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AERA SIGs Advanced Technologies for Learning / Learning Sciences Best Student Paper Award

The Special Interest Groups Advanced Technologies for Learning & Learning Sciences is pleased to announce the Best Student Paper Award.


At each AERA, the combined SIGs announce up to two awards for the best paper or poster accepted for presentation at AERA in which the lead author is a student AND a student member of either SIG ATL or SIG LS. The student(s) will receive the award at the combined SIG business meeting. The student author(s) of winning paper(s) will also receive a $250 honorarium and certificate. This award was established in 2006.

Selection Criteria

Any type of paper or poster accepted for presentation at AERA can be considered for the award. Papers will be judged on a 5-point scale using the following criteria:

(a) Significance of problem or topic (originality, choice of problem, importance of issues, contribution to education);
(b) Literature foundation (theoretical/conceptual/practical frameworks, rationale, literature review, grounding);
(c) Research methods and execution (research design, methods, rigor, use of evidence, quality of data sources, adequacy);
(d) Conclusions and interpretations (significance of conclusions; implications for research, practice, policy; development of ideas; relationship of conclusions to findings; generalizability or usefulness of findings or concepts);
(e) Quality of writing, clarity, logic, organization;
(f) Overall recommendation.


  • August: Student submits paper proposal to AERA. No additional action is necessary at this time.

  • November: Student is notified of acceptance of paper to AERA conference.

  • March 10: Student submits final paper to award committee chair for consideration.

  • Early April: Award winners announced.

  • April Annual meeting: Winners receive award at SIG business meeting.

Award committee 

2021 Co-Chairs:

  • Dr. Leema Berland, University of Wisconsin, Madison

  • Dr. Chrystalla Mouza, University of Delaware

Application process

Eligibility: A paper or poster accepted to AERA in which the lead author is a student member of SIG-ATL and/or SIG-LS. Each student can only submit one paper for consideration per year. Students who have been awarded the SIG ATL/LS Best Student Paper Award may not submit another paper for consideration in the year immediately following their award. Papers may not have been published elsewhere, but may be submitted for review.

Submission guidelines:
1. Papers submitted for consideration should be full papers (not the paper proposal submitted to AERA).
2. Papers should be written in APA format.
3. Papers should not exceed 10,000 words (or about 30 pages).
4. Email a copy of your paper in PDF or MS Word format to the award committee co-chairs (leema.berland at and c.mouza at by 11:59pm ET on March 10, 2021.
5. Please include the following information on the paper's cover sheet:

  • Name

  • Degree program

  • Year in the program

  • Advisor's name

  • Institution

  • Mailing address, Email, and Phone number

previous award winners

  • 2021: Sugat Dabholkar, Northwestern University

  • 2020 co-award winners & honoree:

    • Sarah Bichler, UC Berkeley

    • Anna Kuene, Indiana University

      • Honorable Mention: Collette Roberto​, UC Berkeley

  • 2019: Ashlyn Pierson, Vanderbilt University

  • 2018: Colin Hennessy Elliott, New York University

  • 2017: Ji-Eun Lee, Utah State University

  • 2016 co-award winners:

    • Jennifer Kahn, Vanderbilt University

    • Stephen Secules, University of Maryland

  • 2015: Geoff Marietta, Harvard University

  • 2014: Gabriela T. Richard, New York University

  • 2013: Izabel Duarte Olson, Northwestern University

  • 2012: Michael Sao Pedro, Worcester Polytechnic University

  • 2011: Jolie Matthews, Stanford University

  • 2010: Michele Wilkerson-Jerde, Northwestern University

  • 2009: Heather Leary, Utah State University

  • 2008: Pei-Ling Hsu, University of Victoria

  • 2007: Victor Lee, Northwestern University

  • 2006 co-award winners:

    • Sanghoon Park, Florida State University

    • Brian Lukoff, Stanford University

The award is generously supported through an annual donation from the International Society of the Learning Sciences

Special Thanks to Past and Present Committee Members:

  • Dr. Mimi Recker, Utah State University, Longstanding Chair (2006-2019)

  • Dr. Joe Polman, University of Colorado, Boulder 

  • Dr. Marcela Borge, Pennsylvania State University

  • Dr. Susan Jurow, University of Colorado, Boulder

  • Dr. Iris Tabak, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

  • Dr. Michelle Wilkerson, University of California, Berkeley

  • Dr. Jianwei Zhang, University at Albany-SUNY

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