Peppler, an artist by training, engages in research that focuses on the intersection of arts, computational technologies and interest-driven learning. She holds a Ph.D. in Urban Schooling from UCLA, where she was part of the NSF-sponsored team that designed and studied the Scratch platform. Upon joining the UC Irvine faculty from Indiana University in 2018, Peppler brought her research group, the Creativity Labs, to be a part of UCI’s Connected Learning Lab, where she brings together educators, designers, artists, and learning theorists interested in supporting learning by leveraging youths' interests in digital culture, design, and making. Peppler sits on the editorial boards for the International Journal for Computer Supported Collaborative Learning and Computer Science Education and has recently served as guest editor for the British Journal of Educational Technology and Sustainability. Peppler was lead editor of the two-volume SAGE Encyclopedia of Out-of-School Learning.
The political shift in the learning sciences underscores the need to design for community engagement. Aligning craft and activism, craftivism provides a useful context to study processes of community-based engagement, with one example the creation of statement blankets within hobby groups. Through an analysis of a quilting group’s involvement with the #quiltsforpulse movement, we identified five themes that present craft-specific ways to contribute to social causes with implications for design for community-based engagement.