The Center for Information Technology and Public Policy (CITAPP)
International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIITB)
organized a talk titled
Self-directed professional development
in socio-technical communities
University of Michigan
14:00 hours – 15:30 hours, 11th February 2020 (Tuesday)
Venue: Room R310, IIITB campus
26/C, Electronic City, Hosur Road, Bangalore
About the talk:
Today’s jobs are more likely to require lifelong training with limited dedicated expert guidance. Consequently, understanding how social technologies are supporting professional development in the future of work has become a critical question on how to support socio-economic mobility. Over the years, apprenticeship has been lauded as one of the most effective approaches to instruction in offline professional contexts. However, dedicated one-on-one guidance is not easily scalable as experts have limited capacity to provide in-depth instruction to multiple novices. These relationships are even harder to come by in under-resourced communities with limited expert guidance, professional networks, and digital access. In this talk, I will discuss my work addressing the following question, How can we design socio-technical systems that support professional skill development in communities where there is limited dedicated expert guidance? Through my research on distributed and co-located communities of micro-entrepreneurs, I describe how the changing affordances of social technologies combined with collective community efforts are driving new opportunities for skill and self-efficacy development. I will also outline how my work has informed the design of both technology and community infrastructure.
I am an Assistant Professor/Presidential post-doc in the University of Michigan’s School of Information. I develop theory and practice human-centered design informed by research in human-computer interaction, crowdsourcing, social computing, and learning sciences. I study and design socio-technical systems that support career development in self-directed forms of employment, such as micro-entrepreneurship, freelance work, and gig work. At the moment, I am working with small business owners and community organizations in Detroit to develop more accessible structures for professional skill development and social support.
I have been supported by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, NSF Cyberlearning Grant, and Northwestern’s Segal Design Cluster Fellowship. Prior to UMSI, I completed my PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University’s Segal Design Institute where I worked with Dr. Liz Gerber in the Delta Lab. I received my B.S. in Physics with a Minor in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in 2011. I have also interned at Microsoft FUSE Labs and Facebook as a HCI/UX Researcher.