Research + Design Projects

Developing Frameworks, Tools and Social Practices to Support Effective Instructor use of Online Social Learning Networks in Blended Learning Models

We use the existing robust ecology of the Digital Youth Network to conduct design research in learning environments that are making use of networked technologies and online spaces. The goal of the work is to design supports for online educator-learner interactions. Key questions include: What online interactions indicate and/or lead to learning? How can we (researchers, teachers, designers) reveal and understand these interactions? How can we design systems to support these interactions? How can we support educators to effectively use these systems to support learning?

21st Century Learning Analytics

The 21st Century Learning Analytics Project is a collaboration between CDM School of Design and School of Computing faculty and research assistants which brings together design, learning sciences, predictive analytics, and computer science. We use learning analytics and data visualization to understand and support 21st century learning activities and online educator support roles. Currently, we are developing data dashboards and metrics to support educator practice. We are also preparing a public data set of user trace data generated by educator and student activities in an online social learning network.

User Interface Design Patterns for 21st Century Learning

This project examines online learning environments that involve creating, remixing, sharing, critiquing, and communicating about artifacts and ideas. Research has shown that youth participation in online communities using these kinds of environments can build technical competencies related to 21st century learning such as creativity, collaboration, critique, and communication. With attention to equity and the experiences of underrepresented youth populations, we are analyzing online social learning networks to identify key user interface design patterns that support 21st century learning. Analysis includes attention to the ways in which the UI supports adult and youth interactions and 21st century learning activities. The results of this work will be useful to educators, designers, researchers who look to online tools as spaces to engage youth in learning communities.

Past Projects

Hive Discovery Externship

The Hive Externship Project examined how to connect interest-centered learning across multiple cultural institutions and in-school experiences for middle school youth. To support this work, I helped organize design workshops (e.g., need finding and ideation activities) to foster collaboration across cultural institutions in Chicago. The Hive's institutional partners worked together to conceptualize, design, and implement an externship experience for eighth graders in the Spring of 2013.

5Essentials Survey Administration Module and 5Essentials Reporting Site

The 5Essentials Survey Administration Module is a web application that allows researchers and support professionals to administer complex surveys on a large scale to school districts. Components include tools for creating sophisticated surveys, monitoring responses, and communicating with various stakeholders. The 5Essentials Reporting site is a platform for authoring and delivering customized, interactive reports of survey results and data visualizations. In this work, I worked on needs analysis, requirements specification, vendor selection, contracting, user interface design, interaction design, data visualization design, wireframes and mockups, project management, acceptance testing.