Welcome to my portfolio! My name is Beth Woods, and I am a 2019 graduate of the Learning, Design, and Technology doctoral program at the University of Georgia. For my dissertation, I studied how students perceive classrooms impact their learning experiences. I am interested in inclusive classroom designs in higher education and exploring how Universal Design concepts can be applied to improve them. In short: How can we rethink classroom design so it benefits all users?
My research was inspired by a short animation published by Apple in 2013. The animation, titled “Designed by Apple,” outlined their design process starting with the question, “What do we want people to feel?” That simple question moving across the screen left me stunned. What a huge shift in concept from the typical initial orientation around administrative requirements or academic goals and learning objectives! Taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture it became clear to me: before an instructor has a chance to utter a single word, the students’ first impression is always made by the classroom (physical or virtual) as they enter for the first time.
What do our current classrooms say about us?
How do they make us feel?
Given the chance, would we design them differently to provide a different first and lasting impression?
This is my starting point. This is where I believe I can make a difference.