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Welcome to this week's installment of LSW. There's a lot to cover - let's get started!

Learning Science + Analytics

Large data sets tracking learners’ every move are at our fingertips, but what do we do with that data? The answer, according to most people: build a dashboard. Seems simple, right? Not so fast. Building dashboards that only show learners their performance indicators miss an opportunity to contribute to learners’ motivation and engagement, according to a new article. These traditional dashboards also lack theoretical support grounded in the learning sciences. What does this mean? We're not sure yet, but we’ll keep digging into this topic and bring more to you next week. Thanks to reader Jim S. for the suggestion.

Key Takeaway: There’s more to learn, but the authors suggest that learner-facing dashboards should do more than simply show a learner their progress in a specific course.

Read More: Sedrakyan, G., Malmberg, J., Verbert, K., Järvelä, S., & Kirschner, P.A. (2020). Linking learning behavior analytics and learning science concepts: Designing a learning analytics dashboard for feedback to support learning regulation. Computers in Human Behavior, 107.

What We’re Watching

We’re finally catching up on Bror Saxberg’s 2018 keynote, “A Transformation to Learning Engineering,” given as part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Simon Initiative Distinguished Lecture series. It’s an hour of your life that you’ll be happy you spent with Saxberg, who’s the VP of learning science at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.‍

Blast from the Past(ish)

Speaking of Saxberg, we’re digging up an article, also from 2018, that he co-wrote with Richard E. Clark on motivation. In it, they present the Belief-Expectancy-Control (BEC) Framework, which identifies four factors related to motivation (values, self-efficacy, emotions, and attribution errors). Clark & Saxberg review ways to identify motivation problems in learners and present solutions to common issues like procrastination.

Key Takeaway: Too many to pick just one. This is a rich paper worthy of downloading (plus, it’s open access!).

Read More: Clark, R.E. & Saxberg, B. (2018). Engineering motivation using the Belief-Expectancy-Control framework. Interdisciplinary Education and Psychology, 2(1).

Mark Your Calendars

It’s time to register for Learning @ Scale, the conference investigating “large-scale, technology-mediated environments.” This year’s event will be held online August 12-14. We’re excited to hear how Dr. Katie Davis will weave together My Little Pony and learning science in her keynote address (we’re hoping Twilight Sparkle will make an appearance). Register today:


Our thanks to Peter Shea (founder of the Instructional Designers in Education Facebook group) for his time this week! It was great chatting with you!

Pets of Learning Science Weekly

Say hello to hunter Roscoe Dean Coltrane, who is longing to hide in the hostas and wait for his next meal. Thanks, Robyn D.!

Send us your pet pics!

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.

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