Teaching

The Science of Learning from Failure

We learn from our mistakes, or rather, we certainly hope that we do. Another way to say this is that we can learn from failure. But, what does “failure” mean? And, what, how, and why do we learn from failure? This course covers research from the cognitive, educational, and learning sciences that addresses the role of failure in human learning. Students will critically examine how failure affects development of knowledge, creativity, problem-solving, and general thinking and learning. More specifically, they will have the opportunity to question and evaluate the potential relationships between the facets around failure within individual, interactional, cultural, societal, and global contexts through seminal readings and problem-solving activities oriented to real world issues. Students from any discipline are welcome to this course to learn more about how failure can be harnessed to improve our knowledge, capabilities, innovations, teamwork, and contribute to the larger global world.

More information

Introduction to Methods in Learning Sciences

The course aims at providing students with practical knowledge and skill of processing, interpreting and analyzing empirical educational data, including different lenses through which to view the nature of inquiry in the field, research design, and an overview of quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research.

The course will be centered around exploring these methodological perspectives by focusing on applied conceptual aspects of actual datasets and experiments in the Learning Sciences.

Face-to-face meetings will be held every fortnight, although students will be expected to work individually on weekly tasks (e.g., reading and discussing relevant literature, working on and justifying research designs, performing data analyses) throughout the semester. The course has the following components:

  • Planning design-based research/research designs
  • Overview of quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods in Learning Sciences
  • Ethics of Learning Sciences research

More information

Introduction to Methods in Learning Sciences II

The course aims at equipping students with a suite of advanced quantitative and qualitative tools to support their existing research and develop new lines of inquiry in the Learning Sciences. By providing opportunities to analyze empirical educational data, the course will allow students to develop an appreciation for the breadth of methods that can be employed to improve the process of learning.

The course will be centered around exploring methodological perspectives by focusing on conceptual aspects of datasets and experiments in the Learning Sciences. Face-​to-face meetings will be held every fortnight, although students will be expected to work individually on weekly tasks (e.g., discussing relevant literature, performing data analysis, finding patterns in data and linking them to educational theory).

The course has the following components:

  • Advanced statistical methods (e.g., mediation and moderation)
  • Advanced qualitative methods (e.g., interaction analysis)
  • Computational methods (e.g., prediction and structured discovery with educational data)

More information

Behavioural Studies Colloquium

This colloquium is about recent and ongoing research and scientific ideas in the behavioral sciences, both at the micro-​ and macro-​levels of cognitive, behavioral and social science. It features invited presentations from internal and external researchers as well as presentations of doctoral students close to submitting their dissertation research plan.

Participants are informed about recent and ongoing research in the field. Presenting doctoral students obtain feedback on their dissertation research plan.

The covers the broadly understood field of behavioral science, including theoretical as well as empirical research in Social Psychology and Research on Higher Education, Sociology, Modeling and Simulation in Sociology, Decision Theory and Behavioral Game Theory, Economics, Research on Learning and Instruction, Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Science.

More information

Future Learning Initiative Colloquium

(starting in Autumn Semester 2021)

This colloquium offers an opportunity for students to discuss their ongoing research and scientific ideas in the learning sciences. This includes research aimed at understanding the nature of formal and informal learning as a complex phenomenon across multiple, interacting levels: neural, cognitive, embodied, social, and cultural. The colloquium also offers an opportunity for students from other disciplines to discuss their ideas in so far as they have some relation to the Future Learning Initiative at ETH or to the science of learning more broadly. Existing Future Learning Initiative projects include productive failure and preparation for future learning, neural basis of learning, mixed reality environments, physical spaces and learning, interdisciplinarity in life sciences education, embodied learning and gaming, abstract mathematical cognition, learning of ethics, project-​based learning, and assessment validity.

More information

Theoretical Foundations of the Learning Sciences

(starting in Spring Semester 2022)

The learning sciences concerns two interrelated questions: How do people learn? How can we support learning? This course provides an overview of major theoretical perspectives that attempt to describe how learning works, and serves as an introduction to interpreting education as a means of designing learning environments. Through assigned readings and discussions, students are expected to become competent in understanding cognitive, embodied, and social perspectives on learning and learning environment design, with a focus on human interaction and authentic practices for learners.

More detailed course information will be provided.