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Sarah Coppola's Research Group Archive

The following research group descriptions are archived because they are no longer offered, the faculty member is on sabbatical, or the group is taking a break. Please contact the faculty member or an advisor to learn more about these groups.

Spring 2023

Prototyping a Community Toolkit for Peer First Response Education

Led by Alainna Brennan Brown, with faculty sponsorship by Sarah Coppola

Recruiting: Anyone in the HCDE community - students (BS, MS, UCD, PhD), interested faculty/staff

Bystander emergency first response training is a key part of building community safety and inspiring a sense of community security. When emergencies occur—ranging from someone choking to significant earthquakes—the very first response is generally from nearby community members. Bystanders have the benefit of proximity and situational knowledge; it does not take medical credentials to save a life. The Seattle area holds the distinction of having one of the highest survival rates in the nation for cardiac arrests (a life-threatening event in which the heart stops beating for any number of reasons). That survival rate exists in large part because we have one of the highest rates of community member bystander CPR training per capita. Similar bystander training exists for other emergencies, such as Stop the Bleed and Until Help Arrives. Training is even available to those who venture outdoors for adventures or find themselves in more austere conditions (e.g. wilderness first aid, wilderness first responder, etc.).

In this DRG, we aim to develop a toolkit to empower university departments to thoughtfully assess the interests and needs of their communities (students, faculty, and staff) in order to choose the most suitable off-the-shelf training packages currently available or to assemble their own in partnership with appropriate first response education organizations. This toolkit will center the development of community and individual confidence in the face of emergencies as core values. We will use the HCDE community as our launch pad. We will first conduct observational, interview-, and survey-based research into HCDE community members’ knowledge of first response interventions as well as related interests, “wish lists,” fears/concerns, and other related insights and priorities. We will then iteratively prototype a toolkit of resources to support community-based training, gradually scaling the toolbox up for larger groups/organizations. Initial research and prototyping will take place during the spring 2023 quarter with the option for contributors to continue into the summer and/or fall.

Note: while this description focuses on medical examples, other relevant spaces could include fire preparedness, inclement weather and other natural events, disaster egress, and so forth. As always, we will let the research lead us!

Skills/experience desired (students): Survey design, qualitative AND/OR quantitative data analysis, prototyping skills, experience using observational and interview research techniques (e.g. HCDE 313), communication skills (writing for diverse audiences, public speaking), web/visual/accessible communication design, interest in learning about narrative interviewing techniques and phenomenological analysis. You do not have to be an expert in all of these, of course! This course is suitable for BS, MS, and UCD students who have completed at least some foundational and elective HCDE coursework (e.g. user-centered design, accessible design, etc.); for PhD students who want to learn about community-based research, refine existing research skills or learn about new approaches, and get some hands-on design experience; and for any interested faculty and staff.

DRG credits (if desired): For most students, 2 DRG credits (~2 hour weekly meetings with a maximum of 4 asynchronous working hours outside of meetings); additional credits depending on individual interest.

Outcomes for students: Design portfolio entries, manuscript contributions, community leadership opportunities (based on individual interests/needs).

Spring 2023

Developing Accessible Workflows for Making Tactile Graphics DRG

Led by Drs. Nadya Peek, Emily Whiting, Abigale Stangl, and Sarah Coppola

Tactile graphics are artifacts that can communicate information through touch and may include raised lines, textures, and shapes. They are currently fabricated with approaches including vacuum-forming thermoplastics, embossing paper with dot patterns, and heat-printing papers with special swell-coatings. In this DRG, we aim to broaden access to tactile graphics by developing a low-cost and accessible workflow for tactile fabrication. 

We are looking for DRG participants who have experience in one or more areas of:

  • rapid prototyping 
  • blind and low-vision communities
  • accessible user interface development
  • AI-driven design tools and techniques

But also encourage applicants who are excited to learn. This DRG is 1-quarter and 2-credits, so we are looking for a ~6hr/wk commitment for spring quarter. To apply, please fill out this Google form with questions about your background and experience.

We expect to develop an accessible software workflow, custom fabrication hardware, and detailed documentation by the end of spring quarter.

Winter 2023

Prototyping Inclusive Design

In this DRG, we will be working to bring design solutions from an inclusive design class to functional prototypes for testing with participants. Students should have previously taken 315/515 or have permission of faculty member.