Research Focus

The PLATO project – General Information

While information and communication technology has an immense influence on our lives, little is understood about its particular effects on the way we learn.

In the Age of Information, scientific knowledge has to compete against misinformation and biased data spread through social and mass media. These conditions pose hazards for learning in formal and informal environments.

The international research program "Positive Learning in the Age of Information" (PLATO), established in 2016, unites outstanding expertise with innovation in information processing to investigate positive learning in our knowledge-based society in a vital scientifically, morally and ethically oriented approach.


PLATO’s Vision

PLATO is a research initiative among multiple German universities and research institutions as well as numerous cooperating universities and researchers around the globe (see website). PLATO unites outstanding expertise with innovation in a vital scientifically, morally, and ethically oriented research approach to investigate the representation of information and its effects on students’ positive learning in knowledge-based societies. We seek to study the impact of the Internet and especially social media on university students’ learning – with implications for citizens’ learning in democratic societies. Our research covers studies focusing on basic informational and cognitive structures and processes of domain-related learning from sources of high or low information quality. The outcomes have implications for action with regard to applied research in education and instrument design to ensure that students and citizens can handle information in digital media responsibly and to mitigate its negative impact on student learning and citizen engagement in democracies.