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Hello! I'm Dr. Lu Lawrence, a learning scientist and design researcher who uses design-based research to study how people learn and interact. I partner with communities to co-design digital and non-digital learning environments and investigate their impact in authentic contexts.


Currently, I am an Assistant Professor at Utah State University in the Instructional Technologies and Learning Sciences program. 

I am recruiting students at all levels (undergraduate, masters, and PhD) for the 2023-2024 academic year! Reach out for more information!

Before joining USU, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California Irvine in the School of Education and Carnegie Mellon in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute. I completed my MA and PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Digital Environment for Learning, Teaching, and Agency program, and hold a BFA in Graphic Design from Iowa State University. 


Design-Based Research

Design Justice

Participatory Design

Community-Engaged Research
Learning Sciences



Educational Technology

Playful Learning


luettamaelawrence [at] gmail [dot] com

lu [dot] lawrence [at] usu [dot] edu


My research focuses on how environments and tools support collaborative interactions and learning for students, teachers, and researchers. These selected projects showcase applications of design-based research to create digital and non-digital artifacts that support teaching and learning.


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BEST DESIGN PAPER. Lawrence, L., Guo, B., Yang, K., Echeverria, V., Kang, Z., Bathala, V., Li, C., Huang, W., Rummel, N., & Aleven, V. (2022). Process to co-design AI-based orchestration tools to support dynamic transitions: Design narratives through Conjecture Mapping. Paper accepted at the15th Annual Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning. International Society of the Learning Sciences. Hiroshima, Japan.  [link]  [pdf]
INVITED TALK. Lawrence, L., (2022). Co-designing AI-based orchestration tools to support dynamic transitions. University of Pittsburgh, Virtual, March 28, 2022.
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BEST DESIGN PAPER NOMINATION. Lawrence, L., Tucker, T., & Mercier, E. (2021). Examining the influence of instructor interventions on group collaboration. In Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning-CSCL 2021. International Society of the Learning Sciences. (pp. 161-164). Bochum, Germany. [link]  [pdf] 
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