PD Dr. Dimitra Tsovaltzi


For over fifteen years, I have been doing research in the field of the learning sciences and educational technology. My focus is on learning and instructional design. I do empirical research on socio-cognitive processes of learning, work on modelling instructional designs, and develop educational models for digital learning. My expertise also includes moderating the communication between different stakeholders of digital learning that do not always share the same ideas, backgrounds and vocabularies. My goal is to build educational models that flexibly take into account the needs but also the competencies of them.

I understand learning as the most important human characteristic. I am fascinated by the idea of socio-cognitive models of learning that may encompas the complexity of human learning. I am convinced that technology may help us derive such models, support and transform learning processes in formal education and informal learning settings. I am dedicated to overcoming potential pitfalls for progress (e.g. quality losses and confirmation biases) and to leveraging dynamic individual and group processes (e.g. argumentation, socio-cognitive conflict, embodied / narrative-based learning) as posibilities for learning.

In the past, I concentrated on intelligent tutoring systems and on how artificial intelligent techniques can be used to promote learning. I modelled schema theory of learning for hinting. I developed a model of proactive hints for natural language dialogue systems to foster active learning. I have also modelled and investigated learning through online erroneous examples to create learning opportunities through common errros in mathematics. In the field of chemistry, I applied adaptive collaboration scripts to explorative learning with a virtual chemistry lab.


  • Awarded paper Naomi Miyake Best Student Paper Award in Computer Supported Collaborative Learning conference, CSCL 2015, Gothenburg, Sweden. Advisor and second author
  • Academic Exchange Scholarship DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) for the International Conference of the Learning Sciences, June 2016
  • Scholarship for the Annual PSLC Learn-Lab Summer School, Carnegie Mellon University, 2006, Pittsburgh, USA
  • Academic Travel Scholarship of the IAIED (International Society of Artificial Intelligence in Education), for the conference AIED ’03 (Artificial Intelligence in Education) conference, Sydney, Australia
  • EPSRC scholarship for the Masters of Science Cognitive Science and Natural Language Processing, University of Edinburgh. Award Reference Number: 00401365

Indicative List of Research Interests

  • Learning and instruction
  • Learning in social networks
  • Technology and embodied learning
  • Computer-facilitated collaboration and argumentation
  • Socio-cognitive models of learning
  • Feedback its formalisation and automation
  • Tutorial dialogues and dialogue management engines


Contact Information

e-mail dimitra.tsovaltzi(at)mx.uni-saarland.de
phone +49 681 30271257
skype dtsovaltzi
home page Homepage learning sciences
mailing adress Department of Educational Technology
Saarland University
Campus C5 4
66123 Saarbrücken
office Building C5 4, Room 1.14