Call for Participation

The Robots for Learning workshop series aims at advancing the research topics related to the use of social robots in educational contexts. This year’s half-day workshop follows on previous events in Human-Robot Interaction conferences focusing on efforts to discuss potential benchmarks in design, methodology and evaluation of new robotics systems that help learners.

In this 6th edition of the workshop, we will be investigating in particular methods from technologies for education and online learning. Since the past few months, online and remote learning has been put in place in several countries to cope with the health and safety measures due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In this workshop, we aim to discuss strategies to design robotics system able to provide embodied assistance to the remote learners and to demonstrate long-term learning effects.

Important Dates

Early Bird Submission Deadline** January 25, 2021 AoE
Early Bird Acceptance notification January 30, 2021
General Submission Deadline February 17, 2021
General Acceptance notification February 23, 2021
Camera Ready March 2, 2021
Workshop event March 12, 2021 PM


Imagine a person engaged in a learning activity, be it solving math exercises with pen and paper or practicing a second language by playing a memory game with a social robot. In both cases, the activity has superficial, visible goals (to find the solution of the equation, to score more points than the other player) covering the deeper, more elusive goal of helping the person learn. In the specific case of learning activities involving social robot, this double-layered structure makes the design of the robot’s behaviour a fascinating challenge: while it is relatively straightforward to design a robot that’s a fierce competitor at a memory game, it is much less clear to envision how it should behave to support its human counterpart in learning. Similarly, the design of the experiment allowing for evaluating the robot’s behaviour, as well as the robot-enhanced learning activity as a whole, becomes at once crucial and non trivial.

In this 6th edition of the “Robots for Learning” workshop, international experts in the field will share their knowledge concerning the design of social robot behaviours which support learning, their embedding in a learning activity and the evaluation of their impact through an experiment and the assessment of the person’s learning. The workshop is organized as a highly interactive event, in which participants are encouraged to bring case studies taken from their own research and discuss them in groups and with the experts.

The workshop will be online (e.g Zoom) and highly interactive. Participants will be asked to prepare the workshop by 1/ answering some questions related to their work and 2/ doing some reading prior to the workshop. The workshop will have two types of session:

  • Keynotes: invited senior researchers will share their perspectives and experiences on the field of technologies for education. They will be recorded to allow all participants watch them on-demand.
  • Units: Each unit will aim to look at the participants' work with a certain angle, and will start with a short intro on the topic followed by a group work. Participants will be given tools to help them answer the questions relatively to their planned study/research.

Submission Guidelines

We invite participants to report previous or planned research, practice and interest in developing applications in social robots for learning. Researchers from HRI, robotics and educational backgrounds are invited to contribute.

Authors are invited to submit a case study on which they will be working during the workshop. To present their case study, we ask them to answer a few questions in line with the units of the workshop. During the workshop, they will present to their peers their answer/implementation of the concepts for each unit and receive feedback. Priority will be given to case studies which are complementary, and which offer a range of theoretical and cultural perspectives.


1. Background and Research questions

What research question are you trying to address?

What learning theory or theortical background do you plan to use?

2. Design

What is the context to your research?

  • Who are your learners?
  • What are the learning objectives?
  • Where is the learning occuring? (home, school, elderly facility …)
  • What robot do you use and why?

3. Assessment

What methods do you plan to use for the assessment? How do they map with the learning objectives?

Submission format

Please submit your answers to the above questions in a 2-4 pages (excluding references) document using the template available here: The submissions are done via the online form:

List of topics

  • Adaptive mechanisms for robot tutors, personalization and adaptation algorithms for tutoring interactions
  • Design of autonomous systems for tutoring interactions
  • Theories and methods for tutoring (pedagogical and language acquisition)
  • Shared knowledge and knowledge modelling in HRI
  • Human-robot collaborative learning
  • Attachment and learning with a social robot (social and cognitive development)
  • Engagement in educational human-robot interaction
  • Student-robot relationship assessment
  • Designing student models and assessing student’s learning
  • Playful learning with a robot
  • Impact of embodiment on learning
  • Technical innovation in learning or teaching robots
  • Long term learning interactions, design and methodologies for repeated human-robot encounters
  • Robots for learners with special needs and special abilities
  • Privacy and ethical issues in robot tutoring applications
Wafa Johal
Wafa Johal
Lecturer at the School of Computer Science and Engineering