LEL Events

2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014

United Nations 10th World Urban Forum

— February 8, 2020

Peter Scupelli is presenting a paper titled “The Faster Ones Don’t Always Win: Dexign Futures Thinking for Innovation in Urban Contexts” at the United Nations 1oth World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

We live in the Anthropocene Era. Change is exponential. Design and the impact of design is everywhere around us. Human beings are a force shaping the planet’s geology, ecosystems, and weather. Our times are often described as volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA).

Products and services are developed faster, hold a shorter shelf-life disrupted by new offerings, and exist in the wider environment with existential challenges such as climate change and sustainability. What specific value sets embedded within product and service innovation processes help or hinder the achievement of long term sustainable development goals?

Rapid change contrasted to relatively stable times, can be confusing and may catch many unprepared. Ways of designing that until recently worked, now are questioned. While speeding up the development cycle can solve short term problems, rapid prototyping alone does not guarantee alignment with long term goals. Thus, within dynamic and rapidly changing environments where long term goals matter, designers need new paths forward and perspectives to shape sustainable product and service innovations.

Design that considers the complexity of sustainable lifestyles differs from the development products and services that are indifferent to local contexts. For one, societal problems situated in context require multiple perspectives to inform processes. Yet commonly taught human-centered design processes can easily default to a narrow version of customer-centered design that ignores varied contexts and values. Under time pressure, designers’ focus can default to customer needs, ignoring the richer perspectives that explore what it means to be human and to lead a meaningful community life.

While it is helpful to consider customer needs and product opportunities, it can be problematic to stop there. The type of Human-Centered Design Thinking that worked in the past to understand customer needs for the design of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and services, needs to be adapted when used to accomplish sustainable development goals.

A service design framing allows designers to consider both customer needs and service provider needs. But sustainable lifestyles involve more stakeholders than customer and service provider. One must consider multiple levels of the Socio-Ecological context (e.g., individual, group, organizations, communities, public policy), and differing value sets (Bronfenbrenner, 1979).

Tools and methods that allow for different views and perspectives where innovation is grounded, afford designers finding new opportunities for economic development. In other words, new ways of looking at problems can provide solutions to previously ignored problems and new opportunities for development.

IASDR 2019: Design Revolutions

— September 2, 2019

The School of Design’s Peter Scupelli will be presenting a paper at the IASDR Conference in Manchester, UK on September 2nd. He will be presenting “Teaching Futures: Trade-offs Between Flipped Classroom and Design Studio Course Pedagogies,” written by Peter Scupelli, Stuart Candy and Judy Brooks.

From the abstract:

Change is exponential. Products and services are developed faster, hold a shorter shelf-life disrupted by new offerings, and exist in the wider environment with global challenges emerging such as climate change and sustainability. Thus, design for the 21st century requires different skills; design educators are challenged to adapt. In this paper, we compare two versions of a futures studies course developed for design students: one uses a flipped-classroom pedagogy (with interactive online pre-work and in-class workshop activities, meeting for two 80-minute sessions per week); and the other uses a hybrid studio approach (making more use of in-class lectures followed by hands on-studio activities, meeting for 170 minutes once per week) focused on experiential futures practices of tangible artifact and immersive scenario creation. We use four measures: learning activity inventory, course quality with faculty course evaluations, student experience with a post-course survey, and time and feedback on final projects. We discuss design trade-offs for learning: format of reflections is linked to transfer activities, time on learning activities shapes perceptions, less (interference) is more, more (scaffolding, feedback, links to practice, active learning) is better, and timing is everything.

Link: Event Link

IASDR 2019: Design Revolutions runs Monday, September 2, 2019 – 8:00am to Thursday, September 5, 2019 – 5:00pm

Re-Designing Education to Shape a Better World

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Palazzo+Vettori/@43.776703,11.2561762,18z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x132a54034de21647:0x22741263b1893f5f!2sPalazzo+Vettori!8m2!3d43.7765946!4d11.2572759!3m4!1s0x132a54034de21647:0x22741263b1893f5f!8m2!3d43.7765946!4d11.2572759 — June 21, 2019

Peter Scupelli is leading a team at the “Re-Designing Education to Shape a Better World” symposium in Florence, Italy on June 21-23, 2019.  During the 3-day symposium educators and designers are challenged to imagine, design and create concepts for future education systems to empower students and teachers to develop a positive new world vision. The primary goal of this symposium is to bring together thought leaders from around the world to develop innovative ideas that will prepare students and teachers to shape a world that fosters a greater good for all. The symposium is co-
sponsored by Kent State University and DESIGN­ED.

US2020 STEM Collaboratory meeting

100 S Commons Suite 102, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 — January 31, 2018

Kristin Hughes and Peter Scupelli are keynoting for the US2020 STEM Collaboratory meeting Thursday,
February 1, 2018.

About the US2020 Challenge
The US2020 STEM Challenge is a competition for communities that are working together through cross-sector partnerships to bridge the opportunity gap and bring maker-centered learning and STEM mentorship opportunities to more girls, low-income students, and underrepresented students in their local communities.

Over 92 communities across the country applied to the competition, proposing innovative approaches for cross-sector collaboration and exciting STEM solutions in their communities. A panel of expert judges helped US2020 select fifteen finalist communities to move on to the final round of the competition. They’re currently in the process of engaging their stakeholders, refining their proposals, and will revise and resubmit their application prior to attending the STEM Collaboratory event. More information about the Challenge can be found on our website and in our press release.

The STEM Collaboratory
The celebration of their work will culminate at a STEM Collaboratory event, where communities will highlight what they’re doing in the collective impact space to bring engaging and enticing opportunities to students across the country through their cross-sector partnerships. This two-day workshop will expose communities to STEM and maker experts and creative community builders and provide an opportunity for communities to share share, learn, and inspire one another to build local movements around STEM mentorship and maker-centered learning and bridge the opportunity gap.

The objectives of the event overall are to:
●      Provide a space for teams to reflect, share, and refine their strategies for embedding maker-centered learning and STEM mentorship into their communities
●      Expose finalist teams to experts that can facilitate new learning, spark deep, rich conversation between teams, and share meaningful feedback
●      Strengthen relationships between Finalist Teams
●      Introduce helpful frameworks for working through barriers and challenges
●      Create a learning experience that is meaningful and applicable, regardless of Challenge outcome

Audience and their Work
This event will bring together 45 leaders representing 15 communities across the country. Each community will be represented at the event by 2-3 local leaders that are spearheading this work. These leaders will represent the non-profit, public, and private sectors, and are all working to strengthen their local STEM and maker-centered learning movements locally.

Each community has been working to build a collective action and impact model around STEM mentorship and maker-centered learning. All of these communities are focused on mobilizing stakeholders in their community to drive systemic change. Some of these communities also design and implement programs related to maker-centered or project-based learning. These communities are quite diverse – some are from larger cities like New York and Chicago, while others are working in more rural contexts, like Socorro, New Mexico or Allendale, South Carolina. Learn more about our finalists here.

Date + Venue

The event will take place from Wednesday, January 31- Thursday, February 1, 2018 at Alloy 26, located at 100 S Commons Suite 102, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Peter Scupelli to present paper at IASDR 2017 conference

Kingsgate Marriott Conference Center at the University of Cincinnati, Goodman Street, Cincinnati, OH, United States — October 31, 2017

Opening a Design Education Pipeline from University to K-12 and Back

Peter Scupelli, School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Doris Wells-Papanek, Design Learning Network, Cross Plains, WI, USA.

Judy Brooks, Eberly Center, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Arnold Wasserman, Collective Invention, San Francisco, CA, USA.

To prepare students to imagine desirable futures amidst current planetary level challenges, design educators must think and act in new ways. In this paper, we describe a pilot study that illustrates how educators might teach K-12 students and university design students to situate their making within transitional times in a volatile and exponentially changing world. We describe how to best situate students to align design thinking and learning with future foresight. Here we present a pilot test and evaluate how a university-level Dexign Futures course content, approach, and scaffolded instructional materials – can be adapted for use in K-12 Design Learning Challenges. We describe the K-12 design-based learning challenges/experiences developed and implemented by the Design Learning Network (DLN). The Dexign Futures course we describe in this paper is a required course for third year undergraduate students in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. The “x” signifies a different type of design that aligns short-term action with long-term goals. The course integrates design thinking and learning with long-horizon future scenario foresight. Broadly speaking, we ask how might portions of a design course be taught and experienced by teachers and students of two different demographics: within the university (Design Undergraduates) and in K-12 (via DLN). This pilot study is descriptive in nature; in future work, we seek to assess learning outcomes across university and K-12 courses. We believe the approach described is relevant for lifelong learners (e.g., post-graduate-level, career development, transitional adult education).


Paper Presentation @ EuroPLoP 2017

Klosterring, Irsee, Bavaria, Germany — July 12, 2017

Paul Inventado will present a paper at the 22nd European Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (EuroPLoP) 2017 in Kloster Irsee, Bavaria, Germany.

EuroPLoP is the premier European conference on patterns and pattern languages. Design patterns are a unique and effective way to capture and share expertise, tacit knowledge and research findings.


Inventado, P.S., Scupelli, P., Heffernan, C. & Heffernan, N.: Feedback Design Patterns for Math Online Learning Systems


Increasingly, computer-based learning systems are used by educators to facilitate learning. Several learning systems have been developed for the Math domain, which have resulted in significant improvements in student learning. Feedback provision is one of the key features in Math learning systems that contribute to its success. We have recently been uncovering feedback design patterns as part of a larger pattern language for Math problems and learning support in online learning Systems. In this paper we present three feedback design patterns developed from the application of the data-driven design pattern (3D2P) methodology on a large educational data set collected from actual student data in a Math online learning system. These design patterns can help teachers, learning designers, and other stakeholders construct effective feedback for interactive learning activities that facilitate student learning.

Paper Presentation @ Viking PLoP 2017

Schleswig-Holstein, Germany — March 30, 2017

Peter Scupelli will present a paper at the Viking Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (Viking PLoP) 2017 in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.

The conference has long roots going back to 2002 when VikingPLoP was arranged for the first time in Helsingor, Denmark. As Vikings used to travel around Europe, this year the conference heads on the shores of the Baltic Sea. VikingPLoP calls for papers on patterns and pattern languages, and papers on applying patterns.


Inventado, P.S. & Scupelli, P.: Using Contextual Learning-Environment Features to Identify Design Pattern Appropriateness


Pedagogical design patterns offer high-quality solutions to problems in the educational domain. Design patterns are generally written in a way that makes them applicable to multiple contexts, but how reusable are pedagogical design patterns? Over the past three years, we have tried to adapt existing design patterns and write new patterns specifically to enhance feedback in an intelligent online learning system for Math called ASSISTments. However, this has proved to be difficult because there appear to be features of learning environments that call for patterns that are either too general or too specific. For example, design patterns whose context involves interpreting learners’ misconceptions may be easy for teachers in traditional classroom settings, but difficult for intelligent learning systems because algorithms that predict misconceptions are currently imperfect. In this paper, we identify contextual learning-environment features and investigate how they might affect the appropriateness of design patterns to a given learning environment.

Presentation@2nd Annual Winter School Design Summit

The Glasgow School of Art, Renfrew Street, Glasgow, United Kingdom — January 23, 2017

Peter Scupelli gave a talk on “How might design educators teach to Transition Design?” at The Glasgow School of Art’s 2nd Annual Winter School Design Summit in Scotland.  The theme of this year’s summit was Innovation from Tradition, and explored the relationship between culture and economy, between design and its consumption, as a means of formulating alternative economic and social arrangements for living, exemplified by rural living and a non-industrialized economy.  The summit hoped to turn a network of known entities into a fledgling community, to shift pedagogies into share practices and to establish a platform for future exchanges.

Students and faculty from KADK Copenhagen and KISD Cologne, the PhD cohort of Konstfack Stockholm and Glasgow School of Art’s PGT (Postgraduate Taught) Masters in Design Innovation as well as their PGR (Postgraduate Research) students participated.


How might design educators transition their courses to educate the next generations of designers to transition design to achieve sustainable futures? Design educators are caught between competing challenges: first, teaching well-established design traditions based on craft and making; and second, training students to situate their artifact making within transitional times in a volatile and exponentially changing world. Design educators can navigate such tensions  by linking the core of their discipline in relation to an expanding periphery where multiple disciplines interact. Teaching to transition design introduces a interesting teaching and learning design challenges. While the first formal presentation of Transition Design by Terry Irwin, Cameron Tonkinwise, and Gideon Kossoff occurred in 2013, there were many conversations among faculty and students leading to up to it. In this paper, I describe five courses that I taught at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Design from 2011 to 2016. Through this case study, I describe how one newly hired faculty member began to integrate the new vision for the School of Design based on Transition Design in the courses I taught to undergraduates and graduate students. The new Undergraduate, Graduate and Doctoral curriculum were deployed in fall semester 2014. The intended audience for this paper is faculty and students that are nervous and excited about undergoing curricular changes.

Poster Presentation@CMU’s Teaching & Learning Summit

Carnegie Mellon University, Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, United States — October 14, 2016

Peter Scupelli and Paul Inventado presented posters at the first Teaching and Learning Summit for faculty and graduate students hosted by Carnegie Mellon University’s Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation.

The event was designed to:

  • Foster dialogue, networking and collaboration within and across disciplines.
  • Showcase the educational research of CMU instructors and learning scientists.
  • Share transferable, evidence-based and innovative teaching strategies used by CMU instructors.

1. Scupelli, P. and Brooks, J. “Dexign Futures: a flipped, open learning initiative course”


Design for sustainability opportunities reside in bridging between short-term action and long-term strategic thinking.
Unfortunately, traditional design pedagogy poorly equips designers for long-term strategic thinking. In the Dexign Futures class described in
this poster, students learn to align short-term design with long-term horizons. Dexign Futures is a required design studies class for all
third year undergraduate students in the products, communications, and environments tracks in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon
University. Flipped courses shift lectures and instruction to the online learning initiative (OLI) course to use class time for hands-on
activities. Online homework helps students to prepare for in-class activities. During in-class activities, the course instructor, and
teaching assistants can provide students with feedback and answer questions. Likewise, in-class team activities and peer feedback can
enhance student learning. Research from piloting of the online modules and in-class workshops are promising. We measure student learning for this flipped class.


2. Inventado, P. S. and Scupelli, P. “A Data-Driven Design Pattern Methodology to Facilitate Effective Pedagogical Practice in Online Learning Systems”


Paradoxically, online learning system designs often fail to fully benefit from research insights and findings expressed as
learning principles possibly because of nuances in translating to specific learning contexts. We present a methodology that uses data
exploration, statistical analyses, and machine learning to uncover relationships between designs and learning outcomes. In a specific
context, effective designs linked to good outcomes are encapsulated into design patterns. For example, analyses of student interaction
data from an online learning system revealed that struggling students quickly learned to solve similar math problems by requesting all
available hints and answers, and learning from it. This was encapsulated into the Explain Worked Solutions design pattern:
incorporate worked-out-solutions in on-demand hints for students struggling with math problems. Design patterns are uncovered through
research, and their continued evaluation and refinement ensures reproducibility in tested contexts. Uncovered design patterns are currently compiled into an online repository to facilitate use.

Futures Panel@2016 a2ru National Conference

University of Colorado-Denver, Denver, CO, United States — November 3, 2016

Peter Scupelli gave a talk on the opening plenary panel 2016 a2ru National Conference.  The theme of this year’s conference was ArtsRx: Creative Venture, Wellbeing & the New Humanities. The conference highlighted keynote speakers, panels, breakout sessions and workshops that explore and reflect arts-integrative interdisciplinary research and practice in higher education related to the following topics:

  • Arts and Health
  • Arts and Entrepreneurship
  • Science, Engineering, Arts & Design (S.E.A.D.)
  • New Directions and Applications in the Humanities

The opening plenary panel was a “Futures Panel” — using foresight as a cross-cutting lens to motivate a2ru’s work, to provide a bridge for adopting futures thinking into practice (as artists, scholars, interdisciplinarians), and to highlight it as a core skill for academic leadership.

The panel was composed of a collection of futures-based practitioners in the arts and was moderated by J.D. Talasek, Director of Cultural Program at the National Academy of Sciences, with student respondents from MIT, UT Dallas, and UC Denver.

Paper presentation @ 2016 IDSA International Conference

Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, Renaissance Drive West, Detroit, MI, United States — August 17, 2016

Peter Scupelli presented a paper he co-authored with Judy Brooks and Arnold Wasserman on “Making Dexign Futures learning happen: A case study for a flipped, Open-Learning Initiative course” at the 2016 Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) International Conference.


How do design educators make change happen to address new challenges? Currently, design educators are caught between challenges: first, teaching well-established design traditions based on craft and making; and second, training students to situate their artifact making within transitional times in a volatile and exponentially changing world. The tension design educators navigate involves teaching the core of a discipline in relation to an expanding periphery where multiple disciplines interact. The epistemic challenge is how to initiate students into the field’s crystallized knowledge at the same time as fluid, emergent knowledge. Some design educators may yearn for simpler times focusing on mastery of the deep disciplinary cores. Others may discount their own core disciplinary teaching in favor of exploration of the rapidly shifting disciplinary peripheries to meet new challenges and opportunities. We acknowledge both perspectives and further posit that students need exposure to both the core and periphery of design. This introduces an interesting learning challenge: an implicit contradiction for students of design where the core/making tends to reinforce short time horizon thinking; and the disciplinary periphery requires long time horizon visioning. We try to address this challenge by aligning short-term design opportunities with sustainable development plans for long time horizons. We merge design thinking and futures thinking to create “deXign” thinking. In this paper, we discuss a flipped classroom pedagogy that integrates design studio with an online component. The class we describe is called Dexign Futures. Dexign Futures is a required design studies class for all third year undergraduate students in the products, communications, and environments tracks in the School of Design at a North American tier-one research university. Because traditional design pedagogy poorly equips designers to integrate current human-centered design methods with long-range strategic thinking, a challenge we explore through the class is how to teach designing for the long time horizon. The Dexign Futures course is built on an elective three-course sequence: Dexign Futures Seminar (DFS), Introduction to Dexign the Future (iDTF), and Dexign the Future (DTF). The term deXign indicates an experimental type of design that integrates Futures Thinking with Design Thinking. In this paper, we discuss the process of making the Dexign Futures flipped classroom pedagogy happen by: (a) describing the online class modules in detail; (b) providing examples of in-class workshop activities; and (c) reflecting on lessons learned from iterative development of the online modules and in-class activities.

Paper presentation @ EuroPLoP 2016

Kloster Irsee Schwäbisches Tagungs- und Bildungszentrum, Klosterring, Irsee, Bavaria, Germany — July 6, 2016

Peter Scupelli and Paul Inventado presented their paper, “Media-type Selection Design Patterns for Problem-solving Content and Support in Online Learning Systems” at the 21st European Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (EuroPLoP) 2016.

EuroPLoP is the premier European conference on patterns and pattern languages. Design patterns are a unique and effective way to capture and share expertise, tacit knowledge and research findings.


Online learning systems have been gaining popularity, but are not without their challenges. For example, enrollment in MOOCs has slowed down, which is attributed to the lack of sustainability. Research has also shown that relying on delivered content alone results in lower learning gains. However, introducing learning activities increases learning gains as much as six times. These results emphasize the importance of designing high quality learning activities for online learning systems. Although there are many design patterns that may be applied in designing learning activities, they usually operate at a higher level. There is a need for design patterns that address problems in implementing these learning activities. This paper presents four design patterns that focus on helping students learn to represent math problems properly in the context of math online learning systems. These patterns can guide online learning system stakeholders (e.g., system developers, content creators, teachers) in creating high quality learning activities in online learning systems.

Paper presentations @ EDM2016

Sheraton Raleigh Hotel, South Salisbury Street, Raleigh, NC, United States — June 29, 2016

Peter Scupelli and Paul Inventado presented papers at The 9th International Conference on Educational Data Mining (EDM2016).

1. Inventado, P.S., Scupelli, P., Van Inwegen, E., Ostrow, K. Heffernan, N. , Baker, R.,  Slater, S., and Ocumpaugh, J. “Hint Availability Slows Completion Times in Summer Work”


On-demand help in intelligent learning environments is typically linked to better learning, but may lead to longer completion times. This present work provides an analysis of how students interacted with a summer learning assignment when on-demand help was available, compared to when it was not. When hints were available from the start, students were more likely to delay work, compared to students for whom step-wise hints were only available after the third problem. When hints were always available, participants took significantly more time to complete a mastery learning assignment,. We interpret this difference in time to complete the assignment as an opportunity to re-engage in productive math learning.

2. Slater, S., Ocumpaugh, J., Baker, R., Scupelli, P., Inventado, P.S., and Heffernan, N. “Semantic Features of Math Problems: Relationships to Student Learning and Engagement”


The creation of crowd-sourced content in learning systems is a powerful method for adapting learning systems to the needs of a range of teachers in a range of domains, but the quality of this content can vary. This study explores linguistic differences in teacher-created problem content in ASSISTments using a combination of discovery with models and correlation mining. Specifically, we find correlations between semantic features of mathematics problems and indicators of learning and engagement, suggesting promising areas for future work on problem design. We also discuss limitations of semantic tagging tools within mathematics domains and ways of addressing these limitations.


Paper presentations @ DRS Conference 2016

University Of Brighton, Brighton, United Kingdom — June 27, 2016

Peter Scupelli presented papers at the 50th Anniversary Design+Research+Society Conference 2016:

1) Scupelli & Hanington: Design Studio Desk and Shared Place Attachments: A Study on Ownership, Personalization, and Agency


Increasing numbers of students, limited space, and decreasing budgets nudge many university administrators to shift from assigned design studio desks to flexible workspace arrangements. This paper explores student attachment to the individual desk and shared spaces in a graduate design studio in a Design School in a North American first-tier research university. The studio had four interconnected spaces with: individual desks, collaborative workspaces, a kitchen-social cafe area, and a distance-learning classroom. We explored student perspectives and attitudes on studio aesthetics, functionality, agency, ownership, personalization, and occupancy patterns with four methods (i.e., online survey, student class schedules, interviews, time-lapse study). Perception of ownership, personalization, and agency were greatest for individual desks. Students perceived the individual desk as a primary territory even though the administration said desks were shared hot-desks. Individual work and collaborative work occurred throughout the studio regardless of functional assignment (e.g., spaces for individual work, collaboration, classroom).

2) Scupelli, Wasserman, & Brooks: Dexign Futures: A Pedagogy for Long-Horizon Design Scenarios


The transition towards societal level sustainability requires thinking and acting anew. Traditional design pedagogy poorly equips designers to integrate long- range strategic thinking with current human-centered design methods. In this paper, we describe a three-course sequence: Dexign Futures Seminar (DFS), Introduction to Dexign the Future (iDTF), and Dexign the Future (DTF). The term dexign indicates an experimental type of design that integrates Futures Thinking with Design Thinking. Students learn to engage strategic long time horizon scenarios from a generative design perspective. DFS, online modules, teaches students to critique and deconstruct existing futures scenarios. iDTF situates students to explore futures based themes and apply design methods and research techniques. DTF takes students into a semester-long project designing for 2050. In this paper, we describe lessons learned that lead to a pedagogy for supporting novices as they develop skills and methods for long time horizon futures design.

Improving Online Learning Experiences with Big Data, Design Patterns, Randomized Control Trials, and Online Repositories @ HAN University of Applied Sciences

HAN University of Applied Sciences, Papendallaan, Arnhem, Netherlands — April 16, 2016

Peter Scupelli gave a talk on “Improving Online Learning Experiences with Big Data, Design Patterns, Randomized Control Trials, and Online Repositories” as a guest lecturer at the HAN University of Applied Sciences.

Paper presentation @ Viking PLoP 2016

In de Rozenhof, Lingedijk, Kedichem, Leerdam, Netherlands — April 7, 2016

Peter Scupelli and Paul Inventado presented  “Design Patterns for Math Problems and Learning Support in Online Learning Systems” at the Viking Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (Viking PLoP) 2016.


Increasingly, many institutions and students benefit from online learning systems each year. For example, in 2016 Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) reported as many as 16 million enrolled students and online tutoring systems reported over half a million enrolled students. In the literature, many design patterns capture online learning system designs for class management, discussion facilitation, lecture delivery, and feedback. In this paper, we describe design patterns that describe finer-grained activities within online learning systems such as the design of problem-solving activities and their associated learning support. The three patterns presented in this paper describe designs for constructing math-problem content and corresponding learning support for students who answer these problems – Mastery Learning Templates, Explain Worked Solutions, and Scaffold Problems with Guide Questions. We found these patterns using the data-driven design pattern production (3D2P) methodology on data collected from the ASSISTments online learning system. The design patterns we describe were mined from data on student interactions with an online learning system and linked patterns to existing learning science literature.

Post-HCI worlds: Exploring design spaces with environments, values, narratives, and time horizons @ PSI Workshop 2016

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, United States — March 18, 2016

Peter Scupelli gave a talk on “Post-HCI worlds: Exploring design spaces with environments, values, narratives, and time horizons.” as a guest lecturer at the PSI Workshop 2016.

Teaching Interaction Design in Physical, Digital, and Hybrid Environments @ Interaction Design Education Summit 2016

Helsinki, Finland — February 28, 2016

Peter Scupelli and Austin Lee gave a talk on “Teaching Interaction Design in Physical, Digital, and Hybrid Environments” at the Interaction Design Education Summit 2016, interaction16 (IXDA) Conference.


Over the past two decades, new technologies shifted what Interaction Design (IxD) students need to learn for professional practice. In the mid-nineties, IxD education covered interface design and web design to the plethora of topics currently explored today, such as, sensor networks, smart environments, smart cities, Internet of Things, Augmented Reality Interfaces, and so forth.

To keep IxD university programs relevant, educators seek new ways for students to learn to design in emergent areas such as: larger scale environments (e.g., smart environments, Internet of Things, augmented reality interfaces). New technologies and design opportunities often require new design and prototyping methods.

Focus group @ PLoP 2015

Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square, West Station Square Drive, Pittsburgh, PA, United States — October 25, 2015

Paul Inventado and Peter Scupelli will be leading a focus group discussion on “Developing an open, collaborative design pattern repository” at the 22nd Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (PLoP) 2015.


Ensuring the production of high quality patterns is challenging for four reasons: first, it is expensive (e.g., face-to-face meetings in international conferences); second, it lacks incentive for evaluating, critiquing, improving, and evolving existing pattern languages; third, author attribution is an issue; and fourth, stakeholders, especially designers and end-users who are the primary beneficiaries of patterns, are often not part of the process (Dearden & Finlay, 2006). There have been calls for a widespread collaboration between stakeholders in the production of design patterns (Bayle et al., 1998; Dearden & Finlay, 2006). In this workshop, we present a framework for collaboratively producing design patterns. We use the case study of producing online learning system design patterns to explain the open, collaborative pattern repository. We describe how diverse stakeholders (e.g., educators, learning analytics experts, interaction designers, online learning system experts and developers, pattern writers) could contribute to the design pattern production process. We use an open pattern repository Wiki prototype to illustrate the concept. The repository would manage design patterns and the processes needed for producing and maintaining them such as indexing, versioning, documentation, and communication.

Paper presentation @ PLoP 2015 writer’s workshop

Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square, West Station Square Drive, Pittsburgh, PA, United States — October 24, 2015

Paul Inventado and Peter Scupelli will be presenting “A Data-driven Methodology for Producing Online Learning System Design Patterns” at the 22nd Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (PLoP) 2015.


Online learning systems are complex systems that are frequently updated with new content, upgraded to support new features and extended to support new technologies. Maintaining the quality of the system as it changes is a challenge that needs to be addressed. Design patterns offer a solution to this challenge by providing guides to stakeholders responsible for making design changes (e.g., system developers, HCI designers, teachers, students) that will help them ensure system quality despite changes. Although design patterns for online learning systems exist, they often focus on one aspect of the system (e.g., pedagogy, learning). The data-driven design pattern production (3D2P) methodology utilizes data for producing design patterns in collaboration with stakeholders, addresses stakeholders’ concerns, and ensures the system’s quality as a whole. The paper presents five patterns produced by applying the methodology on the ASSISTments online learning system namely: all content in one place, just enough practice, personalized problems, worked examples, and consistent language. We made two changes to the pattern format: added in-text references in the forces section, and added an evidence section. The references allow the reader to learn more about the force in question. The evidence section highlights key findings uncovered from the 3D2P methodology. Four sources of evidence were considered in the pattern format: (a) literature – existing research on the problem or solution, (b) discussion – expert opinions about the problem or solution, (c) data – measures of the problem’s recurrence, and the solution’s effectiveness based on collected data; and (d) evaluation – assessment of the pattern’s performance when it was applied on an existing system. The changes to the format highlight linkages between pattern elements, theory, and empirical evidence. We believe that links further justify the design pattern, and make it easier for multiple stakeholders to understand them.

Poster presentation @ Learning with MOOCs II – 2015

Teachers College Columbia University, West 120th Street, New York, NY, United States — October 3, 2015

Paul Inventado and Peter Scupelli presented “Addressing MOOCs’ Sustainability Issues Using Data-driven Design Pattern Production” at Learning with MOOCs II – 2015.


Despite the popularity of MOOCs, some higher education institutions have started moving away from it. Academic leaders seem to be less convinced of MOOCs’ sustainability. Four challenges need to be addressed to improve MOOC sustainability: (a) representing and communicating MOOCs best practices, (b) evaluating MOOC quality, (c) testing, validating, and refining MOOC designs, and (d) fostering research and collaboration around MOOCs. The data-driven design pattern production (3D2P) framework discussed here, can be used to address these four issues and can lead to the development of more sustainable MOOCs.

Paper presentation @ IDSA International Conference 2015

Seattle, WA, United States — August 19, 2015

Peter Scupelli presented a paper he co-authored with Judy Brooks and Arnold Wasserman on “Learn!2050 and Dexign Futures: Lessons Learned Teaching Design Futures” at the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) International Conference 2015.


This paper explores how we might redesign education to face the challenges and opportunities of a sustainable future. Increasingly, designers operate within ever-broader contexts (e.g., technological, social, political, environmental, global). Design for sustainable futures requires the ability to envision longtime horizon strategic scenarios driven by forces likely to shape change in broader contexts. Traditional pedagogy poorly equips designers to integrate long-range strategic thinking with current human-centered design methods.

We present two interlocking projects: LEARN! 2050 and Dexign the Future. Please note the term dexign was introduced to indicate an experimental type of design. The LEARN! 2050 scenario describes design pathways from today to a new learning landscape in the year 2050. Dexign the Future, a course integrating Futures Thinking with Design Thinking, was introduced in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University in fall 2013 to a mix of third year undergraduate and graduate design students.

Students learned to engage strategic longtime horizon scenarios from a generative design perspective.

Lessons learned led to a three-semester sequence teaching design methods for longtime horizons aimed at transitioning towards sustainable societies. The sequence includes: Dexign Futures Seminar, Introduction to Dexign the Future, and Dexign the Future. The Dexign Futures Seminar is an online module that teaches students to critique and deconstruct existing futures scenarios. In the Introduction to Dexign the Future course students explore futures based themes, design methods, and research techniques. The Dexign the Future course deep-dives into a semester long project set in 2050. In summary, we provide here three contributions: first, an example of a future learning scenario set in 2050; second, a design course sequence that combines Futures Thinking with Design Thinking to create desirable design futures (what futurists refer to as Normative Scenarios); and third, lessons learned that lead to a pedagogy for designing for longtime horizon futures.

Virtual presentation @ Learning Analytics Workshop

Prague, Czech Republic — July 31, 2015

Paul Inventado virtually presented “Promoting Online Learning System Design Quality: Utilizing Design Patterns Produced by Data-driven Approaches” at the Learning Analytics workshop.


Many students benefit from online learning systems each year. However, it is not easy to ensure the design quality of these systems due to their complexity. In this paper, the data-driven design pattern production (3D2) methodology is presented as a solution. Specifically, it uses learning analytics and educational data mining to help uncover relationships between student learning outcomes and system designs. Designs that lead to better learning can be formalized into design patterns, which stakeholders can use to guide them in upgrading the online learning system’s components, and adding new content. The approach is further extended into an open, collaborative framework, which allows stakeholders to collaborate in the production of design patterns. A collaborative effort can speed up the pattern production process, improve the quality of the design patterns produced, share benefits among all members, and ultimately, elevate the standards of online learning system development.

Paper presentation @ EuroPLoP 2015 writer’s workshop

Kloster Irsee, Klosterring, Irsee, Bavaria, Germany — July 8, 2015

Peter Scupelli and Paul Inventado presented “Data-Driven Design Pattern Production: A Case Study on the ASSISTments Online Learning System” in a writing workshop 20th European Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (EuroPLoP) 2015.


Online learning systems popularity increased rapidly in recent decades in multiple domains such as cognitive tutors, online courses, and massive open online courses (MOOCS). The design quality of online learning systems is difficult to maintain. Multiple stakeholders are involved (e.g., software developers, interaction designers, learning scientists, teachers), the system is complex, there are rapid changes in software, platforms (e.g., mobile, tablet, desktop) and learning subject content, and so forth. Many existing online learning systems collect a significant amount of data that describe learning outcomes and student behaviors, which are indirect measures of system quality. Data analysis on online learning systems data can uncover linkages between particular design choices made and student learning outcomes. In this paper, we describe the Data-Driven Design Patterns Production (3D2P) methodology to prospect, mine, write and evaluate design patterns for online learning systems. Pattern prospecting helps designers decide what type of possible meaningful outcomes and features to scan for in the data and helps to focus on specific data subsets to limit the search space for pattern mining. Design patterns identified with 3D2P methodology can guide the addition of new content and the modification of system designs to maintain the online learning system’s quality. We present a case study of the ASSISTments math online learning system to illustrate the 3D2P methodology and discuss its benefits and limitations.

Design Studio Learning Environment Research Presentation

Carnegie Mellon University, Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, United States — November 14, 2014

Peter Scupelli presented “Design Studio Learning Environment Research Presentation” at Carnegie Mellon University.

Collaborative spaces and individual workspaces in design studios: a study on ownership, personalization, agency, emotion, and pleasure

Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN, USA — October 24, 2014

Peter Scupelli presented “Collaborative spaces and individual workspaces in design studios: a study on ownership, personalization, agency, emotion, and pleasure” at Indiana University.

Data-driven Design Pattern Development Workshop (3DPD)

Allerton Park, Monticelli, IL, USA — September 15, 2014

Peter Scupelli and Paul Inventado will facilitate the Data-driven Design Pattern Development (3DPD) Workshop which will be held in conjunction with the 21st Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (PLOP 2014).

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