Worklearn 2016

A workshop about online learning
and labor at CHI 2016

Online Learning at Scale and Career Opportunities

Education is one of the UN's eight Millennium Development Goals, and considerable interest has been displayed in online education at scale to realize development goals. Yet, connecting education at scale to income-earning opportunities for students, and more broadly to careers, is still a daunting challenge, especially so, for students who have limited access to higher education to begin with.

This CHI workshop seeks to address these issues by convening a multidisciplinary forum, bringing together the insights of researchers from disparate communities currently working on related problems, including Computer Science, Distance Education, Education Technology and Analytics, HCOMP, CSCW, HICSS, Learning at Scale, and public and private-sector organizations. The workshop aims to connect these disparate research communities with the intention of fostering new research collaborations exploring the opportunities for individuals not yet in the focus of education at scale.

The focus of the workshop is on the theoretical, applied, and empirical connections between education at scale and student income opportunities, in both developed and developing contexts, seeking to address questions such as:

  • How can we provide students with income while learning at scale?
  • How do we foster student monetary independence through education at scale?
  • How do MOOCs currently connect students to income-earning opportunities?
  • What are the unexplored avenues?
  • How do MOOCs prepare students for careers? Does learning at scale differ from training at scale?
  • Can we explicitly connect Crowdwork and education at scale? Should we? What is the "low-hanging fruit" in this respect?


The workshop will take place May 8 in room 210F.

  • 9:00 am Introduction and Welcome
  • 9:45 am Ideation
  • 10:30 am Coffee break
  • 11:00 am Building Blocks I
  • 12:30 pm Lunch
  • 1:30 pm Building Blocks II
  • 4:00 pm Coffee break
  • 4:30 pm Assembly

For more details on the agenda please take a look at the shared resources document (see below or above).

About the Workshop

Education at scale is both an emerging alternative, and a complement to traditional education institutions. Education at scale displays an unprecedented scale and reach for education delivery, and new education delivery potentials, while at the same time providing new, low-cost (often free of charge) learning opportunities for individuals across our globe. Yet, the breathtaking promises of education at scale are thus far largely unfulfilled in respect to generating new income for students. We have organized this workshop because we believe that this situation can change!

We also believe that to make progress with such goals requires a special type of workshop. Normally a workshop is a loose gathering and most often people talk about what they have already done. We want to turn this around. We want to work with you on a future-oriented agenda to develop the basis for new, useful, and interesting research proposals.

Given these goals we are particularly open to the participation of PhD students and other early-career researchers. In this respect, we offer you the opportunity to join our workshop by writing a short two-page position paper addressing relevant subjects. The paper should tell us about you, your research, and your research goals. Please let us know why you are interested in the workshop and why you think your research can help education at scale fulfill its promise. The paper should contain a short summary of the state of the art research that you consider most influential to your goals. The second part should draw some lines between this state of art and your work.

Due to our new style of CHI workshop we have two deadlines for those interested in submitting papers. December 21st is an OPTIONAL deadline. You can submit an abstract of no-less than 200 words (via e-mail to the workshop organizers), to garner feedback from the workshop committee. If you choose to do so, we will get back to you by December 23rd. In addition to the feedback, the benefit of this optional deadline is that you will know by December 23rd if you are accepted into the workshop or not. The second deadline for the final two-page position paper is January 15, 2016. We will announce more detailed plans, and an exact schedule of the workshop in March. If you want to be involved in the workshop process, or have any other constructive ideas, insights, or feedback, please feel free to add your comments to the shared resources section of our website, or contact us via e-mail.

Important Dates

  • December 21st: Early Notification Round of 200 word abstract (Optional)
  • January 15th: Deadline for the final 2 page position paper (Mandatory)
  • May 8th: Workshop at CHI'16. Room 210F, Starts 9:00am

Please read "About the workshop" for more details on the paper submission.


Markus Krause, ICSI, UCBerkeley
Margeret Hall, Karlsruhe Service Research Institute
Joseph Jay Williams, Harvard University
Praveen Paritosh, Google, Inc.
John Prpic, Lulea University of Technology
Simon Caton, National College of Ireland