Sarah Kay Miller, Brigham Young University
As course management systems (CMSs) become ubiquitous in university settings, their design and construction needs to be critically analyzed in order to improve the teaching and learning experiences of professors and students respectively. Over time mediums like verbal direction, printed copies, textbooks, student-teacher meetings, and email have been assimilated into the information pipeline. CMSs have promised to streamline these processes into one unified hub, but instead are usually implemented in conjunction with existing mediums. As a graphic design student interested in user experience design (UX), for my Honors thesis I investigated the cognitive loads that students experience while interacting with inconsistent educational systems. Poorly organized systems—combined with the actual content of the class—contribute to cognitive overload. By exaggerating the reality of how students receive information, I created an immersive exhibit titled ‘Overload’ which turned a critical eye to the current state of the educational ecosystem. Through an overwhelming blend of analog and digital mediums, the exhibit prompted viewers to consider their own experience giving and receiving information in academic settings, while also emphasizing the importance of system design and how changes to a system affect user experience. My research and exhibit have contributed to the discourse on CMSs by providing both a student and a design perspective. * Please note: my thesis research and exhibit can be presented in a number of ways. If selected, please contact me directly to discuss what might be the best medium for this conference.