A revolution in learning
Engage differently
How Do I Enroll?

Learning Media

Design new media systems for learning by combining your expertise with the concepts and methods of the science of learning

About Learning Media

When we learn, we often do so with the use of some form of media. We visualize concepts with the help of drawings on a chalkboard and we take notes with a pencil and paper. We pore through digital archives for research or play an educational game on a tablet.

Students in the Learning Media area will combine their diverse skills for the design of effective new media systems for learning; from games for learning to tangible learning tool kits and remote learning systems. They will focus on systems that leverage new technologies, media arts knowledge, and learning science principles to create engaging experiences with measurable real world impact.

Learning Media offers courses that cover, in an interdisciplinary manner accessible to students from all disciplines, the basic concepts and methods of learning science. Students will combine these courses with relevant media making courses from other IDeATe concentrations (Game Design, Mediated Narrative, Physical Computing, etc.) and technology-enhanced learning courses. The Learning Media Design course (required for this minor) brings students across disciplines together to explore integrative design of learning media through hands-on collaborative projects.

How to Participate

IDeATe's Learning Media minor and courses are open to students from any major. The minor requires taking a portal course plus four courses from the collaborative and supportive course options. Students should contact the IDeATe advisor to discuss curriculum and to make a loose plan of study. 

Students may also opt to take just one or two courses to fulfill course requirements or to explore an area of interest. Pursuing a minor is not a prerequisite for taking the Learning Media courses.


The table below outlines the curriculum requirements and course options for Learning Media. For a listing of Learning Media courses offered this semester, please visit the Courses page

Minor - Five courses

One Portal Course:

  • For DC, CFA, TSB majors: 15-104 Introduction to Computing for Creative Practice
  • For CIT, MCS, SCS majors: 62-150 Introduction to Media Synthesis & Analysis

Four Collaborative or Supportive Courses:

  • 80-292 Learning Science Principles
  • 05-292 Learning Media Methods
  • 05-291 Learning Media Design
  • 05-418 Design of Educational Games
  • 05-823 E-Learning Design Principles
  • 05-432 Personalized Online Learning
  • 05-438 The Role of Technology in Learning in the 21st Century
  • 05-899E Computer Supported Collaborative Learning
  • 85-392 Human Expertise
Note: Students also have the option of taking one Collaborative or Supportive course from one of the other IDeATe areas.

Double-counting: Students may double-count up to two of the IDeATe minor courses for other requirements.


The IDeATe collaborative studios promote hands-on learning through making, critique, and iterative design. Students in these courses apply skills from both technology and arts disciplines to prototype ideas and leverage the diversity of perspectives to produce innovation in their field. Learning happens both through the instructor and through the interdisciplinary peer cohort.

Learning Media Design

Offered by: Entertainment Technology, Human Computer Interaction, Robotics Institute

Learning is a complex human phenomenon with cognitive, social and personal dimensions that need to be accounted for in the design of technology enhanced learning experiences. In this studio course students will apply learning science concepts to critique existing forms of learning media, establish a set of design precedents to guide project work and produce a series of design concepts that support learning interactions in a real-world context. Collaborating in small interdisciplinary teams, students will partner with a local informal learning organization (e.g. museum, after school program provider,...

Learn More »

Learning Media Methods

Offered by: Human Computer Interaction

Learning Media Methods brings together students from across the disciplines to consider the design of mediated learning experiences though a project-based inquiry course. Students will be introduced to a range of design research methods and associated frameworks that explore the cognitive, social and affective dimensions of learning in everyday contexts through readings, invited lectures, in-class activities and assignments. Students will conduct a series of short design research studies to define learning goals and develop supporting design concepts that improve learning outcomes for diverse...

Learn More »

Learning Science Principles

Offered by: Philosophy

The ability to learn - that is, to change and adapt to one's environment - is one of the hallmarks of intelligence, whether in humans, animals, or machines. In this course, we will examine the nature, components, and significance of learning in many different manifestations, with a particular focus on the fundamental concepts that underlie the ways in which we understand "learning" in different disciplines. This course will principally focus on different conceptualizations of learning, rather than its technical aspects, whether mathematical, experimental, or computational.

This course...

Learn More »


In addition to the collaborative studios, the IDeATe network also incorporates a number of existing courses from across the university into its curriculum. These courses have significant applications in the technology-arts realm and serve to enrich the student experience in IDeATe and at Carnegie Mellon.

Combine processes and principles from game design and instructional design.
Offered by: Human Computer Interaction
This course is about e-learning design principles, the evidence and theory behind them, and how to apply these principles to develop effective educational technologies.
Offered by: Human Computer Interaction
This course will provide an up-to-date account of the theory and data concerning the development of expertise.
Offered by: Psychology
This course focuses on designing experiences that engage people in educational activities that enhance their learning through meaningful, memorable, and enjoyable interactions with information.
Offered by: Design
This course covers a number of proven personalization techniques used in advanced learning technologies.
Offered by: Human Computer Interaction
The goals of this course are to learn data collection, design, and analysis methodologies that are particularly useful for scientific research in education.
Offered by: Human Computer Interaction
This mini will introduce you to research and theory on how to create effective teams.
Offered by: English


A student can choose to enroll in an IDeATe concentration or minor either in their sophomore or in their junior year. These required portal courses introduce students to the concepts and practices of knowledge areas beyond their discipline that contribute to the subject of each minor/concentration.

Arts and Humanities Students
15-104 is an introduction to fundamental computing principles and programming techniques for creative cultural practices, with special consideration to applications in music, design and the visual arts. Intended for students with little to no prior programming experience, the course develops skills and understanding of text-based programming in a procedural style.
Engineering / Computer Science Students
The course is an introduction to basic principles for the creation of digitally mediated content. The course is aimed towards students from science and engineering disciplines who have limited exposure to content analysis and authoring.


Faculty members from across the university collaborate to develop and instruct courses that are collaborative in nature and support diverse areas of student expertise.

Vincent Aleven
Human-Computer Interaction Institute
Learning Media
David Danks
Department of Philosophy
Learning Media
Jessica Hammer
Human-Computer Interaction Institute
Learning Media
Ken Koedinger
Human-Computer Interaction Institute
Learning Media
Marti Louw
Human-Computer Interaction Institute
Learning Media