The Subway Summit on Cognition and Education Research marked its sixth annual gathering this year with a new stop on the subway—this time, uptown.
The summit, which has been taking place at Fordham since its 2008 launch, was held on Jan. 25 at Columbia University’s Teachers College, marking the beginning of a new rotating format.
“[The rotation] gives the conference longevity,” said summit co-founder William B. Whitten II, Ph.D., distinguished research scholar at the Graduate School of Education (GSE) and director of the Center for Learning in Unsupervised Environments (CLUE). “It shows a successful long-term contribution to the NYC area research community by Fordham.”
The summit began as a research exchange conference among local university faculty and graduate students from Fordham, Columbia, New York University, and the City University of New York Graduate Center. Rutgers University in New Jersey joined the summit in 2011, making the conference “a subway summit and light rail series,” Whitten said.
This year’s conference featured about 30 presentations on cognitive psychology/science and education from faculty, graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers. Topics included the use of multimedia to facilitate learning, the dynamics of collaborative learning, and designing more effective homework.
Intervals between presentation blocks and a post-conference reception provided an opportunity to network and forge research relationships among the schools, Whitten said.
“There’s time for people from these different universities to get to know each other and build linkages that can lead to future collaboration and networking,” he said.
“[The students] get a lot out of it—they have the opportunity to present their own research outside of their university and get feedback from others about their research approach.”
Presenters from Fordham included Whitten; GSE students Jun Li and Lindsay Blau Portnoy; Sandra E. Whitten, consultant to CLUE; and Mitchell Rabinowitz, Ph.D., chair of GSE’s psychological and educational services division and associate director of CLUE.
“There are lots of conferences, but what’s unique about this is that there are about 70 to 90 people in the room, and they’re all local, and it doesn’t cost anything other than a subway ticket,” Whitten said. “It’s a great opportunity to get together and share.”