Updated 29 July 2019




Guidance For Presenters

Travel, Parking, and Lodging



When and where is the 2019 conference?

A set of optional pre-conference workshops will be held on Friday, September 20. The two-day 2019 LSGSC is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, September 21 and 22, at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. The campus sits on traditional homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires—the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa—as well as the Menominee, Miami, and Ho-Chunk nations. Read more about the campus, Evanston, and their connections to Native peoples.

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What is the conference schedule?

Registration and breakfast will begin at 8:30am each day. Review an overview of the schedule. A full schedule with presentation assignments will be posted on our website mid-September.

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What is a Friday pre-conference workshop and how is it different from the Saturday and Sunday workshops during lunch?

For the first time this year, we are asking some guest faculty speakers and local faculty to lead workshops in partnership with graduate students. Rogers Hall, Vanderbilt University; Monica Ko, University of Illinois at Chicago; Ananda Marin, University of California, Los Angeles; Pratim Sengupta, University of Calgary; Shirin Vossoughi, Northwestern University; and Marcelo Worsley, Northwestern University, will facilitate pre-conference workshops on Friday.

These all-day gatherings will focus on specific topics, such as inclusive making and considering one’s own positionality as a researcher. Space in each pre-conference workshop will be limited, and participants are asked to contribute $20 to participate (which will cover breakfast and lunch costs, speaker costs, and any workshop materials). We will also host an optional lunch discussion between two professors as part of the pre-conference day. Below are the descriptions for each workshop:

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Who are the faculty speakers?

Like past conferences, the 2019 LSGSC will feature two keynotes and a faculty panel. This year we are also adding a discussion between two faculty members as part of the pre-conference workshops.

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What is the LSGSC statement on non-discrimination?

Cultivating a just learning environment is every participant’s responsibility. As a conference organized by and for graduate students, we do not discriminate or permit discrimination by any member of our community against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, parental status, marital status, age, disability, citizenship status, or veteran status. Harassment, whether verbal, physical or visual, that is based on any of these characteristics is a form of discrimination. Please reach out to conference organizers if you have a concern about or wish to report any discrimination experienced—or observed as a bystander—by emailing lsgsconference [at] gmail.com. This report may be shared amongst members of the planning committee.

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Whom should I contact if I have feedback or additional questions?

You may reach out to us via Twitter and Facebook or by email at lsgsconference [at] gmail.com

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Is there a registration fee for the conference?

We do not charge a registration fee for Saturday and Sunday. The LSGSC has traditionally been free for students because we want to make the gathering as affordable as possible. Pre-conference workshop participants are asked to contribute $20 (which will cover breakfast and lunch costs, speaker costs, and any workshop materials). Pre-conference workshop participants will receive an email with additional instructions.

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When and how can I register for the conference?

Registration opens August 2 at lsgsc.org. Registration will close two weeks before the conference on September 7.

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Which meals will be provided during the conference?

A light breakfast and lunch will be provided on each day of the conference, including the pre-conference workshop.

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What if I have dietary restrictions and/or preferences?

We will do our best to accommodate dietary restrictions. Please indicate these restrictions on your registration form. We also recommend nearby Food for Thought, a dining location directly across from Annenberg Hall, if you are looking for additional food options.

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Why am I being asked to provide my pronouns on the registration form?

Everyone has a gender identity. Our committee believes that sharing gender pronouns (e.g., she/her/hers; they/them/theirs) creates an inclusive environment for participants by decreasing assumptions we might make about anyone’s gender identity. While we plan to print pronouns on name badges this year, this is not a required field on the registration form. If you'd rather not have pronouns listed on your name badge, please leave this field blank.

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Why am I being asked to bring a name tag holder or two?

Conferences generate waste and require funding. To cut down on waste and costs, we are asking participants to bring name tag holders from past conferences (including a holder or two for other participants who may not have one). If you are unable to bring your own, we hope that we should have plenty available: If half of participants bring their own and one additional holder. We’ll supply the printed tags that will fit into the holders!

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Will there be childcare at the conference? Can I bring my children?

While unfortunately we are not able to provide childcare at the conference, parents are absolutely welcome to bring their children with them to all conference activities.

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Whom should I contact about accessibility accommodations?

We aim to make this conference accessible for every attendee to engage with the spaces, sessions, and events of the weekend. If you are interested in attending LSGSC and have an accessibility need (e.g., ASL interpretation, large-print schedule, lactation room), please let us know by email at lsgsconference [at] gmail.com. We will be in touch about accommodations. All conference spaces are wheelchair accessible.

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What are the specific conference locations?

Most of the sessions will be held in Annenberg Hall (2120 Campus Drive), home of Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy.

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Is there a ramp, elevator, and/or wheelchair lift to get into Annenberg Hall?

Yes, an accessible entrance is available at the front and back of the building. Two elevators serve all four floors of Annenberg.

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Is there accessible seating for people with wheelchairs, mobility devices, and/or service dogs?

Yes, accessible seating is available in all event spaces.

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Where are the all gender bathrooms on campus?

Annenberg Hall does not yet have all gender bathrooms. Nearby Lunt Hall and Norris Center do have all gender bathrooms.

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What’s the WiFi situation on campus?

We recommend setting up eduroam at your home campus before visiting Northwestern if your university participates in the program. Northwestern also provides guest WiFi access that requires very little setup.

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When will the schedule for paper presentations be released?

The planning committee will group paper abstracts based on common topics and themes and then assign groupings to one of four time slots: Saturday from 10:30 to 11:45 (Session A), from 1:00 to 2:15 (Session B), from 2:30 to 3:45 (Session C), or Sunday from 10:45 to noon (Session D). We will release session assignments no later than mid-September.

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Will I be able to request a specific date and time for my paper presentation?

Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate requests for specific dates and times for paper presentations. We group presentations based on topic as do most conferences, which hopefully makes for a cohesive session for all participants.

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What should I expect during the paper presentations?

Author(s) will discuss their work for approximately 10-12 minutes in a paper presentation session with up to 3 other papers grouped by theme, on either Saturday, September 21, or Sunday, September 22. There will be an additional 3-4 minutes for questions after each paper is presented. There should be 15 minutes at the end of the session for authors and the audience to discuss all of the papers. The entire session will last 1 hour and 15 minutes. While slideshow presentations are not required, visual aids are helpful during presentation sessions.

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What should I know about projection technology in Annenberg Hall?

Please bring your own laptop and adapters/dongles if you plan to project something for a presentation or poster session. Most rooms are equipped with both VGA and HDMI cables but some computers require adapters/dongles, which may not be in each room. Additionally, you may choose to connect to some screens using wireless Solstice technology. Read more about technology in Annenberg rooms.

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What should I expect during the poster and demo session?

Posters will be displayed during a 1.5 hour session on Sunday, September 22. Presenters will discuss their posters for either the first or second 45-minute portion of this session. Posters should be no larger than 36 inches by 48 inches. Additionally, presenters who are sharing demos may have access to tables and a limited set of larger monitors and screens that can be connected to a presenter’s laptop.

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What do I need to do if I want to use a screen or large monitor for my demo or poster?

Please indicate whether you would like to digitally display your poster or demo on the conference registration form. Most of the screens are also accompanied by a table and/or chairs. Once we know how many participants plan to use these screens and table spaces, we will send an email with more information about how to connect your laptop to the screen. Read more about technology in Annenberg rooms, including our wireless Solstice application.

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What should I expect from the student-led workshops?

Student-led workshops will take place during lunch on Sunday, September 22, and should include interactive components/activities and discussion of a learning sciences topic or skill. Workshop hosts may have an emerging expertise in a topic and will facilitate activities, including discussion, with other attendees.

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Do I need to submit a full, final paper for this conference?

We emphasize that much of the work for this conference may be in various stages of development. We only request that authors submit a revised 500-word abstract.

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Why do I need to submit an initial and final abstract?

Initial abstracts were anonymized while final abstracts should include author names, affiliations, and email addresses. Additionally, we hope the review process for this conference is a learning experience for authors. Therefore, we asked reviewers to be thoughtful with their feedback and authors to consider this feedback when revising their papers.

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Will my abstract be included in the conference proceedings online?

When re-submitting your final abstract in EasyChair, select whether you would like it to be included in the conference proceedings, which will be published online. Final submissions that are not properly formatted will be excluded from the Conference Proceedings. Submit your final abstract using the EasyChair system by Friday, August 16, at 11:59pm Central Time.

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What might I wear to the conference?

It’s up to you. In the past, participants have generally worn a relaxed version of business casual attire.

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What’s the best way to get to campus once I’m in Evanston?

We recommend public transportation for travel to and from campus.

You have two options to pay the fare:

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If I have a car, where should I park?

LSGSC 2019 will take place the weekend before Northwestern’s fall quarter begins, which means campus may be quite busy.

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What’s the best place to be dropped off by a rideshare service?

If you’re using Lyft or Uber, it is easiest to be dropped off in the Garrett Parking Lot (next to the Garrett Theological Seminary).

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How might I get to campus from the airport?

Chicagoland is home to two major airports: O’Hare International Airport (ORD, on the northwest side of the city) and Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW, on the south side of the city). O’Hare is closer to campus. For more information about getting to campus from the airport, check out tips from Northwestern’s Office of International Student and Scholarship Services. If you’re using a rideshare service, it is easiest to be dropped off in the Garrett Parking Lot (next to the Garrett Theological Seminary).

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Where might I stay for the conference?

Hotels within walking distance of campus include Hilton Orrington, Hilton Garden Inn, Holiday Inn, Homestead, and Hyatt House. Chicagoland has a large number of hotels at various price points. There are also a number of airbnb options throughout Evanston and Chicago. If you choose to stay outside of Evanston, we recommend finding lodging along the CTA red line to minimize travel time and planning at least an hour (and likely longer) if you stay as far south as Chicago’s Loop. The red line connects with the CTA purple line that serves Evanston. (Please note that while the purple line does run an Express train from Evanston to Chicago’s Loop, this train only runs during rush hour on weekdays.)

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What are the goals of the conference?

The goals of the 2019 Learning Sciences Graduate Student Conference (LSGSC) are to 1) build community across campuses and among graduate students and faculty and 2) engage with and iterate upon work that focuses on studying and designing for learning.

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Do I have to be a learning sciences graduate student to participate in the conference?

The learning sciences (plural) was established as an interdisciplinary field. For our 2019 conference, we are doubling our efforts to invite participants from the broader range of programs, departments, and fields that study learning—including, but not limited to, cognitive science and computer science; communication studies and curriculum and instruction; human development and human-computer interaction; linguistics and Latinx studies; philosophy, policy, and physics. Also, while the conference is primarily intended for graduate students, we provide opportunities for undergraduate, postdoc, and faculty participation.

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How many people typically participate in the conference?

We anticipate 155 to 170 participants at this year’s conference. In the past, we have had between 90 and 140 participants.

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Who organizes the conference?

Graduate students! The conference was originally envisioned and organized for the fall of 2016 as a regional event, coordinated by 2-3 learning sciences graduate students from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Indiana University, Northwestern University, University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Vanderbilt University. This year, graduate students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign joined the core organizing team. The host institution typically has paid for the costs of the conference. Additional graduate students at the host campus also help with organizing. This year’s conference was funded by Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy (SESP), Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (OIDI), Learning Sciences Colloquium Series, Multidisciplinary Program in Education Sciences (MPES), and The Graduate School (TGS). In addition, funding for a guest faculty speaker was provided by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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How long has this conference been around?

This is the fourth annual LSGSC. The University of Illinois at Chicago hosted the inaugural conference in October 2016. Indiana University and Vanderbilt University hosted the next two conferences in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Read more about past conferences and check out conference proceedings.

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Who will host the 2020 conference?

University of Wisconsin–Madison!

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