Dr. Breanne Litts

Associate Professor

Dr. Breanne Litts

Contact Information

Phone: (435) 797-0142
Email: breanne.litts@usu.edu
Additional Information:

Educational Background

Ph.D., Digital Media, University of Wisconsin-Madison: Madison, WI, 2015
Minor emphasis Educational Psychology, Learning Sciences

M.S., Multicultural Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison: Madison, WI, 2011

B.A., Psychology, University of Washington-Seattle: Seattle, WA, 2009
Minor Diversity


Dr. Breanne Litts is an explorer at heart. When she’s not working, you might find her out hiking, rock climbing, or backpacking. Whether a mountain peak, city, or countryside, she enjoys adventuring to new places.

In her research, Breanne investigates how people learn and how we can use technology to bring people together in new, productive ways, especially in cross-cultural contexts. Motivated by her value of working with people from multiple disciplines and backgrounds, she typically works in multi-sector, interdisciplinary research and design teams.

Breanne started the LED Lab to investigate how people learn through making, designing, and producing in diverse cultural and community contexts. Her students love the sense of community they find through the LED Lab and the support she provides them to pursue their own projects. Since coming to USU, Breanne has received six awards for her mentorship and teaching.

Breanne’s approach to research is community-, equity-, and design-oriented. Learn more about Breanne’s story as an academic here: https://circlcenter.org/meet-breanne-litts

Breanne is looking for a diverse group of students to join in her research. She values the way people from multiple disciplines and backgrounds work together. Her approach to research is partnership, equity, and design oriented.

Featured Work

learn explore design lab logo

Learn Explore Design Lab

The LED Lab investigates how people learn and collaborate through making, designing, and producing in diverse cultural and community contexts. In addition to Dr. Litts’ grant awards, students in the lab have secured over $20,000 to support their own research agendas. Students are welcome to join the lab and develop projects around their own interests or join in on current projects. See more at https://learnexploredesign.org/

cultivating connections

Cultivating Connections

In partnership with Dr. Melissa Tehee (Psychology, USU) and her Tohi Lab, Dr. Litts and the LED Lab are working with Edith Bowen Laboratory School (K-6) to investigate how to collaboratively (re)design cross-cultural field experiences for sixth graders to effectively develop culturally competent citizen scholars. The key aim of the project is to cultivate connections across partners, cultures, and disciplines. This work is funded by USU’s Seed Program to Advance Research Collaborations.

supporting stem

Place-Based Storytelling with Indigenous Communities

Breanne Litts and her team work with SpyHop Productions and the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation leverage new technologies, such as augmented reality, to collect and document stories around key historical sites. Projects include an interactive digital component at the new Boa Ogoi Cultural & Interpretive Center at the Bear River Massacre where the Tribe seeks to educate and enlighten visitors about its history. Learn more at https://boaogoi.org/.

getmobile logo

GetMobile: Mobile Computing and Communications

The proliferation of smartphones provides easy access to augmented reality experiences. In this column, the authors present an approach by which we can provide all young people with equal access to AR, and how we can empower students to be producers, not just consumers. View the article.

Learning in the Making: A Comparative Case Study of Three Makerspaces

Through a comparative, in-depth case study of three makerspaces, the authors explore how makerspaces function as learning environments how participants learn and develop through complex design and making practices. Read the article

A Maker Studio Model for High School Classrooms: The Nature and Role of Critique in an Electronic Textiles Design Project

This article reports on a case study featuring a class of 23 high school students in a STEM class partnered with art students to develop an interactive installation. The authors used the characteristics of studio models from arts, architecture, and engineering education and integrated maker activities. Studeents designed a computational artifact and participated in activities such as feedback, critique, and reflection. Read the article at Teaching College Record.

Research Focus

Breanne Litts investigates how people learn and collaborate through making, designing, and producing in diverse cultural and community contexts. She develops technologies and learning environments to support these interdisciplinary activities. Breanne examines how to leverage place-based storytelling to engage young people. Her interest extends to how place-based storytelling engages youth in design and computational practices and cultural and civic issues.

Breanne collaborates and co-designs with academic, Indigenous, K-12, library, museum, industry, and other community partners. She takes a community-centered approach to her research through cultivating local partnerships around shared research goals and values. Her work has received support from national and international organizations such as the National Science Foundation, the Research + Practice Collaboratory, Utah State University.

Her scholarly interests combine identity, learning, design, and technology, particularly from a learning sciences perspective.

  • How we construct our identities through story and place
  • How people learn through designing/making, especially at the intersection of digital and physical worlds
  • How people collaborate across disciplines, communities, and cultures

Selected Publications

See Google Scholar for a comprehensive list of publications.