Research Theme » Capacity Building
My role at CMU naturally prioritizes teaching. In this role, I view research as a mode of capacity building: it allows me to test and explore new terrains of emerging media relevant to my teaching and to develop innovative technologies and pedagogies that advance the modes of interdisciplinary practice in this space, and to provide support for others operating in similar contexts.
Research for the Classroom: To this end, I often build research prototypes that I deploy and evaluate in my classrooms. In turn, research outputs create capacity building for instruction practice. As mentioned above, I designed and evaluated the Gallery. Equally, I am conducting learning research in my Data Analytics class into effective strategies for engaging non-experts in data science.
Research in the Classroom: I also use the classroom to help to conceptualize, pilot and resolve new areas for research. For example, in my course ‘Designing for the Internet of Things’ I introduced a project on connected devices and financial literacy. This generated concepts and verified potential for extended research; leading to a $40K funded project with PNC Bank. Similarly, Project Amelia (see above) has been mutually beneficial; it offers a rich context for student exploration, while student outcomes advances potential lines of research inquiry.
Research beyond the classroom: Beyond instruction, I’ve invested significant effort in examining how digital platforms can help develop communities of practice. In particular, I’ve worked to explore how networked co-curation or practices of distributed, decentralized curation can acts as a strategy to identify shared value and meaning for diverse interdisciplinary communities (Byrne & Kelliher, 2015). This is seen in three significant projects. Each asks how we can build understanding of complex heterogeneous communities through community contribution and action.