🎉 NEWS 🎉

(May 2024) Our lab’s work will be presented/published at CHI, ISLS, CogSci, IDC (LDT), and EARLI SIG16 conferences! See Publications for more info.

(April 2024) AlgeSPACE project on SIC news and university news

(Mar 2024) Our lab will offer two new seminars in SS2024 – check them out here.

(Mar 2024) We will be at the Tag der digitalen Bildung (The Digital Education Day) in Saarland!

(Feb 2024) We have launched AlgeSPACE — a collection of free interactive exercises for teaching and learning how to solve systems of equations.

(Oct 2023) New grant (with Sarah Malone) on co-designing a learning dashboard on AI in Education with university students at Saarland.

(Sep 2023) Won the PRESTO (“Sakigake”) grant! (€300K) We will work on participatory design research with school students and teachers in Germany and Japan to design an intelligent system with a focus on student agency.

(Aug 2023) Echo has joined the lab as a postdoc from ASU! Learn more about her.

(Apr 2023) Starting a new role as a Visiting Professor at Hokkaido University in Japan!

(Mar 2023) Gave a talk at CAIS in Bochum

(Feb 2023) Gave a talk at ETH Zürich (FLI Colloquia)

(Dec 2022) Launched the “Future+Learning” working group with Lis Sylvan and Sandra Cortesi @BKC Harvard

(Nov 2022) Moved to Germany to start my TT position at Saarland University!

(June 2021) Our ISLS paper was nominated for Best Design Paper!

(April 2021) We were at the ED Games Expo! Here’s our entry.

(Dec 2020) Won the Fred Mulder Open Education Practice Award!

(Nov 2020) Gave a talk at Keio Univ.

(Nov 2020) Won an AECT award!

(Nov 2020) Presented at OpenEd20

(Oct 2020) Made a tape diagram template (available under CC-BY-NC)

Pedagogical Affordance Analysis

When designing an instructional tool and/or adapting it to an instructional context, it is essential that designers/researchers understand what pedagogical affordances it offers so that the tool facilitates the interaction among the tool, educator(s), and students. Prior studies on pedagogical affordances, however, treat pedagogical affordances as fixed concepts — in other words, prior work does not consider a possibility that contextual factors, such as instructional goals, teachers’ knowledge, or classroom environments, would influence whether and how certain pedagogical affordances are activated/realized.

Taking a socio-cultural perspective, we consider that pedagogical affordances of an instructional tool need to be understood in relation to the particular instructional goal that the tool will be used to help with.

Traditional way of viewing pedagogical affordances
In our work, we consider pedagogical affordances as a relational concept

We developed an action-oriented, educator-centered method for understanding pedagogical affordances of an instructional tool. Designers/researchers can follow the step-by-step process (below) to identify pedagogical affordances and pedagogical constraints. 

This method, called Pedagogical Affordance Analysis, can be used to re-design instructional tools or evaluate existing tools in relation to the target goal.

Pedagogical Affordance Analysis (PAA) follows a step-by-step procedure

The project has won 2 awards!


Relevant Publications

  • Nagashima, T., Yang, K., Bartel, A. N., Silla, E. M., Vest, N. A., Alibali, M. W., & Aleven, V. (2020). Pedagogical Affordance Analysis: Leveraging teachers’ pedagogical knowledge for eliciting pedagogical affordances and constraints of instructional tools. In Proceedings of the International Conferences of the Learning Sciences (ICLS2020). Nashville, TN. [paper]


  • Nagashima, T., Bartel, A. N., Silla, E. M., Vest, N. A., Alibali, M. W., & Aleven, V. (2020). Enhancing conceptual knowledge in early algebra through scaffolding diagrammatic self-explanation. In M. Gresalfi & I. S. Horn (Eds.), Proceedings of International Conference of the Learning Sciences (pp. 35-43). Nashville, TN: International Society of the Learning Sciences. [paper]