Center for Large-scale, Individualized Learning, Director: Scott Klemmer
New challenges, cultural values, and technologies are changing design — and vice versa. Pervasive networked devices have freed design from the confines of the lab: design increasingly roams at large. Many of these designs meld the physical, digital, and social worlds. The successes are tremendously exciting, but the failure rate is high. Herein lies the challenge. Currently, many design practices are faith-based rather than research-based. Why is there a shortfall of principles for effective design? In part, some see design as intrinsically mystical and impervious to investigation, because creative work is clearly complex and multifarious. And in part, this is a multidisciplinary effort. Building rigorous design theory requires insights that are currently spread across departments… and also beyond the ivory tower.
The research tools harvest and synthesize examples to empower more people to design, program, learn, and create. The experiments and research systems leverage real-world, web-scale usage to create practical theories for design. One focus of our recent work — inspired by the design studio — is enabling peer learning online. This work, used in hundreds of massive online classes, has created techniques for effective global-scale peer assessment of creative work and small-group video discussions among learners from diverse cultures.