Behind the Bok: Lauren Davidson

March 23, 2021
Lauren Davidson

Each month we will profile a member of the Bok staff in order for our friends and colleagues to learn more about us, the full range of work that we do, how we approach our work, and what is happening in the world of teaching and learning from different perspectives.

Lauren Davidson, Assistant Director of the Learning Lab

Q: What is your educational background?

A: I received my PhD in Philosophy from Harvard. I also hold an MA in Bioethics from Loyola Marymount University and a BA in Philosophy from UCLA.

Q: How did you decide that you were interested in working at a teaching and learning center?

A: As a graduate student, I co-founded a non-profit organization that teaches logic and critical thinking in high schools, though the organization now reaches a broader audience from middle school through adults. What we found was that many of the traditional ways of teaching logic just didn’t stick for high school students. We needed a mode of engaging with ideas and arguments that was more tangible and gave students a framework for debating with each other. That led us to develop a curriculum in “argument mapping,” a method of visually diagramming arguments. Ever since, I have been interested in how learning and presenting academic content through multiple media can expand the ways in which students engage material and deepen understanding.

Lauren reaches for a sticky note on a blackboard at the Fall Teaching Conference.

Q: Describe a project that you are excited about right now.

A: I’m part of what I suspect must be a pretty small group of people who became web developers through working at a teaching and learning center. Teaching remotely this year has led many faculty to approach the Learning Lab about displaying student work on the web. We’ve approached these projects both on a very practical level — How can we help courses store and structure data, so that it’s easily mounted on any web platform they choose? — but also by looking for models of cutting-edge, web-based interactions and storytelling and thinking about how we might use elements of them to showcase academic ideas. 

Q: What do you love to do when you’re not doing teaching and learning work?

A: Hanging upside down! In addition to coaching handstands and tumbling at a local circus gym, I also train on several aerial apparatuses including rope, sling, and trapeze, whenever I get the chance.

Lauren hangs acrobatically from scaffolding.

See also: Bok News, Staff