ISLS Annual Meeting 2021

Reflecting the Past and Embracing the Future

Bochum, Germany, June 8-11

Workshops: June 1-7

The ISLS Annual Meeting 2021 will be completely online


Conference T-shirts! Dress the part for the ISLS 2021 Welcome & Opening

Dress to Impress for the ISLS 2021 Welcome & Opening

Grab a shirt to celebrate our new Annual Meeting format and wear it during the ISLS 2021 Welcome & Opening Session!  Money earned from this campaign will go into ISLS 2021 Equitable Access Support.

For Europe: https://www.fabricmerch.com/products/isls-annual-meeting-t-shirt
Campaign closes May 20, so be quick!

For outside of Europe please use https://society6.com/isls2021 to get one of our ISLS 2021 Shirts. This will help reduce long distance shipping. Excited to see you all dressed up!

"Dress for where you want to be, not where you are." -- Bochum ISLS 2021

Important announcements concerning the ISLS Annual Meeting

Dear Members,

ISLS Annual Meeting is rapidly approaching and we would like to remind you of a few important opportunities and deadlines:
ISLS 2021 Early Bird Registration ends on April 30.
Preliminary ISLS 2021 Online Event Schedule is online: https://2021.isls.org/online-event-schedule/
Please sign up for Pre-Conference Workshops & Tutorials: https://2021.isls.org/preconference-workshops/
If you are a senior researcher please sign up to be a mentor for Coffee & Chats with Professors at ISLS 2021: https://www.isls.org/news/senior-scholars-please-sign-up-to-be-mentors-coffee-and-chats-with-professors-at-isls2021/
Poster Presenters will be the first to sign in to our ISLS 2021 Online Event, starting May 1st. They will prepare their Virtual Poster Exhibits so that everything is ready once all attendees sign in starting from May 10
Look out for our ISLS 2021-Shirt Campaign on Twitter next week!
Greetings from the ISLS 2021 Organizing Team!

"Senior" scholars please sign up to be mentors--Coffee and Chats with Professors at ISLS 2021

Dear colleagues,

The Education Committee and ILSSA (students association) are planning a joint venture during the ISLS Annual Meeting 2021 that will involve a series of ‘Chats and Coffee with Professors’ mentoring opportunities. These will be informal meet-ups between our junior colleagues (graduate students, postdoc researchers) and experienced researchers with the aim of helping rising scholars better understand how to build a research career, navigate the academic context, build academic networks, and manage work-life balance.

We will organize two 30-minutes, moderated group sessions, during fixed time-slots at the conference (see below), during which 1-2 senior researchers will meet with 15 junior colleagues. These two slots are scheduled with different time zones in mind. In addition, we will also facilitate one-to-one meet-ups between experienced and junior researchers for shorter 15-20 minute conversations. These meet-ups don’t have a fixed time; we will facilitate introductions and the two participants can then decide together when to meet.

We invite the experienced colleagues in our community to express interest in participating in these conversations with junior researchers. Please, indicate whether you are willing and available to participate as a senior scholar by using the alternatives provided in this survey-- rebrand.ly/coffee-and-chats

Thank you for your interest!

The Education Committee and ILSSA

Equitable access to participate in the ISLS Annual Meeting 2021

Dear ISLS Members

We understand that many people around the world are facing financial challenges right now. Therefore, the ISLS has made additional funds available to support individuals facing financial hardship to enable equitable access to our ISLS Annual Meeting 2021. The support funds from ISLS will cover the costs of conference registration, and if needed, one-time coverage of 2021 membership dues. The request can be made by individuals who have an accepted contribution to any of the conference categories (paper, poster, symposium, pre-conference workshop proposal, interactive tools & demos proposal) and who would not have anyone available to present without added financial support. 

Our hope is that any members who can will use institutional or project funds first. These support funds are intended to minimize personal financial burdens rather than institutional (e.g., university) ones. Please be aware that membership dues are used to subsidize these annual meeting registrations. 


If there are other specific circumstances or concerns, please contact [email protected] so we can explore best options to enable equitable participation.

ISLS 2021 - Program Overview Available Now
Dear ISLS Members,

Please join us for the ISLS Annual Meeting 2021. The online conference will bring together CSCL and the LS Communities to spark collaboration and facilitate networking. Take a look at the program overview of the main conference to get a first glimpse of the session structure of ISLS 2021.


This year’s conference organizing committee did their very best to set up the program schedule in a way that allows participants from around the globe to participate in both scholarly sessions as well as social networking events and to enable interaction across time zones as much as possible in order to retain the international character of our conference that we all value so much.

The main conference program includes:
  • First-class keynote speeches on highly relevant and central topics in our field.
  • Multi-Track CSCL and LS live stream paper sessions, symposia and interactive demos over 4 conference days.
  • Engaging live with poster presenters and their virtual poster exhibits before and during our poster sessions
  • Networking opportunities with peers and leading researchers in the field during senior expert meet-ups, research speed-dating sessions, and theme-based discussions via a community board
  • Breaks “Meet & Chill” with virtual meals, meditation, shared cooking etc.
  • Social events promoting rich community experiences, virtual engagements incl. games; dance and everything else you love about conferences.
  • Prestigious Best Paper Awards in three categories, including the “Naomi Miyake Award” for the Best Student Paper and a Best Poster Competition

The pre-conference program (available soon) includes:
  • Pre-conference workshops
  • Mentoring and support throughout different academic career phases (Doctoral Consortium, Early Career Workshop, Mid-Career Workshop).
With so much to look forward to, we hope you will join us for the first ever combined ISLS 2021 conference from Bochum.

Regards from the ISLS 2021 Local Organizing Team
ISLS 2021 Scholarship Announcement

This year, ISLS is offering a limited number of scholarships using funds from the Wallace Foundation and ISLS to support students and scholars who otherwise would not be able to attend the ISLS Annual Meeting 2021 (June 7 - 11, 2021), held online. For students, the scholarships will cover early registration costs (and if needed, annual student-rate membership dues for 2021). For faculty, postdocs, and other postgraduate researchers, the scholarships will only cover early registration costs. These scholarship funds are intended to assist individuals facing financial challenges (particularly from historically underrepresented populations) this year and to broaden participation in the learning sciences community. Please share this announcement with colleagues, peers, and students who may be interested in attending ISLS 2021.

For more information, please visit:  https://2021.isls.org/scholarships/
Conference registration fees or membership dues that have already been paid cannot be reimbursed through scholarship funds.
Review process: Applications will be reviewed and evaluated by the ISLS Membership Committee in the order that they are received. For any questions or other extenuating circumstances requiring financial support to participate in this year’s conference, please write to the Membership Committee Co-Chair Toshio Mochizuki (tmochi [at] mochi-lab.net)

Rationale for Registration Fees ISLS Annual Meeting 2021

Dear CSCL & LS Community,

We hope you are all doing well during these difficult times and hopefully we can soon see the light at the end of the COVID tunnel with the ongoing vaccination efforts across the globe.

Our aim with this communication is to help clarify the rationale for the registration fees for ISLS 2021 which will be held virtually from Bochum. We would like to begin by acknowledging the institutional difficulties that many of our members are experiencing, including frozen funds, reduced support for travel, and institution hurdles in getting reimbursed for virtual conferences. Not to mention the ongoing economic downturn and troubled job market, which only add to the financial struggle of many in our community. It is in this context that we provide some explanation about the registration fees with the goal of increasing transparency in terms of what is involved in running a well-planned virtual conference. In addition, we will follow up in the upcoming days and weeks with more details on all the benefits and wonderful events that the registration covers.

The fee structure has been developed in close cooperation between the local organization and the ISLS Board with both trying hard to bring in additional funding to lower the expenses. We are happy that we managed to:

  • keep the student fees relatively low (100 € + membership dues).
  • include participation in pre-conference workshops in the registration (no extra cost).
  • waive conference fees of participants in all three workshops (Doctoral Consortium, Early-Career Workshop, Mid-Career Workshop) of the mentoring program (membership dues excluded).
  • offer scholarships to support individuals facing financial challenges.
The preparation of ISLS 2021 was based on a long planning process in which we had to gradually consider and foresee the effects of the pandemic. Just as many within our community have seen that making a comprehensive move to online teaching involves substantially more labor and costs than the more familiar mode of face-to-face teaching, the move from an on-site conference format to a virtual one also has new demands and costs. Last year, the community came together to self-organize and self-host some conference sessions. This year, the conference organizers were determined to set up the infrastructure that would allow for an immersive experience that can support scholarship as well as community building. A virtual conference that allows the presentation of all contributions accepted in various categories and affords social interactions similar to what we so greatly value in face-to-face meetings. The new and consolidated program is a well-balanced offering with high quality features in terms of scholarship (keynotes, awards, mentoring) and enabling interaction (via speed-dating, meet-ups, theme-based events) across time zones as much as possible in order to retain the international character of our conference that we all value so much.

Developing a rich online conference format involved intensive community consultation (e.g., we had an online conference committee involving representatives from various groups of stakeholders within the ISLS) and a lot of voluntary contributions. However, given the size and scale of this event, it could not be achieved through voluntary efforts alone and also required investing substantially in paid services and personnel on the side of the local conference organization.

Organizing the Annual Meeting 2021 as an online event was coupled with the additional challenge of the first time implementation of a joint event combining the LS and CSCL programs. Planning this inaugural ISLS Annual Meeting was an opportunity and responsibility we did not take lightly. Taken together the dual challenges of implementing an online conference format and at the same time developing the new combined Annual Meeting format, led to increased time expenditure and, thus, additional personnel costs. In fact, of the overall budget, the largest expenses (~70%) were personnel costs followed by expenses (~15%) related to the combined meeting format (e.g., producing proceedings for two programs). These costs are reflected in the registration fees for ISLS 2021, which are comparable to other virtual-only conference fees offered by other major societies this year, such as AERA and EARLI.

Throughout this process, our whole team has been active in shaping an engaging and exciting ISLS 2021. We are extremely thankful for all the contributions from the community.  Please wait for more information on our conference program coming soon!

ISLS 2021 Local Organizing Team – Nikol Rummel, Ulrich Hoppe & Astrid Wichmann

About the Conference

The Annual Meeting of the International Society of the Learning Sciences in 2021 is the first of its kind, the first of a new series of annual events that will bring together the international community of the Learning Sciences. The Annual Meeting introduces a New Format, consisting of two conference programs, each with its own proceedings: Learning Sciences (LS) and Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL). We are honored to host the first ISLS Annual Meeting. It will take place in Bochum, a location with a history that reflects The Theme of the conference.

Keynote Speakers

Onur Güntürkün​

Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Onur Güntürkün​​: Biography
Onur Güntürkün, he/him
Biopsychology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany
Biography: I’m a Turkish-born Professor for Biopsychology at the Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany. I’m kept awake with questions like: “Can different kinds of brains produce the same cognition?” or “Why are brains asymmetrically organized?”.

I spent many years in different universities and science institutions on five continents and work (in descending order) with pigeons, humans, dolphins, crocodiles and magpies as experimental subjects. I would call myself a Cognitive and Comparative Neuroscientist who works with research approaches that reach from field work via single cell recordings up to brain imaging at ultrahigh magnetic fields.

I’m a member of the German National Academy of Sciences and received numerous national and international scientific awards, among them both the highest German and Turkish science award.

Carolyn Rosé

Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University

Carolyn Rosé​​​: Biography
Carolyn Rosé, she/her
Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Pittsburgh, U.S.
Biography: Dr. Carolyn Rosé is a Professor of Language Technologies and Human-Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University.

She investigates computational modeling paradigms for understanding the social and pragmatic nature of discourse in order to build intelligent systems for improving collaboration. Her research group’s highly interdisciplinary work is represented in top venues of 5 fields, with awards in 3 of these fields.

She is Past President and Inaugural Fellow of the International Society of the Learning Sciences, Senior member of IEEE, Founding Chair of the International Alliance to Advance Learning in the Digital Era, and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of CSCL.

Carol K.K. Chan

Faculty of Education
University of Hong Kong

Carol K. K. Chan​​: Biography
Carol K. K. Chan, she/her
Education, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Biography: Carol Chan is a Professor in the learning sciences at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). She was a Co-Convenor of the interdisciplinary Sciences of Learning Strategic Theme at HKU and currently Research Leader of the Human Communication, Development and Information Sciences Unit.

For more than two decades, she has researched on socio-cognitive dynamics and pedagogical designs of Knowledge Building; she has led the Knowledge Building Teacher Network (KBTN), a large-scale professional development project. She is a Co-Editor of the International Handbook of Collaborative Learning and has published in flagship journals of learning sciences and education. She is Associate Editor of International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning and editorial board member of Journal of Learning Sciences and Learning and Instruction. She is also Convenor of the Knowledge Building theme at the EDUsummIT 2019 focusing on research, practice and policy integration.


Accepted long, short & symposia papers and posters will be published in two separate proceedings for the LS and CSCL programs, respectively. 

Please cite as follows: 

Author(s) (2021). Title.
In C. Hmelo-Silver, B. de Wever, & J. Oshima (Eds.), 14th International Conference on Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning – CSCL 2021 (pp. 100–115). International Society of the Learning Sciences, 2021.

Author(s) (2021). Title.
In E. de Vries, J. Ahn, & Y. Hod (Eds.), 15th International Conference of the Learning Sciences – ICLS 2021 (pp. 100–115). International Society of the Learning Sciences, 2021.

In addition, there will be a proceeding called “Supplementary Proceedings of the ISLS Annual Meeting 2021” contaning supplementary material, including Keynote abstracts, descriptions of accepted Pre-Conference Workshops & Tutorials, Interactive Tools & Demos as well as accepted Doctoral Consortium, Early- and Mid-Career applications. 

All proceedings are available as PDFs and will be made available in the ISLS repository: https://repository.isls.org


Important Dates

November 13 2020

Submission Deadline for Papers, Posters, and Symposia – (Submission Closed)

Submission deadline @11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time (GMT-8)
January 12 2021

Deadline for Proposing Pre-Conference Workshops and Tutorials, for Applying for Doctoral Consortium, & Proposing Interactive Tools and Demos (Submission Closed)

Submission deadline @11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time (GMT-8)
January 19 2021

Deadline for applying for Early Career Workshop (extended)

Submission deadline @11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time (GMT-8)
January 26 2021

Deadline for applying for Mid Career Workshop (extended)

Submission deadline @11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time (GMT-8)
February 20 2021

Notification of acceptance

For Pre-Conference Workshops and Tutorials, Interactive Tools & Demos, Doctoral Consortium, Early Career and Mid Career Workshop
February 27 2021

Notification of acceptance (delayed)

For papers, posters, and symposia
March 15 2021

Camera ready submission deadline (extended)

Deadline @11:59 pm Pacific Daylight Time (GMT-7) for the final poster, short & long papers, and symposia for publication in conference proceedings
June 1 2021

Workshops (June 1-7 2021)

All workshops (Pre-conference Workshops & Tutorials, Doctoral Consortium, Early & Mid Career Workshop) will take place online during June 1-7 to accommodate for time zone differences.
June 8 2021

Conference (online)

June 8 – 11 2021

Follow us on Twitter