Open Science of Learning

In recent years open science has lowered barriers to the flow of information amongst scientists, from scientists to the public, and most radically, has encouraged public input into scientific process, especially in the natural and health sciences. Education on the other hand, must find ways to meet ever-increasing challenges such as the rapidly-changing needs for learning in the information era, the effective integration of constant developments in information technology and new understandings of the human mind. Principled navigation of the myriad educational possibilities might be facilitated by the practices and culture of open science. However, the intersection of educational research and open science is still a rather underexplored area.

Participants in this workshop will investigate how open science and citizen science can serve learning research and innovation. Participants will be invited based on their interest and experience in one or, preferably, both education and open science. As this question is relatively new, the emphasis will be on group discussion, generation of novel research directions and initiatives, and finding points of consensus, rather than on individual lectures. Implementation, scaling up, and policy-making issues, such as convincing administrators and elected officials of the efficacy of new methods, will also be part of discussions.

The main expected outcome of the workshop is a white paper charting avenues for progress in research and practice of open science in learning. The white paper will identify opportunities and outline initiatives that will allow open science and citizen science to help educators and learners in decision-making (e.g., deciding between the large variety of possible educational methods). To rise to this challenge, researchers and educators, including those with experience advocating methods, as well as administrators who frequently face the problem of deciding between methods, will be sought as participants.

The workshop will be conducted with an awareness that learning is attended by varied and strong opinions: special care will be taken to keep discussions friendly and productive. To drive real change, research in education must be aware of the experiences, innovations, concerns and intuitions of educators, students, and policy makers. This is why open and participatory scientific investigations hold special potential in the realm of education.