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We wanted to thank everyone who responded to Juli’s call for feedback. We’re happy to hear your thoughts -- send ‘em on over to

Online Diversity Training: Effective, or Not?

In short: not really. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania conducted a large field study to identify whether the traditional online diversity training offered by many organizations improves attitudes and behaviors toward women and racial minorities. Their results suggest that “the one-off diversity trainings that are commonplace in organizations are not panaceas for remedying bias in the workplace.”

Key Takeaway: The researchers suggest that organizations should invest in “more effortful interventions” to change employee attitudes and behaviors. One suggestion: Investing in the recruitment of women and minorities, especially into leadership positions.

Read More (Open Access): Chang, E.H., Milkman, K.L., Gromet, D.M., Rebele, R.W., Massey, C., Duckworth, A.L., & Grant, A.M. (2019). The mixed effects of online diversity training. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116 (16), 7778-7783.

Student Feature: Sreecharan Sankaranarayanan

This week we’re featuring Sreecharan Sankaranarayanan, who’s a 5th year Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University's Language Technologies Institute. Sree's research focuses on the use of conversational agents to support group-work in online learning contexts (check out his recent article here). As a part of the Technology for Effective and Efficient Learning lab, his work has been applied to project courses offered to several hundred students each semester at CMU and its worldwide branch campuses. As the co-director of Discussion Affordances for Natural Collaborative Exchange, his prior work, in partnership with edX, brought conversational agent-based support to several thousand students online. He currently serves as the Founder and Co-Chair of the International Learning Sciences Student Association (ILSSA), a committee of the International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS) for students of the learning sciences.

We’re excited to feature students doing innovative research in learning science. Do you know someone we should feature? Send us their info:

We’re Excited for…

...the Futures Forum on Learning, July 20-21. This event “brings together leaders in global education and edtech to discuss critical areas of need and opportunity.” The conference focuses on K-12 learning, but we’re excited for sessions like “How Learning Engineering Can Help Test & Scale What Works During the Pandemic.” Register today:

Pay Attention!

We thought we’d bring you something a little different this week: an article from the Harvard Business Review that you (like us) may have missed. Companies spend billions of dollars on training and development in the United States alone, but precious little time or money is spent on preparing the mind of the learner. How can we encourage learners to pay attention during corporate training sessions? The authors suggest leveraging mindfulness and minimizing distractions.

Key Takeaway: Research shows that when people get distracted, it can take nearly 30 minutes for them to (mentally) come back to what they were doing.

Read More: Carter, J., Varma, R., & Hougaard, R. (2019). How to get people to pay attention during corporate trainings. Harvard Business Review.

‍Pets of Learning Science Weekly

Say hi to Maya, Miko, and Mia, the cutest trio of kittens ever! Thanks, Jonathan C.!

Send us your pet pics at

Wondering why we’re including animal photos in a learning science newsletter? It may seem weird, we admit. But we’re banking on the baby schema effect and the “power of Kawaii.” So, send us your cute pet pics -- you’re helping us all learn better!

The LSW Crew

Learning Science Weekly is edited by Julia Huprich, Ph.D. Our head of growth and community is Julieta Cygiel.

Have something to share? Want to see something in next week's issue? Send your suggestions: