CMU SoD+ RSD9 Designer's Symposium
Research on accessibility of remote channels of work and study during the COVID-19 pandemic. This project aims to develop better strategies and design for a more effective working digital environment.
Designers + Research. In collaboration with @cmu-design
Prior to the 2020 pandemic, the majority of the world was unaccustomed to purely remote channels of working. Our team and I were tasked to conduct a research project that explored how remote channels of working can be optimized for collaborative studio, lab, and non-lecture-based academic and professional work, and subsequently propose a design solution to mitigate the pain points identified in our investigation.
At our initial data gathering stage, we surveyed multiple of sources, both secondary (academic journals, COVID-19 relevant articles) and primary, by conducting first-person research through user testing, interviews with CMU Senate, and other university-documented materials containing concerns brought up by students and faculty responses in past semesters.
Our research approach was split into a Macro, Intermediate, and Micro approach. For Macro, Instagram Q&A and poll was conducted to collect both qualitative and quantitave data, targeting a wide range of audience including non-CMU CFA students. Interactive Maps/Activites on Notice Boards was conducted towards immediate local population, which is CMU students. Activites included placing stickers along a spectrum based on one’s individual opinions/feelings towards a topic. Finally one-to-one individual interview was done with CMU students and instructors. This was to understand experiences with online school more in depth and possibly comprehend personalized experience on a case-to-case basis. By conducting research in stages, we were able to refine our research focus and gain information in both breadth and depth.
Based on our research, our proposed solution evolved to address methods of tackling the issue from a systematic and administrative standpoint to ease the burdens of online learning. We found that especially through comparing experiences between students studying similar majors at different schools adapting to a remote-only model actually decreased workloads on both professors and students. In this solution, we focus more on the less visible aspects of the issue and tackle it from a systematic standpoint.
Specific administrative changes could include lessening of group projects, or increase one-on-one sessions between professors and students and shifting the focus to be more on asynchronise learning.
One tradeoff could be the addition of an organized and clearly defined daily syallabus in exchange of open and conversational-driven seminars, which may work on a case-to-case basis with certain negative externalities and assumptions as given.
Here is the final representative data design created by my group, in order to summarize the information collected and solutions proposed.