One of our LMC majors, Lexie Scott recently placed 3rd in the SIGDOC undergraduate research competition in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She presented her research on the Continuous Course Lab, which is funded by DILAC.
Lexie Scott, 3rd-year LMC Major places 3rd in recent SIGDOC student research competition.
Lexie Scott, a third-year LMC major recently placed 3rd in the Special Interest Group on the Design of Communication (SIGDOC) student research competition held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Scott presented a poster on her research: a case study of the Continuous Course Lab (CCL) as an alternative model for undergraduate research in the humanities. The CCL model is distinctly different from traditional models of undergraduate research like the apprenticeship model often used in STEM fields; for example, it is course-based, which means that the research is conducted by enrolled students participating in a course. Additionally, the research is continued from one semester to another. At the end of the semester, students write a report on their research findings and pass this on to the next group of students who pick up where the last class left off. Scott states, “the Lab model is particularly useful as students from multiple disciplines are taught humanities research methods and technical communication skills while they work on real-world problems.” For example, Scott’s class worked on developing strategies to increase consumer knowledge of end user license agreements (EULAs), those long documents that you never read but always agree to! “The CCL approach allows undergraduates to get valuable research experience, as well as learn how to approach these problems from multidisciplinary perspectives,” Scott says.
SIGDOC is a special interest group of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and holds a student competition at their annual international conference. This year, SIGDOC’s conference theme focused on the impact on content and the design of user experiences in different contexts; a theme that was perfectly suited for Scott’s case study on the Responsible End User License REUL Lab. “We have been putting the CCL research model into practice here at the REUL Lab,” states Scott, who is also a research assistant in the REUL Lab. “The Lab’s research focuses on making user agreements, privacy policies and terms of service more accessible to readers. This project has been really inspiring to me because as an end user, I also benefit from the kind of research that the Lab undertakes.”
REUL Lab was established in 2016, and is sponsored through the Ivan Allen College (IAC) Digital Integrative Liberal Arts Center (DILAC) grant. Commenting on her work at the Lab and attending her first conference, Scott says, “before taking the REUL Lab’s continuous course, I never thought I would be capable or even interested in doing research of my own. Now, because of the guidance I have been given by all of the Ivan Allen faculty involved, I had the amazing opportunity to present research at a conference! I would love for other undergraduates to be able to have this same experience.”