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We invite you to submit your papers to the third Learning with MOOCs conference, to be held at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, USA on October 6-7, 2016. You are invited to submit an abstract of work completed within MOOC settings for discussion at the conference.

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

George Siemens, LINK Lab, The University of Texas at Arlington
Catherine Spann, LINK Lab, The University of Texas at Arlington
Vitomir Kovanovic, The University of Edinburgh

THEME: Being and learning in a digital age
Since the dramatic arrival of MOOCs on the higher education landscape, universities globally have started to grapple with how digital learning functions within their existing missions. Some systems have responded through a significant investment in MOOCs and new online learning programs. Other systems have responded through taking a more cautious research approach. Colleges, liberal arts schools, and smaller universities are currently evaluating how the MOOC phenomenon will influence their existing offerings and what unique experiences remain for local, on-campus learning. More recently, virtual reality and other wearable technology indicate a future with expanded data collection and increasingly authentic learning experiences. They also raise concerns about how technology will influence privacy and who has ownership of, and access to, our learning and related biometric data.

The growth of digital learning, both in terms of research and practice, is part of a broader societal transition to a digital and data-driven world. Reports of future mass upheaval in employment driven by artificial intelligence are starting to cause alarm. Today, cognitive technologies can learn and in some cases outperform humans. Against this backdrop, the theme and guiding focus for LWMOOC3 is:

  What does it mean to be human in a digital age? What does it mean to learn in a digital age?

As the influence of MOOCs and digital learning in general grow, it’s time to review many of the assumptions that researchers and practitioners currently hold. Are we creating the type of knowledge infrastructure through digital learning that will enable a generation of creative, innovative, honest, considerate, socially responsible, motivated, and full-filled learners? Or are we meeting AI in the middle by dumbing down and automating our learning needs to such a degree that the machines ought to take over?

This conference plans to bring together educators, technologists, researchers, learning scientists, entrepreneurs, and funders of MOOCs to share their innovations, discuss the impact on education and to answer practical questions such as:

- What are the social and affective dimensions of learning online and in a MOOC?
- What is the role of the human educator in automated learning and evaluation environments?
- How do MOOCs and digital learning impact learners across their full life cycle, from birth to retirement?
- How can VR and wearable technologies extend both the experience of learners and the research interests of academics?
- What are the challenges of integrating rich multi-source data streams to present a holistic view of learner engagement and performance?
- What are the assumptions that we are making regarding digital learning and the role of education in society? Are these assumptions accurate? What type of future are we creating for learners and for society with current digital and on-campus education practices?
- How do we measure learning in and with MOOCs? What does successful MOOC learning look like and how does it differ from traditional in-classroom learning?
- Should the holistic development of learners, such as social and emotional skills and character strengths, be considered in digital learning? If so, what are the challenges and considerations in doing so?

We call for submissions to LWMOOC3 from a diversity of disciplines and topics (see details below). In particular, we invite submissions that build on the main theme of the conference and highlight the strength of the core MOOC research community, with the important input from the other related research domains. We invite submissions related to research, practice, and theory related to MOOCs.

Specific topics, though not limited to these, include:

- Social and affective computing
- Development of multiple pathways for learners
- Open content / open licensing and MOOCs
- New pedagogical processes with MOOCs, particularly around social and peer pedagogies
- Tools for collaboration, feedback, testing and content delivery
- Wearable devices for biometric data collection
- Metrics of success for learners and instructors of MOOCs
- On-campus use of MOOCs
- Evaluation of MOOCs
- MOOCs and localized support (e. g., meetups and instructor meetings)
- Learning analytics and MOOCs
- Problem-based learning and authentic/contextual learning environments
- New and emerging models of instructional design, especially student-centered design approaches to improve their online learning experience)
- Machine learning, AI, and MOOCs: what is new?
- Learning sciences and new research models based on digital learning and MOOCs
- The role of specific human constructs, such as imagination, joy, and amazement, in MOOCs

We invite researchers and practitioners interested in coming together to discuss these issues to submit a description of work (see instructions below) they have done related to MOOCs. These descriptions should include interesting findings that they have learned through their work that they believe would be valuable to share with other practitioners and researchers, and/or a question or challenges that they confronted that they would like to discuss with others.

All submissions to the LWMOOC3 should be made using the extended abstract format ( and should be 500 words maximum (excluding the reference list). Submissions will be received and processed with LWMOOCS EasyChair page (

One important change for the 2016 Learning with MOOCs conference is that we are moving towards published proceedings of all conference submissions. The proceedings will include abstracts as well as the presentation slides that will serve as a written record of the conference.

- Abstract submissions (500 words): May 15, 2016
- Notifications of acceptance: June 12, 2016
- Learning with MOOCs 2016 conference: October 6-7, 2016

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