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I am an Assistant Professor at Utah State University in the Instructional Technologies and Learning Sciences program. 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 my BFA in Graphic Design from Iowa State University. Previously, 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. 


My program of research is twofold. First, I participate in and study participatory design research; second, I study the outcomes of this work in technology-enhanced STEM learning contexts. My research lies at the intersection of learning sciences, human-computer interaction, and design, with the goal of producing equitable technology enhanced STEM learning environments.


My primary goal is to center design narratives as scholarship by articulating the often-hidden processes that researchers use to develop educational technology with stakeholders. I ask questions about how we can adapt, create, and enact methods of design that position communities as active collaborators in the design process. This work positions community members as decision-makers, prioritize their expertise and lived experiences, and use methods that prioritize care, well-being, and trust. 

The results of these design processes include methodological insights, but also the final co-created technology that is integrated into authentic learning contexts. I have created technology including Artificial Intelligence, mobile and tablet applications, Augmented Reality, multitouch tables, etc., that were specifically chosen based on the access and resources of the communities. To understand the impact of these technologies, I apply a design-based research methodology. I collect data about technology use, perceptions, interactions and learning processes to answer questions about learning, as well as equity-related metrics, including outcomes derived by communities to triangulate findings and provide nuanced descriptions of how technology interacts in learning environments.



Design-Based Research

Design Justice

Participatory Design

Community-Engaged Research
Learning Sciences



Educational Technology

Playful Learning




Graphic Design Production 

Design for Writing 

Design Based Implementation Research 



luettamaelawrence [at] gmail [dot] com

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

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