User Research Lab Fellowship Continues Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
April 15, 2020
The User Research Lab (UXR) is an 8-week technology fellowship for formerly incarcerated citizens interested in gaining skills that make them competitive for user research technology jobs. Fellows participate in 18 hours of coding instruction taught by the Code Cooperative and user-based research projects sponsored by Spotify and the Rainey Center.
The fellowship, originally held in Columbia University classrooms transitioned to a virtual program out of an abundance of caution due to COVID-19. Following the news of virtual instruction at Columbia, the UXR team sprung into action to ensure a solid transition to virtual learning. With support from the Code Cooperative, instruction now takes place via group text, Slack, and virtual meetings.
Participating in virtual programming has presented challenges for fellows as some struggled with consistent internet connection, lack of access to a workspace and frustrations with life transitions. Challenges aside, participants and instructors both agree that this program is important to maintain throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.