Interdisciplinary Research shaping the Future of Learning

The Future Learning Inititiative (FLI) Advisory Board Meeting

The Future Learning Initiative Advisory Board Meeting was a big success!

FLI project members showcased brief reports of the various FLI projects, each presented in a 10min talk and followed by a 5-​min Q&A. The keynote speaker Prof. Martha W. Alibali, Prof. of Psychology, University of Wisconsin–Madison, talked about how learners discern mathematical structure and the roles of perceptual learning, action, and collaboration.

The detailed program can be found here.

A huge thank you all the speakers and members and to make ideas to come alive!

Illustrated by Fraser Rothnie and Julia Chatain

The Future Learning Initiative (FLI) leverages and builds upon our existing strengths in secondary and higher education to develop the world’s leading centre for research in the science of learning and advance ETH’s reputation as the globally leading learning institution.

FLI brings together more than 20 professors from 10 departments with the goal of synergizing existing expertise, while simultaneously accelerating impact through coordinated inter-departmental and inter-disciplinary collaboration.

Our goal is to transform the higher education system by:

  1. Understanding the nature of formal and informal learning as a complex phenomenon across multiple, interacting levels: neural, cognitive, embodied, social, and cultural;
  2. Translating research into practice, first at ETH Zurich and then at the gymnasium, by designing cutting-edge applications in domain-specific learning, learning environments & technologies, and learning & data sciences;

The initiative seeks to advance the science of learning through:

  1. one new tenure-track assistant professorship on STEM learning;
  2. a center for engineering education; and
  3. an interdisciplinary set of projects, such as neuro-embodied basis of physics concepts, mixed reality learning environments in medical and bioengineering education, physical spaces and learning, interdisciplinary in life sciences education, embodied learning and gaming, enhancing abstract mathematical cognition, learning of ethics, as well as several longitudinal projects.


Principal Investigator

Manu Kapur


Elsbeth Stern


Christoph Stadtfeld


Christoph Hölscher