LuEttaMae (Lu) Lawrence (she/her)

Assistant Professor

LuEttaMae (Lu)  Lawrence (she/her)

Contact Information

Office Location: EDUC 228
Phone: 435-797-1553
Additional Information:

Educational Background

PhD in Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

MA in Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

BFA in Graphic Design, Iowa State University


Dr. Lawrence is a learning scientist and design researcher who uses design-based implementation research and qualitative methods to study how people learn and collaborate. Her scholarship leverages methods and approaches from the learning sciences, design, and human-computer interaction fields to understand how to co-design equitable technology and learning environments with communities.

She has her masters and PhD from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Curriculum and Instruction, with a focus in Digital Environments for Learning, Teaching, and Agency. Previously, she held two Postdoc positions, one at Carnegie Mellon University in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute and another at the University of California Irvine in the School of Education.

Dr. Lawrence is looking for students from diverse backgrounds who are interested in doing learning sciences research around co-design, collaboration, play, social justice, or technology. This includes creating their own projects or taking existing projects in new and exciting directions. She welcomes students who thrive in a collaborative environment, care about lab culture and wellbeing, and strive to produce inclusive, ethical research to join her lab.

Featured Work

Best Design Paper Award at the CSCL 2022 
Dr. Lawrence’s paper Process to co-design AI-based orchestration tools to support dynamic transitions: Design narratives through Conjecture Mapping won the Best Design Paper Award at the 2022 International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning. The paper leverages design narratives and conjecture mapping to examine the co-design of a novel AI-based orchestration tool with middle school teachers. The tool helps teachers manage classrooms where students dynamically transition between individual and collaborative learning activities, to provide the optimal learning mode based on students’ needs.

Research Focus

In partnerships with communities, Dr. Lawrence co-designs digital and non-digital learning environments and studies their impact in authentic contexts. Her research focuses on how people learn, collaborate, and play with designs that were co-created to emphasize their community needs and values. 

Lu co-designs with a range of community partners within and outside of schools, including educators, students, families, and organizations (e.g., educational companies and nonprofits). Through this work she answers questions about how we: 
     -  design technologies and environments that support diverse goals among communities,
     -  scale and generalize outcomes from design research, and
     -  design tools to address social justice issues while supporting collaborative and playful learning interactions. 

Selected Publications 

See CV or Google Scholar for a comprehensive list of publications.

Lawrence, L., Guo, B., Yang, K., Echeverria, V., Kang, Z., Bathala, V., Li, C., Huang, W., Rummel, N.,& Aleven, V. (2022). Process to co-design AI-based orchestration tools to support dynamic transitions: Design narratives through Conjecture Mapping. Paper accepted at the 15th Annual Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning. International Society of the Learning Sciences. Hiroshima, Japan. Best Design Paper.

Lawrence, L., Holstein, K., Berman, S., Fancsali, S., McLaren, B. M., Ritter, S., & Aleven, V. (2021). Teachers’ orchestration needs during the shift to remote learning. In Technology Enhanced Learning for a Free, Safe, and Sustainable World: 16th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2021, Bolzano, Italy, September 20–24, 2021, Proceedings (pp. 347-351). Springer Nature, Cham.

Lawrence, L., Tucker, T., & Mercier, E. (2021). Examining the influence of instructor interventions on group collaboration. In Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning-CSCL 2021. International Society of the Learning Sciences. (pp. 161-164). Bochum, Germany. Best Design Paper Nominee.

Shehab, S., Lawrence, L., Mercier, E., Margotta, A., Livingston, L., Silva, M., & Tucker, T. (2020). Towards the effective implementation of collaborative problem solving in undergraduate engineering classrooms: Co-designing guidelines for teaching assistants. Proceedings of the 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Online.

Lawrence, L. & Mercier, E. (2019). Co-design of an orchestration tool: Supporting engineering teaching assistants as they facilitate collaborative learning. Interaction Design and Architecture(s) Journal, (42), 111-130.