About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 570-579
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain

THE POWER OF “ON-THE-GROUND” STORIES: AN EMPIRICAL, INSIGHT-LED APPROACH TO CURRICULUM INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS

C. Quinlivan, F. James, S. Towers, S. Vaughan

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) (AUSTRALIA)
This paper describes the approach and findings from an insight-led research methodology used as an integral component of a comprehensive curriculum information management solution project at a large Australian university. The project intends to produce a curriculum information management solution that connects and maps curriculum and learning information in a way this is accessible, constructive and user-friendly for faculty academics (academics) and students.

A key assumption for the project is that academics and students will need to work and learn differently including being able to access, analyse and act on curriculum information to improve learning opportunities and learning outcomes. However, the university has a history of designing and implementing curriculum information systems that focus on institutional business functions, that work well for restricted users, but are inaccessible or ineffective for academics and students. Given the desired deliverables of the project in contrast to historic practices, it was critically important that the methodological approach gained an empirical understanding of the value of academics and students being able to explicitly and meaningfully create, visualise and act on curriculum information.

The project adapted the persona research methodology traditionally used in software engineering (Cooper, 1999). Within the context of this research activity, personas are a collection of ethnographic data from real academics and students that is combined into a set of realistic representations of academics and students. These personas are used as the voices of the target users, expressing their needs, expectations, goals, behaviours and frustrations. Importantly, the personas become the tool for challenging or validating project assumptions and institutional myths, ensuring decisions are made on evidenced based research with the needs of the end-user always in sight.

Findings from this insight-led persona approach include:
- The way that curriculum information acts as a linchpin for the broader activities and priorities of academics and students.
- The specific timing and repetition of academic and student interaction with curriculum information.
- The modes of interaction and use of curriculum information.
- Who academics and students need to engage with to access, use and understand curriculum information.

The paper will explore how these findings have provided a platform for the project to articulate the needs of the academics and students through a rich, representative narrative that ensures the users stay forefront in any design and solution considerations.

References:
[1] Cooper, A. (1999). The inmates are running the asylum. Macmillan.
@InProceedings{QUINLIVAN2014POW,
author = {Quinlivan, C. and James, F. and Towers, S. and Vaughan, S.},
title = {THE POWER OF “ON-THE-GROUND” STORIES: AN EMPIRICAL, INSIGHT-LED APPROACH TO CURRICULUM INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS},
series = {8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-8412-0},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {10-12 March, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {570-579}}
TY - CONF
AU - C. Quinlivan AU - F. James AU - S. Towers AU - S. Vaughan
TI - THE POWER OF “ON-THE-GROUND” STORIES: AN EMPIRICAL, INSIGHT-LED APPROACH TO CURRICULUM INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS
SN - 978-84-616-8412-0/2340-1079
PY - 2014
Y1 - 10-12 March, 2014
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2014 Proceedings
SP - 570
EP - 579
ER -
C. Quinlivan, F. James, S. Towers, S. Vaughan (2014) THE POWER OF “ON-THE-GROUND” STORIES: AN EMPIRICAL, INSIGHT-LED APPROACH TO CURRICULUM INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS, INTED2014 Proceedings, pp. 570-579.
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