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Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation

Bringing together researchers to explore learning and innovation
At Sydney, we are committed to the continual improvement of the learning experience and exploring ways to be more innovative.

About us

Established in January 2016, the Centre aims to provide a focus for the University’s research on learning and innovation. Formed from the Computer Supported Learning and Cognition Centre (CoCo) and the Sciences and Technologies of Learning research network, we have strong roots in the Sydney School of Education and Social Work, with substantial involvement from the faculties of Engineering and Information TechnologiesScienceHealth Sciences and Sydney Medical School as well as the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education).

Our aims

We connect researchers who are carrying out fundamental and application-oriented research on learning processes, outcomes and all the factors that influence learning, ranging in scale from neurons to neighbourhoods.

We also connect learning researchers to educational innovators – within the University and in the external communities - and with leading learning centres around the globe, for intellectual exchange and for understanding better the cultural dimensions of learning.

We see innovation as a phenomenon needing greater research. We study how people learn to be more innovative, how they learn to create more innovative cultures and spaces, and how learning and innovation become interwoven. Educational activity is often an integral part of broader programs – for example, in community health or workplace safety initiatives. We use examples of such complex interventions as sites for some of our collaborative, interdisciplinary research.

Our interests

We bring together researchers and practitioners to solve complex problems in learning and innovation. We invite staff, students, and members of the broader community to join our special interest groups and participate in events and research projects. Our groups engage in basic research, as well as public discussion with the wider community. Our groups are:

Our events

When: Tuesday 12 February 2019

Time: 11am-12.30pm (join us for refreshments from 10.45am)

Where: Room 325, Education Building A35, The University of Sydney

  • No need to register, just come on the day
  • This seminar will be recorded.

Join us for a special Learning and Innovation seminar with consultant, writer, researcher and commentator Helen Beetham.

In this seminar, Helen will discuss the results and implications of a recent survey undertaken at a third of all Australia/NZ institutions on the student digital experience, and what these results reveal. She will address in particular what more than 50,000 free-text responses reveal about these students’ critical assessment of digital learning and teaching.

Helen Beetham an independent researcher, writer and adviser on issues in digital learning. As a long-standing consultant to Jisc (UK), she has led numerous national programs and written influential reports on topics such as the digital curriculum in higher education, e-portfolios, digital literacy, open education and digital organisations.

Helen was a member of the UK Government's Beyond Current Horizons program on educational futures, and has led futures thinking and digital strategy initiatives for a number of global universities. In the past 18 months she has worked with the EU on a digital competence framework and assessment tool, helped to develop a Commonwealth of Learning program for college leaders around the world, and designed an international student survey which received more than 100,000 responses.

The third edition of Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age (with Rhona Sharpe) is due out early in 2019.

Helen's current research focuses on fostering critical thinking and practice in digital settings.

Past events

Explore our work through our previous events.

Are you interested in research on the future of learning and innovation? Want to find out more about learning with VR/XR, AI in education, interdisciplinary research, innovative learning spaces, and student partnerships?

This free all-day event, hosted by the Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI), welcomes everyone to attend to explore ideas, showcase work, form new collaborations and catch up on recent innovations. Our Centre's research leaders will address topical issues in learning and innovation, as well as new ways of bridging research, policy and practice.

The full program is decided by submissions, and will be emailed to registrants in mid-November, but you can expect:

  • A plenary panel on advanced learning technologies;
  • A plenary keynote with Patrick Olivier, Professor of Human-Computer Interaction the Newcastle University, on approaches to education research and student partnership;
  • poster presentations and innovative technology demonstration sessions;
  • key topic roundtables on subjects including AI for education, teacher data literacy and innovative learning spaces
  • networking and conversation over catered breaks;
  • presentations by the DVCR, DVCE, and more.

9:45am, Thursday 29 November

Level 1 of New Law building, the University of Sydney

Registration is free, but places are limited: register here



Headshot of Professor Lina Markauskaite


Headshot of Professor Peter Reimann

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