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Oct 25 2019

What’s space got to do with it? Understanding the role of the physical space, information, and technology in collaborative learning environments

October 25, 2019

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM




1240 W. Harrison St., Chicago, IL 60607

Dr. Mike Tissenbaum, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Education, Educational Psychology


In this talk, Dr. Mike Tissenbaum will discuss his nearly decade of research into transformational learning environments that deeply consider the how the physical space and technology work in concert to support new forms of collaborative learning and instruction. Touching on work in both formal K-12 and informal museum settings, Dr. Tissenbaum will discuss how the design of these spaces have supported learners to immersive themselves in rich learning scenarios and to construct knowledge at the individual, small group, and whole class levels. Dr. Tissenbaum will also discuss how he is combining qualitative data, log data, and data mining to better understand the learning taking place and to develop new tools to help orchestrate activities. Dr. Tissenbaum will close the talk with a discussion about his current designs and the opportunities he sees around emerging technologies (such as augmented reality) to further transform traditional learning spaces.

Watch the video here.


Dr. Mike Tissenbaum’s work centers on how to design transformational learning environments that combine interactive physical spaces, digital information, and collaboration between learners to envision the future of learning both in and out of schools. More broadly, this work focuses on supporting learners as a learning community and aims to understand how children develop STEM and computational literacies when engaged in technology-enhanced learning.

Dr. Tissenbaum’s research has pioneered a combination of tangible, embodied, and immersive technologies that support learners’ engagement in science, engineering, and computational practices. This work has shown how the interplay between physical space, technology, and data representations can provide learners with unique opportunities to set their own learning goals and collaborate with peers. These findings have had important implications for understanding open-ended exploratory collaboration. Using a blend of learning analytics and human computer interaction approaches, this work is charting exciting new pathways for supporting student collaboration and teacher facilitation in complex, immersive, and exploratory learning.

Dr. Tissenbaum also investigates how to support teachers’ real-time orchestration of learning. Dr. Tissenbaum has developed interventions that draw teachers more deeply into the learning process as active facilitators. Using data mining and intelligent software agents, he has designed supports that help teachers understand the state of the class at the individual, small group, and whole class levels; to orchestrate the flow of activities; and to know where and when they are needed at critical moments in students’ learning. With a focus on tablet and mobile applications, Dr. Tissenbaum is working to push the boundaries of design for real-time supports across formal and informal environments.


Enrique Puente

Date posted

Oct 21, 2019

Date updated

Nov 8, 2019