Category Archives: MS-HCI

Image of digital city with tale town title

Tale Town


Our project, Technology for Acquiring Language through Engagement (TALE), focuses on designing a gamified platform to help self-learners acquire foreign language skills, specifically non-native English speakers. 

Research question: How might we help intermediate to advanced English learners get more practice speaking their target language with others?

Motivations: Self-learners encounter a number of challenges when attempting to learn a language, including:

  1. Lack of depth in existing free learning materials
  2. Disconnect to native speakers and culture
  3. Struggles with loss of interest or feelings of burnout over time
  4. Difficulties practicing natural conversations

Why gamification? Research has shown that playful environments and gamified approaches can be powerful tools for engaging learners.

Project Team

  • Kyle Leinart, MS-HCI student
  • Irene Ong, MS-HCI student
  • Calvin Mammen, MS-CS student
  • Theresa Hsieh, MS-HCI student
  • Jessica Roberts, Faculty advisor

Developing Technologies to Support Remote Art Education for K-2 Students

Image of proposed VR museum platform.
A virtual museum platform built in Mozilla Hubs provides users a chance to play with shapes and colors in authentic art pieces.


Art is an important factor in child development. Research has highlighted art education’s role in children’s acquisition of the economic, cultural, and civic capital required to sustain a communities’ cultural resources. For K-2 learners, art education also contributes to the development of fine motor skills, cognition, and interpersonal relationships. The incorporation of art museum visits into school curriculum is one of the ways students can have repeated, sustained engagement with art. Recognizing this, many art museums provide digital resources to support the integration of these resources into classrooms, but little research investigates classrooms’ use of these resources. Additionally, little research investigates technology designs that support interactions and needs of K-2 learners, teachers, art museum educators, and docents in fully remote art education settings. 

This project uncovers key implications and design requirements for developing effective, remote art education environments for K-2 learners and educators. From these requirements we made novel, instrumented tangible tools that can create beneficial learning opportunities where K-2 learners can practice fine motor skills and age-appropriate art principles. This project also studies how the integration of these tools into virtual environments can support K-2 learners in remote settings.

Understanding K-2 Remote Art Education Needs

Repeated, meaningful art education experiences for young children are often coordinated across school settings, which support daily art encounter opportunities, and museums, which provide more isolated encounters with artworks. To understand the needs of classroom and museum educators in remote K-2 settings, we conducted a needs survey and interview. We developed 3 sets of design requirements covering their needs. We also developed a novel typology of existing art education platforms, identifying where educators’ needs are and are not met.This project is described in our 2022 Interaction Design and Children (IDC) Paper: Ready, Set, Art: Technology Needs and Tools for Remote K-2 Art Education

The Chameleon Clippers

Lead: Gennie Mansi, HCC PhD student

To satisfy the need for young learners to receive appropriate feedback as they practice fine motor skills in remote environments, we created the Chameleon Clippers. This low cost instrumentation of classic school scissors uses line sensors and a custom built Processing application to alert users when they deviate from the line they are attempting to cut.

This project is described in our 2022 Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) paper:

Mansi, G., Boone, A., Kim, S. & Roberts, J. (2022). Chameleon Clippers: A Tool for Developing Fine Motor Skills in Remote Education Settings. In Proceedings 2022 International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL). Hiroshima, Japan and online. Best design paper nominee

PLVM: Play and Learn in the Virtual Museum

Lead: Sue Reon Kim, MS-HCI

Increasing shifts to online and remote education in recent years — greatly augmented by the Covid-19 pandemic — have created a new challenge for museum-based art educators: How can young children have impactful art engagement experiences on remote museum tours?

In this project, I explore the K-2 art educators’ pedagogical needs in facilitating the remote art tour through co-design, and offer a technological solution, Play and Learn in Virtual Museum (PLVM). PLVM (pronounced as Plum) is a web-based digital platform for K-2 art educators and students to aid the followings:

  1. Simple technology set up for students (3 point setup)
  2. Ability to deeply looking at the art utilizing different interaction models such as discussion, drag-and-drop, point, multiple choice and storytelling
  3. Integration with existing educational tools and different media such as 360 view, youtube, google slides, and images from the museum collection database
  4. Sharable hands-on activities
  5. Texture sound for the 3D elements

This platform offers both moderated and unmoderated versions to make it more accessible for limited resourced art educators.

Demo Video

Project Team

  • Gennie Mansi, HCC PhD candidate
  • Sue Reon Kim, MS-HCI graduate
  • Ashley Boone, HCC PhD student
  • Jessica Roberts, Faculty

Crossroads: Helping cisgender students understand their transgender peers in Greek Life

Project Description

Transgender and nonbinary (trans/nonbinary) college students face unique challenges as members of Greek Life organizations, as their identities contradict the heteronormative culture of most Greek communities. Despite these differences, trans/nonbinary students still exist within Greek communities, and many Greek organizations have been making efforts to be inclusive of these members. Institutional-level changes, however, do little to prepare individual Greek students to be inclusive of their trans/nonbinary peers, and because GT Greek Life does not mandate LGBTQ+ education, cisgender students struggle to bridge this gap in knowledge, while transgender students are expected to act as educators. Crossroads is an educational mobile application designed for cisgender Greek students. It teaches users about LGBTQ+ concepts, specifically focusing on trans/nonbinary issues within Greek communities.

The Crossroads application has four features: learning modules, community messaging, a glossary, and external resources. In our proof of concept prototype, we designed and tested two modules, one of which focused on basic LGBTQ+ terminology and concepts, and a second that honed in on trans/nonbinary issues. These modules are followed up with ‘daily challenges’ that utilize a spaced repetition model to support long-term learning. We hypothesize that this learning environment will provide cisgender Greek students with an easy-to-access LGBTQ+ learning environment that can be easily integrated into a college student’s schedule and will act as an alternative to relying on trans/nonbinary students for education.


Stephanie Baione, Yiming Lyu, Audrey Reinert & Jessica Roberts (2022) Crossroads: a transgender education platform for Greek life students, Journal of LGBT Youth, DOI: 10.1080/19361653.2022.2070813
Please contact me if you would like to read the article but do not have access and I will be happy to send you an access link.


Project Team

  • Stephanie Baione, MS-HCI 2021
  • Yiming Lyu, MS-HCI 2021
  • Audrey Reinert, co-advisor
  • Jessica Roberts, advisor