“Scaling Up” and Adapting to Crisis: Shifting a Residential UX Studio Program Online

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Colin M. Gray


Our undergraduate UX program at Purdue University launched in 2016 as one of the first UX-focused undergraduate degree programs in the United States, intentionally designed to support the unique characteristics of a residential, research-intensive, land-grant institution. We designed multiple overlapping studio experiences that formed multiple connections among cohorts, supporting mentorship, cognitive apprenticeship, the construction of social bonds, and reflection on one’s own development as a designer. Our program was experiencing quick growth, with our cohort size growing from 20 students in 2016 to 50 students in 2021. With the onset of pandemic restrictions, the challenges of “scaling up” and the challenges of building a virtual studio pedagogy thus met. Our “hidden curriculum” of peer feedback and tacit learning, critique as a means of socialization and feedback, emancipation of the self, and allowance for identity formation pointed towards studio properties that were central to our pedagogy and needed to be reformulated or rethought. I describe the resulting “dimensions of crisis” that impacted our pedagogy and practice, the new supports for studio learning practices that we designed, and how these changes may lead to lasting changes to our residential program once the restrictions of the pandemic subside.

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GRAY, Colin M.. “Scaling Up” and Adapting to Crisis: Shifting a Residential UX Studio Program Online. Design and Technology Education: an International Journal, [S.l.], v. 26, n. 4, p. 37-49, dec. 2021. ISSN 1360-1431. Available at: <https://ojs.lboro.ac.uk/DATE/article/view/2969>. Date accessed: 25 mar. 2023.