Building and Community

In this year’s annual meeting, we envision a deeper role for technology to support a more substantive, connected and coherent level of discourse within the community, including dynamic exchange of resources. These resources might include research materials, tools, instruments or assessments, as well as knowledge building activities around emergent issues that intersect with our community (e.g. pandemics, politics, social justice and other issues). Working in collaboration with the conference committee and various sub-committees (e.g., workshops, early career, doctoral consortium) we will add a technology-mediated experience for participants in the months leading up to the meeting, using the isls.org web site and other technological environments. In the weeks leading up to the annual meeting, during the meeting itself, and in the weeks following, we will use technologies to coordinate events, support asynchronous online participation, and document our activities. The Local Organizing Committee and Program Committees will continue to update ISLS membership about this exciting new dimension of the annual meeting.

This year, we will return to a face-to-face mode, but will add some pathways for people to participate remotely. We understand that traveling to the meeting is not an option available to all our members, for a variety of reasons. Continuing the ISLS’ efforts to be more inclusive, we will offer some ways for remote participation that do not rely heavily on high connectivity, for example sending in recorded talks, live streaming of keynotes, and participation in asynchronous activities. In these ways, we aim to engage remote audiences of participants while preserving the face-to-face character of the meeting. We will experiment with innovative formats for the keynote talks, which expand their context to include longer time periods before and after for community knowledge building. We also invite submissions for innovative symposia formats that specifically support the organization of interactive sessions that expand the engagement of remote participants while preserving the face-to-face character of the conferences. Such formats might include symposia that feature synchronous engagement of co-present participants while building upon work done by participants in pre- or post- asynchronous sessions. Lastly, we invite submissions for new types of contributions which allow the expression of varied scientific work and for creativity in presenting scientific work and other work relevant to our Society.

Submission Instructions

Deadlines

  • Full Papers, Short Papers, Posters, Practice-oriented Papers, Technology Innovation Papers, Symposia: 4 November 2022, 23:59 US Pacific Time (PST)
  • Interactive Tools and Demos, Pre-conference Workshops, Tutorials: 9 December 2022, 23:59 US Pacific Time (PST)

General guidelines

  • Templates and more detailed instructions are available on the conference website.
  • The page limits below include references.

Submission formats

  • Research papers
    • Full Research Papers
    • Short Research Papers
    • Research Posters
    • Symposia
  • Practice-oriented Papers (NEW!)
  • Technology Innovation Papers
  • Interactive Tools and Demos
  • Pre-conference Workshops
  • Tutorials

Research Papers and Posters

Research Papers and Posters and should report on potential significance of the work and present relevant scholarly references,

There are three submission types for research papers and posters:

  • Full Research Papers (8 pages): Full papers are for mature work, requiring lengthy explanations of the conceptual background, methodology and data and analysis.
  • Short Research Papers (4 pages): Short papers are for work that makes significant contributions, but that is still in progress, of smaller scale, or that can be reported briefly.
  • Research Posters (2 pages): present work in early stages and for novel and promising ideas. The two page paper should also identify the aspect of the work that will likely lead to productive discussions with conference participants in a poster session, including figures exemplifying the visual support to be provided for these discussions in the actual poster.

Symposia

Symposia comprise a set of completed research papers that are grouped together to convey larger ideas or results about a specific theme or issue. Symposia will ideally address issues of interest to LS and CSCL and align with the theme of the annual meeting. Symposia include between 4-7 papers, grouped together under a theme and including a discussant and a chair.
This year, we offer two presentation formats for symposia: Traditional or Innovative. Both types of Symposia are reviewed under the same criteria as Full Papers, and it is important that each paper synopsis within the symposium includes sufficient detail for reviewers to adjudicate their merits (i.e., as completed research projects). The two presentation formats are:

  • Traditional: 75-minute sessions, with individual presentation and one commentary by a discussant, and a moderated discussion among members of the symposium and the audience. Note: a “structured poster” format is permissible, wherein the presenters are coordinated in sharing more deeply at break-out poster stations.
  • Innovative – NEW!: These are symposia reviewed by the same criteria as traditional, but include more interactive formats, such as asynchronous discussion that allow a wider level of hybrid activity in support all time zones, or to allow for protracted discussion before and after the session. In addition to the established review criteria, innovative submissions must also address (1) proposed engagement of the wider community of ISLS, including online synchronous and asynchronous modes, and (2) proposed engagement of physically co-present participants with the distributed audience.

There are three contribution types to choose from, for research papers, posters and symposia:

  • Empirical contributions that present studies emphasizing the major issue(s) addressed, (c) the theoretical and methodological approach(es) pursued, (d) major findings, conclusions, and (conceptual, empirical, practical) implications. These can include design-based research.
  • Conceptual contributions presenting theoretical elaborations or reviews of the literature.
  • Methodological contributions that develop and/or validate a research method, preferably providing empirical illustrations.

Practice-Oriented Papers and Technology Innovation Papers

In addition to continuing the invitation of Technology Innovations Papers, this year we are introducing Practice-Oriented Paper,which serve to capture work that is led by practitioners and describes implementation or practice.

  • Practice-Oriented Papers (4 pages): This new type of paper describes work that focuses on implementation and aims to demonstrate effective principles of design. These could include results from research-practice partnerships, implementation in school systems, and alternative (e.g., indigenous) ways of generating knowledge. These papers should include the objective(s), what was done/designed, the implementation details, as well as what was learned from the experience and the relevance for others. The work should have had a significant contribution from teams of practitioners, and the lead author should be a practitioner.
  • Technology Innovations Papers (4 pages): this type of submission should describe innovative applications of technology, including learning analytics tools and methods, agent-based systems, and robotics or hardware technologies in educational contexts. These papers should include the goal(s) of the technology, its design principles, references to previous work, what was designed and the relevant details, some initial empirical evidence based on prototype trials (if applicable,) as well as what was learned from the design process. See note below about the difference between Technology Innovations and Interactive Tools and Demos.

Pre-conference Workshops and Tutorials, Interactive Tools and Demos

Workshops, tutorials and demonstrations should focus on themes within the scope of either CSCL or LS. For instance, these events can allow for trying out a technology and/or scenarios, elaborating on conceptual frameworks or discussing research designs.

  • Interactive Tools and Demos (2 pages): present new interactive tools, software or environments that may be potentially interesting for teaching and learning. Submissions should indicate possible applications for learning of your submitted tools or demo.
  • Pre-conference Workshops (4 pages): should be designed as active sessions on a focused issue. Substantial time should be allocated for interaction between participants. NEW! We encourage what we are calling long-tailed workshops that are reviewed by the same criteria as pre-conference workshops but include: (a) a sustained thread of multiple meetings scheduled prior to the conference (i.e., beginning after proposal acceptance that lead up to the conference workshop session), (b) activities following the workshop in the conference (e.g., joint data analysis sessions, continued discussions of research designs) and (c) curation or development of workshop products for publication on the ISLS website.
  • Tutorials (4 pages): should be designed as collaborative (learning) experiences on a topic, technology, design or methodology within CSCL or LS. Tutorials should stimulate active participation and interaction between participants as well. Innovative format submissions are encouraged, provided they are within the scope of a tutorial.

Note: Technology Innovations and Interactive Tools and Demos are different types of contributions. Technology Innovations must include the scholarly work that inspired the innovation, and preferably some initial empirical evidence based on initial prototypes. They are akin to a short research paper, but based on a design, and will be published in the main conference proceedings. Interactive Tools and Demos focus on a technical demonstration to the conference attendees, they will be reviewed based on the relevance and innovativeness of the demo, and could be submitted by researchers, companies, or practitioners. They will be published in the supplemental conference proceedings, alongside with tutorials and workshops.

Important Dates:

  • Full and Short Papers, Posters, Practice-oriented contributions, Technology Innovation, Symposia: 4 November 2022
  • Pre-conference Workshops, Tutorials and Interactive Tools and Demos: 9 December 2022
  • Acceptances announced: 6 February 2023
  • If you have any questions, please contact: [email protected]
  • Further details see: https://2023.isls.org/call-for-papers

Thank You!

We look forward to connecting with you as we plan an in-person program, pending changes to COVID-19 restrictions. Montreal will be welcoming you, with its summer vibe. From June to August, Montreal is the city of festivals including the international Jazz festival, Just-for-Laughs, Formula One grand prix, and more. The city has many attractions such as Old Montreal, the Riverfront, the Plateau, St. Catherine Street, and many lovely neighborhoods with cafes, restaurants, micro-breweries, live music venues and shopping.