SOURCES OF INFORMAL LEARNING AND UNDERGRADUATE GRAPHIC DESIGN STUDENTS: A GROUNDED THEORY APPROACH

N. Souleles, S. Savva

Cyprus University of Technology (CYPRUS)
Although a substantial amount of learning takes place in situ and outside the boundaries of formal education, not much is known about how graphic design graduates engage with sources of Informal Learning (IL). Yet, an understanding of how this takes place is of significance, because it can inform the related disciplines about the competencies that curricula need to cater for if graduates are to engage effectively in the constantly changing working environments of the knowledge economy. These papers adopts a Grounded Theory (GT) approach because of a) the lack of pre-existing theories and hypotheses on the subject, and b) due to the fact that this methodology is of relevance to designers, but the steps that comprise it are rarely articulated in detail. Through the analysis of qualitative data and the development of a formal theory, it is argued that the patterns of engagement with IL are varied and mediated, and the role of online sources is substantial.