Computational Literacies Lab


This page is mostly for PhD students advised by Chris.


CISL and the Learning Sciences concentration are both very flexible--maybe too flexible. The course plan below

  • Milestones (20 credits)
    • LAI 615: Introduction to CISL (3 credits; Y1 Fall)
    • LAI 697: Research Analysis Exam (1 unit; Y2 Fall)
    • LAI 645: Research Component (6 credits; Y2-3)
    • LAI 702: Dissertation independent study (10 credits)
  • Methods (21 credits)
    • Qualitative methods
      • LAI 657: Analysis of Qualitative Research (3 credits)
      • LAI 669: Qualitative Techniques for Education (3 credits)
      • LAI 619: Qualitative Research Design (3 credits)
    • Quantitative methods


Research analysis exam

Read about the RAE in the CISL handbook. The RAE should be taken once you have completed 18-24 credits, probably in the fall semester of your second year. Plan the timing of your RAE with your advisor.

Preparing for the RAE

When you're ready: write a one-page document and send it to Chris. It should contain:

  • A one-paragraph academic profile summarizing your role (doctoral student at UB), your research area, the most important frameworks you will use to frame your research, the most important methods you plan to use, and an explanation of your research is important. For example:

    Chris Proctor is an assistant professor of Learning Sciences at University at Buffalo (SUNY) and founding director of UB's computer science teacher preparation program. Chris studies K12 Computer Science education through the disciplinary lenses of Learning Sciences and New Literacies. He is interested in how computational media can support youth in critical identity authorship, in and out of school. Much of Chris's work is participatory design-based research, working with middle- and high-school students to design new technologies and then using mixed methods to study the emergent practices they support. Chris is the lead developer and researcher of Unfold Studio, a web application for reading and writing interactive stories which weave together text and code.

  • Citations for three empirical journal articles or ISLS/ACM full conference papers which you see as "mentor texts" exemplifying the kind of research you aspire to do, or which play an important role in contextualizing the research you aspire to do. Each should have been published within the last ten years. Write one sentence after each citation explaining why you selected it.

    Chris will likely select one of these articles for your RAE, so it would be wise to select articles which you are interested in analyzing. You are welcome to select articles which you think have flaws, or with which you have a productive disagreement; it can be especially productive to analyze such articles.



Your analysis should not focus on evaluating the article you select as much as 
interpreting it.

Research component

  • Expected: Conference presentation.

Dissertation proposal