Academic Positions

  • Present 2011

    Teaching Assistant

    University of Washington, The Information School

  • 2015 2013

    Research Assistant

    University of Washington, Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering

Education & Training

  • Ph.D. Present

    Ph.D. in Information Science

    University of Washington

  • MSIS2014

    Master of Science in Information Science

    University of Washington

  • MSc2010

    Master of Science in Analysis, Design and Management of Information Systems

    London School of Economics & Political Science

  • BSc (Hons)2008

    Bachelor of Science in Computing with a year in North America

    University of Hertfordshire

Honors, Awards and Grants

  • 2016
    iFellows Doctoral Fellowship
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    The award funds independent dissertation research which complements and advances the goals of the iSchools' Committee on Coherence at Scale. The Coherence at Scale project is intended to examine and take steps to aggregate national-scale digital projects in order to enhance their ability to function as an integrated infrastructure; one having the potential to transform higher education in terms of scholarly productivity, teaching, cost-efficiency, and sustainability.
  • 2013
    Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
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    The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce): an enlightenment organisation committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges. Through its ideas, research and 27,000-strong Fellowship it seeks to understand and enhance human capability so we can close the gap between today’s reality and people’s hopes for a better world.
  • 2011
    UW Graduate School Fellowship
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    Fellowship funding is granted to top incoming graduate scholars to allow them one quarter of funded study without the need for a teaching or research appointment.
  • 2011-Present
    Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship
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    The US-UK Fulbright Commission has a distinguished history built on the legacy of the late Senator J William Fulbright. The global Fulbright Programme is one of the most prestigious awards programmes world-wide operating in over 150 countries, with over 300,000 alumni.
  • 2009
    Christina & Alan MacDonald Graduate Scholarship
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    The Christina and Alan MacDonald Graduate Scholarship is awarded to a distinguished UK student on a master's programme at LSE.
  • 2007
    Departmental Award for Outstanding Achievement (University of Hertfordshire)
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    Awarded for outstanding academic performance whilst on a study abroad program.

Research Projects

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    Stakeholder Participation and the Emergence of Dominant Design in Cyberinfrastructure Systems

    Research Assistant

    This project examines the social processes in the design of cyberinfrastructures, focusing on the role that different stakeholders play in design and development, the ways in which their interests and priorities can be aligned, and the social organization of the development effort.

    More specifically, this project examines the development and evolution of the GENI.net cyberinfrastructures (PlanetLab, ProtoGeni, ORBIT, ORCA). The goal of this research is to develop a framework for understanding how cyberinfrastructure designs emerge and evolve over time (to that end, we are looking into various theoretical approaches beyond the "dominant design" approach that we originally proposed). We are conducting a qualitative study of the interactions between developers, experimenters and other GENI stakeholders, and of their involvement in the design and development processes across its four cyberinfrastructures.

    The long-term goal of our research is to contribute research and practical knowledge to the area of cyberinfrastructure design and large-scale IT development.

    NSF Award OCI-1220269

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    Informal Learning in Online Fan Communities

    Researcher

    Online fan communities provide opportunities for meaningful collaborations and rich learning experiences. In recent years, scholars have begun to explore the learning that takes place in online fandoms. Still, we lack a complete understanding of the skills youth develop through their fan-based activities; the roles that identity, motivation, and emotion play in young people’s informal learning online; and the novice-to-expert trajectories made available in different online fan communities.

    The proposed study will shed light on each of these areas of inquiry through ethnographic investigations of online fan communities currently popular among U.S. teens.

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    Stories of bullying and coping in an online community

    Researcher

    The American Academy of Pediatrics has identified bullying as a serious health risk for adolescents. In today’s age of social media and smartphones, this health risk has taken on new forms and extended its reach. Strategies to reduce the prevalence of and negative consequences associated with both traditional and cyberbullying require knowledge of victims’ lived experiences as well as the coping strategies they employ—both effectively and ineffectively—to respond to their tormentors.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics has identified bullying as a serious health risk for adolescents. In today’s age of social media and smartphones, this health risk has taken on new forms and extended its reach. Strategies to reduce the prevalence of and negative consequences associated with both traditional and cyberbullying require knowledge of victims’ lived experiences as well as the coping strategies they employ—both effectively and ineffectively—to respond to their tormentors.

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    Video Surveillance in Public Libraries

    Researcher

    Libraries have long maintained strong protections for patron privacy and intellectual freedom. However, the increasing prevalence of sophisticated surveillance systems in public libraries potentially threatens these core library commitments.

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More Than Peer Production: Fanfiction Communities as Sites of Distributed Mentoring Communities

Evans, S., Davis, K., Evans, A., Campbell, J., Randall, D.P., Yin, K., & Aragon, C.
Conference PaperProceedings of the 20th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing. ACM, 2017

Abstract

From Harry Potter to American Horror Story, fanfiction is extremely popular among young people. Sites such as Fanfiction.net host millions of stories, with thousands more posted each day. Enthusiasts are sharing their writing and reading stories written by others. Exactly how does a generation known more for videogame expertise than long-form writing become so engaged in reading and writing in these communities? Via a nine-month ethnographic investigation of fanfiction communities that included participant observation, interviews, a thematic analysis of 4,500 reader reviews and an in-depth case study of a discussion group, we found that members of fanfiction communities spontaneously mentor each other in open forums, and that this mentoring builds upon previous interactions in a way that is distinct from traditional forms of mentoring and made possible by the affordances of networked publics. This work extends and develops the theory of distributed mentoring. Our findings illustrate how distributed mentoring supports fanfiction authors as they work to develop their writing skills. We believe distributed mentoring holds potential for supporting learning in a variety of formal and informal learning environments.

Thousands of Positive Reviews: Distributed Mentoring in Online Fan Communities

Campbell, J., Aragon, C., Davis, K., Evans, S., Evans, A., Randall, D.P.
Conference PaperProceedings of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing. ACM, 2016

Abstract

Young people worldwide are participating in ever-increasing numbers in online fan communities. Far from mere shallow repositories of pop culture, these sites are accumulating ignificant evidence that sophisticated informal learning is taking place online in novel and unexpected ways. In order to understand and analyze in more detail how learning might be occurring, we conducted an in-depth nine-month ethnographic investigation of online fanfiction communities, including participant observation and fanfiction author interviews. Our observations led to the development of a theory we term distributed mentoring, which we present in detail in this paper. Distributed mentoring exemplifies one instance of how networked technology affords new extensions of behaviors that were previously bounded by time and space. Distributed mentoring holds potential for application beyond the spontaneous mentoring observed in this investigation and may help students receive diverse, thoughtful feedback in formal learning environments as well.

Creating Sustainable Cyberinfrastructures

Randall, D.P., Diamant, E.I., and Lee, C.P.
Conference PaperProceedings of the 33rd annual ACM conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2015

Abstract

In this paper we report the results of a qualitative research study of the GENI cyberinfrastructure: a program of four federated cyberinfrastructures. Drawing on theories of stakeholder positioning, we examine how different GENI stakeholders attempt to enlist new participants in the cyberinfrastructures of GENI, and leverage existing relationships to create sustainable infrastructure. This study contributes to our understanding of how cyberinfrastructures emerge over time through processes of stakeholder alignment, enrollment, and through synergies among stakeholder groups. We explore these issues to better understand how cyberinfrastructures can be designed to sustain over time.

"I Was Bullied Too": Stories of Bullying and Coping in an Online Community

Davis, K, Randall, D.P., Ambrose, A., and Orand, M.
Journal PaperInformation, Communication & Society 18.08 (2015)

Abstract

As organisations become more globalised rising time and cost constraints force them to increasingly make use of virtual teams. As a result of the continuous expansion of such teams in the workplace research and theories into their performance become ever more important. This study investigates the validity of one such theory, Media Synchronicity Theory, in predicting the performance of virtual teams in completing complex tasks, specifcally teams whose members belong to an online community. There is currently little empirical evidence to support Media Synchronicity Theory, especially when related to virtual teams. This study provides such evidence and shows support for the theory in predicting behaviour that leads to efficient task performance amongst a virtual team. The results also find contradictory evidence towardsMedia Synchronicity Theory, suggesting that some aspects o the theory donot hold or teams more experienced with computer mediated communication – such as teams from online communities. The results suggest a need for more empirical evidence of Media Synchronicity Theory to help corroborate the results. Future research is also suggested into the impact online community membership can have on achieving better task performance

The Panoptic Librarian: The Role of Video Surveillance in the Modern Public Library

Randall, D.P., Newell, B.C.
Conference PaperProceedings of the 2014 iConference, pp. 508-21 (2014)

Abstract

Libraries have long maintained strong protections for patron privacy and intellectual freedom. However, the increasing prevalence of sophisticated surveillance systems in public libraries potentially threatens these core library commitments. This paper presents the findings of a qualitative case study examining why four libraries in the US and the UK installed video surveillance and how they manage these systems to balance safety and privacy. We examine the experience of these libraries, including one that later reversed course and completely removed all of its previously installed systems. We find that the libraries who install surveillance initially do so as either a response to specific incidents of crime or as part of the design of new buildings. Libraries maintain varying policies about whether video footage is protected as part of patron records, about dealing with law enforcement requests for footage, and whether patrons ought to maintain any expectation of privacy while inside libraries.

A Retreat from the Panoptic: One Public Library’s Experience with Video Surveillance

Newell, B.C., Randall, D.P.
Workshop PaperiConference 2013 Special Workshop on Information Privacy

Abstract

This paper presents the findings of a qualitative case study examining why one public library installed video surveillance systems and then later reversed course and completely removed the previously installed systems. We found that the library initially installed the system as a response to specific incidents of crime without central administrative oversight, and that the removal was prompted by deteriorating relationships with local police departments over the library’s position that the video footage was exempt from public disclosure under the state’s library records privacy law. The library system subsequently removed all of their cameras in 2011, claiming the cameras were not in sync with library commitments to intellectual freedom and patron privacy, despite the fact that library staff expressed strong interest in retaining the cameras and were concerned about staff safety and crime prevention. We also found evidence of surveillance creep.

Video Surveillance in Public Libraries: A Case of Unintended Consequences?

Newell, B.C., Randall, D.P.
Conference PaperProceedings of the 46th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 1932-1941 (2013)

Abstract

This paper presents the findings of an exploratory qualitative research study in which the authors sought to examine why two public libraries have implemented video security systems and why one of these libraries has reversed course and recently removed a previously installed surveillance system. We found that one library initially installed the system in various branches as an ad hoc response to specific incidents of crime without central administrative oversight, while the other installed their system as an integral part of the design and construction of their central library location and collaborates with local police and professional consultants on security issues. The former library system subsequently removed all of their cameras in 2011 as a consequence of having negative interactions with local police departments.

Ten Red Balloons: Virtual Teams and Online Communities

Randall, D.P.
Journal PaperiSChannel Special Issue, December 2011

Abstract

As organisations become more globalised rising time and cost constraints force them to increasingly make use of virtual teams. As a result of the continuous expansion of such teams in the workplace research and theories into their performance become ever more important. This study investigates the validity of one such theory, Media Synchronicity Theory, in predicting the performance of virtual teams in completing complex tasks, specifcally teams whose members belong to an online community. There is currently little empirical evidence to support Media Synchronicity Theory, especially when related to virtual teams. This study provides such evidence and shows support for the theory in predicting behaviour that leads to efficient task performance amongst a virtual team. The results also find contradictory evidence towardsMedia Synchronicity Theory, suggesting that some aspects o the theory donot hold or teams more experienced with computer mediated communication – such as teams from online communities. The results suggest a need for more empirical evidence of Media Synchronicity Theory to help corroborate the results. Future research is also suggested into the impact online community membership can have on achieving better task performance

Current Teaching

  • Winter 2016

    INFX 595: MS Information Management Capstone

    The Capstone experience involves identifying an information problem in a real-world setting and developing the means to address it in order to demonstrate students' mastery of the knowledge that they have gained through the course of the Masters of Information Management program.. Capstone projects can be research or design-oriented and solutions are typically an interactive end product that can be implemented and used.

Teaching History

  • 2015 2011

    INFO 360: Design Thinking

    Introduces design methods for identifying user needs, devising new design concepts, prototyping these concepts, and evaluating their utility and usability. Introduces the theory and practice of user-centered design. Examines methods for identifying users' needs, understanding users' behaviors, envisioning and prototyping new systems, and evaluating the usability of systems. Emphasis on incorporating people in the design process from initial field observations to summative usability testing.

  • 2015 2012

    INFO 200: Intellectual Foundations of Informatics

    Information as an object of study, including theories, concepts, and principles of information, information seeking, cognitive processing, knowledge representation and restructuring, and their relationships to physical and intellectual access to information. Development of information systems for storage, organization, and retrieval. Experience in the application of theories, concepts, and principles.

  • Spring 2013

    IMT 570: Analytic Methods for Information Professionals

    Sharpens critical thinking processes by studying and applying scientific methods to problem solving in the information management area. Provides a framework to resolve information management research problems, interpret research findings, and to understand the interaction among the various parts of the research process.

  • Fall 2012

    IMT 540: Design Methods for Interaction and System

    Introduction to the theory and practice of user-centered design. Examines design methods for identifying and describing user needs, specifying and prototyping new systems, and evaluating the usability of systems. Examines design methodologies such as contextual design and value-sensitive design, giving specific emphasis to human-information interaction

At the Office

You can find me on the University of Washington Campus

The Information School
Mary Gates Hall, Suite 370
Box 352840
Seattle, WA 98195-2840