International Alliance
to Advance Learning
in the Digital Era

(IAALDE)

Who We Are

The International Alliance to Advance Learning in the Digital Era (IAALDE) represents over 3,000 leading researchers worldwide who have joined forces to advance science, practice, and policy on issues surrounding learning in the context of a digital, technology driven era. Our mission is to advance scientific and practical understandings of how to teach, how learners learn, and how technological systems can more effectively support education. Our objective is to have a more powerful and global impact by linking together societies with overlapping interests and goals.

The societies involved in this effort currently include

Each individual society has its own history and disciplinary or multi-disciplinary foundation and established mechanisms for supporting the dissemination of their scholarly work. What they have in common is a commitment to research on learning, broadly defined, and an orientation towards producing research that has real impact in the world. However, these societies have evolved independently and, despite some overlapping membership, their research contributions remain largely within separate publication venues - conference proceedings and journals.

The vision for the Alliance includes both outward-facing and inward-facing goals:

  • Outward goal: To increase the visibility and impact of the research produced by members of the individual societies by providing a mechanism for the societies to collaborate and generate a cohesive picture of important findings related to learning in the digital era that could influence research, educational practices, and policy. A highly successful exemplar for achieving such a goal (at least within the USA) is the Computing Research Association (CRA) whose mission is "to enhance innovation by joining with industry, government and academia to strengthen research and advanced education in computing."
  • Inward goal: to increase cross-society awareness both at a scientific level (around differing methods, theories, technologies, findings) and at an administrative level (especially around the organization of conference logistics).

Beyond this, and specifically focused on the scientific angle, is a goal to increase incentives to engage in cross-disciplinary work. The IAALDE Alliance Board is working together to facilitate the coordination of Alliance societies to achieve these goals. Click here more information about our history and current initiatives. Click here for more information about the IAALDE governance structure.

 

History

There are a number of international societies with interests focused in the overlap between education, learning and digital technology who wish to explore the possibility of cooperating more closely. This effort has grown out of a series of discussions involving a number of the Presidents of these societies and other interested persons under the leadership of Carolyn Rosé of the International Society of the Learning Sciences. A number of the Presidents of these societies and other interested persons held meetings by videoconferencing between 2013 and 2016 under the guidance of Carolyn Rosé of ISLS. These discussions culminated in a face-to-face meeting in Edinburgh on April 30th 2016, associated with LAK 2016. The groups meeting online and at Edinburgh have at different times included Carolyn Rosé (Chair), Jeremy Roschelle, Benedict du Boulay, Mykola Pechenizkiy, Dragan Gasevic, George Siemens, Paul De Bra, Katherine Maillet, Ryan Baker, Eleni Kyza, Cindy Hmelo-Silver, Beverley Woolf, Nikol Rummel, Danielle McNamara, Bruce McLaren Fridolin Wild, Martin Wolpers, Piotr Mitros, Pierre Dillenbourg, Beverly Woolf. An initial draft of a proposal for this alliance was presented to the Management Boards of the initial societies in 2016 and was approved by July 2017 with the forming of the inaugural governing board.

The proposal for an alliance grew out of concerns over lack of shared practices that would encourage better coordination and sharing of resources. One concern was that fragmentation weakens each society's ability to represent the field of learning sciences and technology, broadly construed. Another concern was that fragmentation leads to siloed knowledge, that is detrimental to pushing the science forward. This proposal was generated by members of the various societies with the intent to establish this alliance that could produce a productive partnership that bridges the societies and creates a platform for supporting broader synergies between research insights developed within each society. The hope is that in so doing, the concerns just mentioned could be addressed through continuing discussions. The years of informal discussions leading up to this proposal have already proved beneficial for increasing coordination. Opportunities for future growth are now established as the IAALDE Alliance, which now begins its important work.

 
 

Governance Structure and Membership

Membership in IAALDE is open to relevant research societies, defined as those being not-for-profit professional societies—specifically those having a governing board, near-open membership, a peer-reviewed annual or bi-annual conference, and a dedication to research broadly related to the area described above. In order to maintain continuity, research communities with conferences but not professional societies would not be eligible to join IAALDE in their own right as full members unless the conference has a Special Interest Group (SIG) designation by a larger professional society, with an individual identified by that professional society to represent the SIG in IAALDE.

The Governance Structure of IAALDE consists of an Executive Board with 1 representative from each society, typically the society's President or representative from their Management Board. A Chair of IAALDE is elected from amongst the members of the Board. In the future, the Board might consider bringing in external expertise via an Advisory Board, as well as Task Forces or Working Groups for specific purposes. Full membership entitles an organization to select one member to participate as a voting member of the IAALDE board. However, conferences such as Learning @ Scale are eligible to play a less formal role as Affiliate Members, which entitles them to select a member to participate in IAALDE discussions, but without a vote.

The addition of new member organizations is by a vote of the full Board of IAALDE.

 

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