School of Education authors receive ‘best paper’ honors at learning sciences annual meeting

Two papers that were selected for awards at the recent 2022 International Society for the Learning Sciences annual meeting in Hiroshima, Japan, were written by authors from the UW–Madison School of Education.

Photo of Mitch Nathan

A paper by UW–Madison’s Mitchell Nathan and Michael Swart, co-written with Candace Walkington of Southern Methodist University (SMU), received the International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) Best Design Paper award. Their paper, titled “Designs for Grounded and Embodied Mathematical Learning,” presents findings that converge on several design principles for embodied mathematical thinking and learning across five empirical, laboratory- and classroom-based studies of high school and college students engaged in geometric reasoning and proof production.

Nathan is the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of the Learning Sciences with the School of Education’s Department of Educational Psychology, and Swart is the director of the MAGIC Lab (Mathematical Action and Gesture in Instruction and Cognition) as well as a lead researcher with the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, housed in the School of Education.

Walkington is an associate professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at SMU. Previously, she was an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) postdoctoral fellow in mathematical thinking, learning, and instruction at UW–Madison, and is co-PI on the grant from IES that funds some of this research.

Hanall Sung

In addition, a paper by UW–Madison student Hanall Sung, and Swart and Nathan, received the Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) Naomi Miyake Best Student Paper award. The paper, titled “Methods for Analyzing Temporally Entangled Multimodal Data,” identifies two main approaches to analyzing multimodal data in CSCL settings — triangulating and interleaving — and highlights the remaining challenges to unfolding the dynamic interplay between different modes with the consideration of temporality.

Sung is a PhD candidate in the Learning Sciences program in the Department of Educational Psychology. She studies the complex ways that people use language and their bodies during in-person and online collaborations.

“To have two papers from my research group acknowledged in this way by my primary scholarly community is very affirming that the research we are doing is important and impactful,” says Nathan. “These awards are as much a recognition of all the members of the MAGIC Lab and our colleague Professor Candace Walkington at Southern Methodist University as it is of the individual authors on these papers.”

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