LIL Faculty Dr. Xiaoran Sun Receives University Research Grant

Xiaoran Sun, assistant professor in the Department Family Social Science, has received a University of Minnesota Grants-in-Aid of Research, Artistry and Scholarship for the project “Examining Teenagers’ Overnight Smartphone Use and Its Implications for Well-Being with High-Intensity Smartphone Data.” During her postdoc at Stanford University, Dr. Sun led the collection of a new, innovative data set as a part of the Human Screenome Project. Now, Dr. Sun will use this data to better understand how teenagers use smartphones overnight and what implications overnight smartphone may have on their well-being. Read more.

LIL Faculty Drs. Varma & Konstan receive President’s Award for Outstanding Service

The President’s Award for Outstanding Service recognizes University of Minnesota faculty for going above and beyond their regular duties to provide exceptional service to the University community.

Dr. Keisha Varma
Dr. Joseph A. Konstan

Dr. Keisha Varma, associate professor in Educational Psychology and associate vice provost for the Office of Equity and Diversity, and Dr. Joseph A. Konstan, professor in Computer Science and Engineering and associate dean for research of the College of Science and Engineering, are 2022 recipients of the prestigious University-wide award.

LIL Postdoc Mengchen Su presents at the Association for Education Finance and Policy Conference

In March, 2022,  Learning Informatics Lab Postdoctoral Associate Mengchen Su presented a study in poster session at the 47th Association for Education Finance and Policy (AEFP) conference (Denver, CO). Her poster, titled “Head or Heart? Revisioning School Accountability for Whole Child development,” builds on the premise that children’s cognitive abilities and emotional and social capabilities are vital for their school and lifelong success. As such, her study examines the relationship between multilayered protective factors (family, school) and adolescents’ academic, social, and emotional well-being. Study results highlight the importance of building a connected, positive community involving both family and school for adolescents to flourish under the Every Student Success Act (ESSA). 

First LIL Research Symposium

The Learning Informatics Lab hosted its inaugural Research Symposium Wednesday, March 16, 2022. Featured research ranged from educational technologies to assess and support online learning, to self-directed learning in game and maker-space contexts. For a full list of research topics and presenters, see here.

Photo credits: Bodong Chen & David DeLiema


PhD Students Xinran Zhu & Hong Shui Win ICCE Best Student Paper Award

Learning Technologies Ph.D. students Xinran Zhu and Hong Shui, along with LIL Co-Director Bodong Chen, won Best Student Paper at the 29th International Conference on Computers in Education. Their paper, Designing Support for Productive Social Interaction and Knowledge Co-construction in Collaborative Annotation, introduces a general scaffolding framework of participation roles to support collaborative learning activities in online classes. A part of the Collaborative Annotation in College Classrooms Project, their study used a web annotation tool, Hypothesis, to pilot the framework in a fully online undergraduate course in Fall 2020. Social network analysis and content analysis of students’ annotation data were conducted to examine how the framework facilitated social interaction and knowledge co-construction in the online class.

Their paper was also nominated for Best Research Paper.

LIL Faculty Chen, Scharber, and DeLiema Awarded NSF Grant

LIL Faculty Bodong Chen, Cassie Scharber, and David DeLiema were awarded an NSF grant to develop a justice-oriented, tech-enhanced learning program that integrates critical data literacies in science and social studies. “DataX: Exploring Justice-Oriented Data Science with Secondary School Students” is a project that aims to help St. Paul Public School students learn how to use data in meaningful and authentic ways. The two-year project will iteratively advance curriculum, a web-based platform, and pedagogical design components of the DataX program.

See the full abstract here.

Co-Director Bodong Chen and PhD Student Basel Hussein present at Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference

Bodong Chen and PhD student Basel Hussein recently presented a study in a workshop at the 11th International Learning Analytics and Knowledge conference. Their paper, titled “Modelling Network Dynamics in Social Annotation,” examines complex network dynamics in collaborative web annotation in an online classroom. Departing from a conceptual exploration of social interaction in web annotation as a mediated process, as well as a dissatisfaction with analytical methods applied to web annotation data, they analyzed student interaction data from a web annotation environment following the Relational Event Modelling approach. Results found several network factors including student activity, reciprocity, annotation popularity, and annotation location playing important roles, while longer annotations were also slightly more likely to attract replies. This study contributes empirical insights into web annotation and calls for future work to investigate mediated social interaction as a dynamic network phenomenon.

View the presentation slides here.

LIL Faculty Bye and Varma Recieve Disciplinary Diversity & Integration Award

Vimal Rao, PhD student in the quantitative methods in education program in the Department of Educational Psychology, Jeffrey Bye, lecturer in the psychological foundations of education program, and Sashank Varma, formerly a professor in the psychological foundations of education program now at Georgia Tech, have been awarded a Disciplinary Diversity & Integration Award by the Cognitive Science Society. The trio are receiving the honor for their paper, “Categorical perception of p-values.”

According to CSS, the Disciplinary Diversity & Integration Award recognizes the best cognitive science research in disciplines that have been traditionally under-represented at its annual conferences and journals. All submissions must include interdisciplinary perspectives and integrative approaches to understanding the human mind. 

See full post

Journal of Learning Sciences names LIL core faculty DeLiema a Reviewer of the Year

Dr. David DeLiema, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and core faculty of the Learning Informatics Lab, has been named a Reviewer of the Year by the Journal of Learning Sciences (JLS). DeLiema was recognized for his timely, thorough reviews and invaluable mentorship to authors. He is one of eight reviewers to receive the honor for 2020.

This award acknowledges Dr. DeLiema’s generous and deeply pedagogical reviews, which promote the best in scholars seeking to disseminate their work and is consistent with what we see in his interactions with students and colleagues.

College of Education and Human Development interim dean Michael Rodriguez explains of the honor.

Read the full article here.