(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)


If you are interested in writing a bachelor/master’s thesis in the lab, please read this page carefully and send an email to me (nagashima[at] with “Thesis Supervision” in its title and we can talk more if there’s a spot! When emailing, please include your CV/Resume, transcript, proposed thesis topic (if any), and planned graduation month.

Please note (04.11.2023): There are no spots left for master’s thesis supervision for the Winter semester 2023-24 and Summer semester 2024. There are still a few spots left for bachelor’s thesis supervision. 


There are no strict prerequisites for writing a thesis in the lab, but to write a good thesis, it is important that you have a background (e.g., degree, coursework, past research project…) in one or more of the fields below:

  • Learning Sciences/Education Science/Educational Technology
  • Human-Computer Interaction/Computer Science
  • Psychology/Cognitive Science

Also, please know that, once we decide to work on a thesis together in the lab, you’d need to take a bachelor/master seminar (graded) as part of your thesis writing. More info on the bachelor/master seminar is coming soon, but in general, you will meet with your supervisor to define a research question, identify prior work, and learn about its theoretical basis. After this phase, you will decide on the method you will use and make a clear plan on how to collect and analyze data. At the end of the seminar, you will give a short presentation in the lab on your work and plan and receive feedback. Once you complete the seminar, your “writing period” will start. Note that writing a thesis (seminar + the writing period) in my lab would require at minimum 6 months and more typically 8-9 months.

Types of Thesis

In my lab, students write a thesis of one (or more) of the following types:

  • Design-focused (you’d engage in iterative design research with practitioners/community members to produce digital artifacts, which would be followed by user testing)
  • Experiment-focused (you’d design some kind of instructional principle or activities using technology and conduct an experiment to test its effectiveness)
  • Data analysis-focused (you’d analyze (existing) learning data and test hypotheses)

Thesis Topic

You can either propose your own topic for your thesis or choose a topic from our thesis topics (below). In either case, you would need to discuss this with Prof. Tomo Nagashima to reach a mutual agreement. Here are some open thesis topics for which we are currently looking for students:

  • Promoting choices in using single/multiple representations during math learning (Preferred background: LS/Psych)
  • Designing and testing social influences on choice making during learning (Preferred background: HCI/Psych)
  • Investigating how emotions influence self-regulated learning behaviors in an Intelligent Tutoring System (Preferred background: HCI/LS)
  • Effects of gamification on math learning, motivation, and emotions (Preferred background: CS/HCI)