CCSE seminar series: Professor Matthew Berland: Creative Agency: Making, Learning, and Playing towards Understanding Computational Content

This talk investigates what it means to learn computer science content, how we might better support computer science learning, and how we might better understand what learners know.

Professor Matthew Berland

Professor Matthew Berland


People often learn complex computational content most easily and deeply when they have "creative agency" – the social network, ability, skills, resources, and support to collaboratively and playfully make creative computational content in feedback-rich environments. This talk will present a lens on how we can create environments in which learners are supported in developing creative agency, and how we might assess or evaluate success. I will cover my projects in museums, computer science classrooms, after-school clubs, and universities, showing how we can use design-based research, learning analytics, and games to enable creative agency towards more equitable outcomes and better understand how, why, and when people make and learn complex computational content together.


Matthew Berland is an Associate Professor of Design, Informal, and Creative  Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at UW–Madison, spending 2019-2020 as a Visiting Scholar at MIT. In addition, he is Affiliate Faculty in Computer Sciences, Information Studies, and the Learning Sciences and directs the UW Games Program and the Complex Play Lab. He uses design-based research and learning analytics to design, create, and study learning environments that support students' creativity in learning computational literacies, systems literacies, and computer science & engineering content.

Published Dec. 6, 2019 10:52 AM - Last modified Mar. 4, 2020 5:44 PM