About the Institute

Our Vision

The learning sciences at the University at Buffalo can significantly enhance expansive learning at scale to address pressing societal problems through technology research and development, community engaged research-practice partnerships and transformation of the university's role in learning.

Our Mission

Our mission is to conduct sustained, systemic and interdisciplinary research and design in the learning sciences in order to transform learning to be more impactful and equitable. We draw on what the literature terms “expansive learning.” Expansive learning is transformative learning; it involves not old ways to learn new things, or new ways to learn old things, but rather new ways of learning new things that can potentially transform communities, institutions and cultures to address problems we’ve never solved before.

How We Work

Our institute works simultaneously on three areas of impact to ensure our research is relevant and responsive.

  1. Community engaged research: We work through research-practice partnerships with community institutions. This ensures our community-focused work serves the needs of the community, and allows us to do research on sustained, systemic change.
  2. Technology research and development: We explore new possibilities for the technologies of the future, and not just those of today. We contribute to ensuring technologies that serve societal needs are developed, and help ensure that best available learning sciences research is incorporated into technology creation.
  3. Transforming the university: As an anchor institution for knowledge and learning, the university plays a unique role in supporting learning, through our formal degree programs, but also through outreach and original research the helps create a more informed government and citizenry. UB ILS aims to envision what the university of the future could look like, both in terms of pedagogies and helping foster knowledge building in society on our four themes.  

Our institute contributes to research, design, training, and pedagogy. We welcome inquiries for collaboration. Prospective doctoral students may wish to apply to any of the academic programs with which ILS faculty are associated, including: