Investigating the potential for new media and new technologies in design and technology undergraduate education
thesisposted on 2012-11-14, 14:37 authored by Marian Hepburn
Investigating Potential for New Media & New Technologies in Design & Technology Undergraduate Education This research explores potential for New Media and New Technology (NM & NT) in the Design School at Loughborough University. Using action research to investigate potential, this research develops a new way of managing inquiry based on Susman and Evered s five cycles of action research (Susman and Evered, 1978). In particular, it extends the double- helix metaphor (Dick, 2000) for action research. This new way of conducting action research looks at educational and IT- based aspects; in particular, developing strategies, guidelines and materials for implementing video podcasting (Vodcasting) and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) into Design School undergraduate modules. In looking at potential, the research involved 6 lecturer s interviews and thematic analysis. Findings suggest that limitations to the current uses of NM & NT related to lecturers lack of skills in NM & NT and scepticism about what the benefits might be. Some recognised potential for NM & NT to manage module administration. One lecturer wanted to stop students using dubious sources from the Internet for assessment on a Sustainable Design module. This led to using RSS to resolve this problem in a mobile learning scenario. In this research, 98 D and T students were surveyed to identify current uses of mobile technology. Results suggested that students would like module content streamed to their mobile device. Lecturers too could see benefits for NM & NT, if they stopped lecturers from having to repeat themselves to students. This led to using Vodcasting to resolve this problem in a mobile learning scenario. Video observational data was collected from 6 students using RSS to perform mobile learning tasks for a Sustainable Design module. The findings suggested that the technology at the time of study was not quite up to the task, although some NM & NT learning resources relating to Sustainable Design were found by students using RSS. Similarly, video observation data was collected from 4 students using Vodcasts to design electronic circuits. Findings showed more technological competence with this technology and students suggested future modules where this type of NM & NT would have further educational potential. Through exploring potential, this research develops new strategies, guidelines and materials for design and technology educators. This research reveals the educational benefits of Vodcasting and RSS in labs and workshops, and concludes that there is potential for NM & NT in D and T education.