Document Type

Theses, Ph.D

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

1.2 COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SCIENCE, Computer Sciences, Information Science, Bioinformatics

Publication Details

SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED IN FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

Abstract

Design for academic practice is an important phenomenon in Higher Education. This is the practice through which informal, non-professional designers operating in a variety of roles in academic institutions carry out the design of systems, resources, activities and processes that are intended to enhance academic practice. Despite its importance, the area has not received sufficient attention in studies of academic practice, quality enhancement and digital transformation. This thesis argues that the absence of insight into how designers for academic practice engage with digital technology in their design practice contributes to the mismatch between the ambitions for digital transformation in higher education and the reality of how digital technology is used in higher education. This research has developed an approach to address this issue and enhance how designers for academic practice engage with the digital technologies that are enacted in the practices of lecturers in an academic institution. This approach adopts a novel theoretical lens developed for this research, termed Influential Technology Channels, that produces a model of technology use in everyday practice and provides access, through the existing use of technology, to the enactment of academic practice. This model is used alongside another contribution from this research, practice-based personas – a modelling method that represents the diverse collections of technology use that constitute academic practice, and thus enables designers for academic practice to navigate and engage with the diversity of practice in the population of lecturers in the academic institution. Using this approach to design for academic practice, the form of design characterised and investigated in this research, informal designers are supported to achieve a greater understanding of the audience for which they are designing and explore designs that build upon existing, diverse, situated practice in ways that would not otherwise be possible. Through the implementation of an instrumental case study, this research demonstrates how these methods provide the meaningful connections between design and practice that can support digital enhancement and digital transformation initiatives on a broad scale, enabling designers to better engage with diverse people, practices and uses of digital technology as they seek to enhance academic practice.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.21427/zcfm-cz79

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