Rapid Community Reports: Call for Submissions

Submissions are accepted on an ongoing basis. Please contact us to discuss a possible article, or follow the instructions for authors to use provided Google Doc template(s) for your submission. Once accepted, submissions will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC by 4.0) license.

The RCR series currently invites three types of submissions:

  1. Primers – a short, informative, introductory summary of a key topic in the learning sciences and/or about learning technology. Primers are used by newcomers, proposal authors, graduate students, educators, and others to gain a sense of an important idea or theme, and as a starting point for further learning.
  2. Workshop outcomes – a brief overview of the process and outcomes of the deliberations of an R&D community on a focused topic.
  3. Design Reflections – describes an innovative design for learning including its basis in established and novel research, with a specific emphasis on sharing constructive criticism from outsiders on what makes the design particularly noteworthy, useful, and/or is worthy of further investigation.

Contributions on any topic of broad interest in learning sciences and technology are welcome. We are currently revising and expanding the list of suggested topics below. These topics are intended to inspire and not to limit contributions:

  • Primers on useful methods for learning sciences research and design, such as multimodal analytics, conjecture mapping, or co-design.
  • Primers on powerful theories in the learning sciences, such as embodied cognition or collaborative learning.
  • Primers on archetypical designs, such as remote labs, intelligent tutors, or simulation tools.
  • Primers on how to address equity and other key educational concerns while conducting learning science research.
  • Primers with that provide an overview of guiding documents and broadly useful resources, such an overview of resources on data privacy, an overview of data repositories, an overview of tools for processing video data, guidance on how to work with industry, information on where to find information on trends in technology, an overview of international comparison reports, etc.
  • Workshop reports that address the state of the art on a learning sciences and technology topic, and offer recommendations for future R&D, for example, a workshop report on young learners & robotics, computational thinking, and assessment, etc.
  • Design reflections on any novel technology design that has a grounding in learning science principles or techniques, which could include principles from artificial intelligence, collaborative learning, meta-cognition, or embodied cognition, for example.

More information on each of these types appears below; also see instructions for authors for additional details and templates. Please contact the committee with any questions or inquiries.


A Primer is the opinion of a reasonable expert (or team of experts); it is not a comprehensive literature review (such as might be published in Review of Educational Research). By analogy, the content should be similar to what an intelligent newcomer might learn by visiting and talking with a helpful expert(s) in a modest amount of time. It should offer a concise list of valuable reference citations (chosen for helpfulness to the primer’s audiences). While a “reasonable expert” can offer her or his preferred framing of the topic, the expert is “reasonable” precisely because she or he also orients the reader to any important differences or tensions in the field on the topic.

See instructions for authors to learn more about suggested aspects, organization, and review criteria for primers.

Workshop Outcomes

Workshop reports typically identify what is important to the future of an R&D community, which could be unanswered research questions, a call for new methods, or visions for new designs and topics of research. A report on a workshop typically describes the driving question for the workshop, explains who was invited and attended, provides an overview of the agenda and process for the workshop, and summarizes the insights and recommendations. The RCR series is not a suitable place to publish a comprehensive capture of everything that happened at a workshop. As RCRs are brief, an RCR on workshop outcomes should provide an executive summary of the most important information and insights from the workshop.

See instructions for authors to learn more about suggested aspects, organization, and review criteria for workshop outcomes.

Design Reflections

Design Reflections are a novel genre for cyberlearning and related fields, and yet could flow naturally in the lifecycle of projects, especially in the early stages of development. A Design Reflection should reflect and discuss the continuous improvement process that has occurred for the project. It offers a space for researcher/s to reflect and demonstrate how the design process has grown within the lifecycle of the project and in relation to an intentional continuous improvement process. For example, a Design Reflection submission might follow from a design review meeting occurring at a project milestone — for example, with an external advisory board. Alternatively, a design review meeting might occur at a conference (for example, during an interactive demo/symposium session). A Design Reflection could be the result of a Video Showcase video that recruited extensive commentary, or the result of a co-design process where researchers have partnered with teachers, and a substantive design review occurred. The emphasis in peer review will be on the quality of reflection about the design, not the type of event that produced it.

One purpose of publishing Design Reflections is to make promising or proven design elements and review methods more rapidly and readily available to inspire and contribute to others’ design work. We assume that project leaders will want to publish Design Reflections on works-in-progress designs that are promising but still undergoing development. As such, a Design Reflection offers the opportunity for authors to be cited for their design contributions before all the other elements of a research project are publication-ready.

A further purpose of published Design Reflection articles is to provide a visible model of constructive criticism of design and continuous improvement within the Learning Sciences / Cyberlearning Communities. That is, Design Reflections can highlight how these research communities undertake constructive criticism of a design as part of the R&D process. As a critical genre, Design Reflections are like art, film, literature, or architectural criticism in spirit; they aim to both inform readers about an important design and also cultivate connoisseurship. They aim to help the audience appreciate why they should learn about a particular design, but also how to think about directions for improvement or investigation.

See instructions for authors to learn more about suggested aspects, organization, and review criteria for design reflections.