Learning Sciences Conference

By Ellen Glover

Friday, September 1, 2017

Indiana University’s Learning Sciences graduate students will be hosting the second annual Learning Sciences Graduate Student Conference, a two-day-long symposium featuring some of the best work this field’s various programs have to offer. The event aims to promote networking among the Learning Sciences community and provide a space for both graduate students and faculty to exchange ideas through their research. 
This program doesn’t just involve IU students. The school’s Learning Sciences division has teamed up with those at four other universities – University of Illinois at Chicago, Northwestern University, Vanderbilt University and University of Wisconsin-Madison – to form the committee that puts on this event every year. Additionally, the conference organizers have partnered with CEWIT to provide additional programming and promotion.
 More than 50 research projects –  all at various stages of completion – have been submitted this year and will be featured in poster presentations. The students will be representing more than 12 institutions.

“There is no formal process, no winner,” says conference host Chris Georgen, a doctoral candidate at IU’s Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology. “The poster presentations are interactive and informal. We encouraged students to submit works in progress so they can get feedback from professors with experience.”
Along with the poster presentations, the event will also offer lectures, roundtable discussions, faculty panels and two key note speakers who will explore this year’s conference theme: the role of women in Learning Sciences. To do this, the committee invited CEWiT Faculty Leadership Advisory Councilmember Kylie Peppler, an award-winning associate professor of Learning Sciences and director of the Creativity Labs here at IU, and Susan Yoon another award-winning professor in the University of Pennsylvania’s Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Division.
“The theme is important to me because I am a woman, so all of the information these women have to give will be interesting to me,” says Anna Keuen, who is hosting the event alongside Georgen and is also working on a doctoral degree in IU’s Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology. “But even more than that, the conference is a great way for students to create a support structure outside of the university. It’s a good way for students to get to know each other but it serves the university as well. It’s a chance to get potential candidates.”

“It’s easy to get siloed into a small department,” adds Georgen. “As graduate students, we are forming the voice of the next generation in Learning Sciences. We have to figure out how to find our voice and remain true to our field but also push it in new directions.”
“And the best way to do that is get people together to talk about it,” says Keunen.   
The Learning Sciences Graduate Student Conference will be held on October 19 and 20 in both the IU School of Education and IU Social Science Research Commons in Woodburn Hall. It is strongly encouraged that both faculty and graduate students attend and give feedback to their fellow Learning Sciences researchers. Find out more about the event at their website: http://www.lsgsconference.com/.