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Where are we now? Research trends in the learning sciences
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Paper presented at the 11th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2014, Colorado, USA, 23-27 June, 2014
Towards gaining a better understanding of the field of the Learning Sciences, this
research investigates the research trends over 10 years. It also compares the Learning Sciences
with the closely related academic fields of Educational Technology and Educational
Psychology. A content analysis is performed on 5187 journal articles drawing from 12 top
journals from 2003 to 2012. This content analysis was semi-automated and guided by an
initial theoretical frame. The results reveal that research trends in the Learning Sciences have
remained largely consistent except in the area of individual differences and affect, which has
increased over the years. Key strengths of Learning Sciences include research on small group
learning, inquiry, problem solving, argumentation, and mixed-methods. As the LS reflects on
its state of practice, it should recognize that the field has achieved many research distinctives,
yet, there are several opportunities for further research growth.
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