Symposium (Learning, Design & Technology)

Date: Friday June 23 (full day event)
Name: International Symposium on Learning, Design and Technology
Place: Frances Searle Building, 2240 Campus Drive, Evanston, Illinois
Hosted By: Northwestern Center for Human-Computer Interaction + Design

Why Symposium?

A symposium is generally defined as a meeting organized so that experts in a given field can meet, present papers, and discuss issues and trends or make recommendations for a certain course of action.

The main difference between a conference or a workshop and a symposium lies in the size and sometimes the scope of the event. Conferences tend to be larger in size than symposiums, while workshops are smaller, and more focused on a given subject or theme within a larger research field. The symposium is, typically, wider than a workshop with several subjects being contemplated within a research field.

Calls for Papers

The Symposium on Learning, Design and Technology (LDT) aims to provide an interdisciplinary playground for researchers and professionals across the areas of interaction design and technologies (e.g., human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, participatory design) and learning (e.g., educational technology, educational research). The main objective is to build a forum around the intersection of these topical areas. Participants from a variety of organisations are invited: learning sciences, learning analytics, educational psychology, educational data, and researchers in interaction, design and digital literacy. LDT aims to develop a critical discussion, debate and co-development of ideas and approaches about the next generation of learning environments and literacies, and the way they can be identified, utilised and enhanced in order to help us improve the contemporary learning and the learning experience. LDT research addressing the design, development, evaluation, and implementation of interactive computer systems to support and amplify human learning and cognition, and the wider impact of learning and technology on the society and the respective actors (e.g., students, teachers, parents)

To explore future literacies and technologies to support learning, we aim to build a research community around this topical area. This will allow us to support the development of new literacies (including media literacy and computational literacy) and brainstorm about what the next generation of technologies might look like, what kind of learner-generated data can be collected, and how these data can help us to better understand and improve the learning experience.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to the intersection of technology and learning: ‍

  • design issues and methodologies with and for learners and teachers.
  • development of new literacies (e.g., media and computational literacy) and the role of tools such as robotics, 3D printing, and intuitive programming languages.
  • new contexts of learning that illuminate opportunities to design for, and study, learning with technology.
  • intelligent and interactive technologies to support learning (e.g., mobile, tablet, VR, AR & MR, multimodal and adaptive interfaces, wearables, AI-powered systems), 
  • learner-centered AI, opportunities and implications.
  • contemporary and emerging intelligent technologies to support teaching and learning, 
  • evaluation studies of new and emerging technologies for learning.
  • studies discussing the involvement of students and teachers in the design process. 
  • ethics in approaching interaction design and learning research.
  • future vision articles, discussing trends and directions pertinent to LDT.
  • development of theories about how people learn with and about technology

Registration and Venue:

The Symposium will take place in Evanston at Northwestern University. Symposium participants are required to register for it from the main registration page ( Registration will cover costs for refreshments and lunch for the participants.

Dates (in AOE):

  • EasyChair opens for submissions: Feb. 1
  • Abstract submission deadline: Feb. 28 
  • Paper submission deadline: March 15 
  • Notification of acceptance: April 15
  • Camera ready submission: April 30
  • Registration (required for authors): See IDC’s registration details
  • Full day Symposium: June 23

Submission Template

All submissions should use the new single column ACM Paper Format, specifically one of the following:

(*) Important note: in LaTeX or LaTex Overleaf, use the “manuscript” call to create a single column format, rather than “acmsmall”: \documentclass[sigconf, manuscript]{acmart}Please refer to this page for all documentation: ACM Template Workflow Page.


Manuscripts submitted to the research papers track should report original work in any of the areas listed in the conference topics. Manuscripts must identify and cite relevant published work and explain how the paper furthers research within the field.

Please prepare your paper in a way that preserves the anonymity of the authors. Content will be rigorously reviewed by members of the program committee. Each paper will receive feedback in the form of at least two peer review reports. The final selection will be made by the Program Committee based on the review reports.

Submission information:

  • Page limit: 9 to 12 pages (excluding references)
  • Abstract of maximum 150 words
  • Submissions should use the new single column (see submission template) and be made directly to EasyChair:
  • Review process: double-blind peer review – anonymization required

Accepted papers will be included in the conference proceedings published in the ACM Digital Library on the condition that at least one author of the paper registers for and participates in the conference. Moreover, extended versions of papers will be invited for a special issue of the Behaviour & Information Technology journal.


Manuscripts submitted to the Work-in-Progress and Demos track should report new and exciting contributions from an ongoing research that showcase innovative technologies to support learning. Examples of contributions are early designs of learning systems, conceptual works, untested or lightly tested technology designs and provocations for new work. This track intends to help researchers who wish to share and discuss their ideas, experiences and early findings with the community, and .

  • Page limit: 3 to 6 pages (including references)
  • Abstract of maximum 150 words
  • Submissions should use the new single column (see submission template) and be made directly to EasyChair:
  • Selection process: single-blind peer review – no need for anonymization

Submissions should include the author(s) name and affiliation – in other words, they are not blind. All submissions will be peer reviewed. Accepted papers will be included in the conference proceedings (ACM Digital Library) on the condition that at least one author of the paper registers for and participates in the conference.


  • Michalis Giannakos, NTNU, Norway
  • Mike Horn, Northwestern University, USA
  • Mutlu Cukurova, UCL, The UK

PC Members (to be completed)

  • Dor Abrahamson, UC Berkeley, USA 
  • Panos Markopoulos, Eindhoven University of Technology, NL
  • Jerry Fails, Boise State University, USA
  • Nathan Holbert, Columbia University, USA 
  • Marianne Kinnula, University of Oulu, FI
  • Jason Yip, University of Washington, USA
  • Elmira Yadollahi, KTH, SE
  • Jessica Roberts, Georgia Tech, USA
  • Duri Long, Northwestern University, USA
  • David Weintrop, University of Maryland, USA
  • Victor Lee, Stanford University, USA
  • Hillary Swanson, Utah State University, USA
  • Golnaz Arastoopour Irgens, Clemson University, USA


09:00-09:10 Welcome
09:10-10:30 Theme: Advancing literacies (5 mins each + 5 mins for Q&A)

  • From Embodied doing to Computational thinking in Kindergarten: A punctuated motor control model, by Ravi Sinha, Hillary Swanson, Jody Clarke-Midura, Jessica F Shumway, Victor R Lee and Sanjay Chandrasekharan
  • Programming Representations: Uncovering the process of constructing data visualizations in a block-based programming environment, by Cassia Fernandez, Roseli de Deus Lopes and Paulo Blikstein
  • When Literacies Collide: The Role of Translation in Music+Coding Activities, by Cameron Roberts and Michael Horn.
  • Preparing K-12 Students to Meet their Data: Analyzing the Tools and Environments used in Introductory Data Science Contexts, by Rotem Israel-Fishelson, Peter Moon, Rachel E. Tabak and David Weintrop
  • [WiP] Switch Mode: Building a middle ground between Block-based and Text-based programming, by Yuhan Lin, David Weintrop and Jason McKenna.

40 minutes: Groups of 4-5, the future directions and challenges for emerging literacies

10:30-11:00 Coffee

11:00-12:30 Theme: Technologies (5 mins each + 5 mins for Q&A)

  • Carry-Forward Effect: Early scaffolding learning processes, by Kshitij Sharma and Michail Giannakos
  • Tingets 2.0: Computer Vision-Powered Interactive Social and Emotional Learning Tool, by Merve Cerit, Daniela Vainer and Nick Haber.
  • Designing Technology-enhanced Play Environment for Young Children’s Science Modeling Practice, by Xintian Tu and Joshua Danish.
  • Experiverse: Exploring an experiment-based gamification application for motivating children to science learning in an informal setting, by Feiran Zhang, Hanne Brynildsrud, Sofia Papavlasopoulou, Kshitij Sharma and Michail Giannakos
  • [WiP] EcoMate: A Haptic Learning Tool for Teaching Children Recycling Practices by Jennifer Gaw, Cindy Su, Weiheng Huang, Kennedy Walker, Yexin Lu Lu and Carlos Araujo de Aguiar

40 minutes: Groups of 4-5, challenges and opportunities of intelligent technologies for learning

12:30-13:30 Lunch

13:30-14:00 Walk and Talk and see the University

14:00-15:30 Theme: Designing together

  • Helping Teachers Cultivate Responsive Teaching Strategies Through Co-Designed Computational Models, by Hillary Swanson, Luettamae Lawrence, Allisia Dawkins, Jared Arnell, Bonni Jones, Bruce Sherin and Uri Wilensky
  • A Participatory Design to Enhance Word Learning in Autistic Children using Augmented Reality, by Ibrahim El Shemy, Ana Lucía Urrea, Gema Erena-Guardia, David Saldaña, Mila Vulchanova and Michail Giannakos
  • Supporting high school students’ self-directed learning experiences through documentation tool design, by Talia Stol, Daragh Byrne and Marti Louw.
  • Gathering as Design Process: Physical Prototyping for Culturally Sustaining Computational Technologies, by Breanne K. Litts, J. Kaleo Alladin, Melissa Tehee and Rogelio E. Cardona-Rivera

40 minutes: Groups of 4-5, best practices and opportunities for advancing design processes

15:30- 15:45 Closing session: wrap-up the day and the future of LDT