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An Exploratory Study of Using Participatory Design For Workplace Learning


An Exploratory Study of Using Participatory Design For Workplace Learning

Guillemette, Jean-Marc (2012) An Exploratory Study of Using Participatory Design For Workplace Learning. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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An Exploratory Study of Using Participatory Design
for Workplace Learning

Research Problem. The purpose of this study was to explore using participatory design as an alternative to traditional instructional design for workplace learning.
Research questions. The study was guided by a main question and four ancillary ones. The main question asked if participatory design could be used within the context of a specific workplace to design instruction for workplace learning?
The four ancillary questions were:
1. How does practical implementation of participatory design differ from its theoretical presentation?
2. What practical challenges arise during the participatory design process that would need to be addressed in advanced planning?
3. What is the effectiveness of the resulting learning program in terms of achieving its intended learning objectives?
4. What type of change management issues arise for instructional designers who are experienced in traditional ISD methodologies?
Literature Review. The purpose of the literature review was to explore key principles and concepts of instructional design, identify some the limitations of more traditional models of instructional design, define participatory design and explore how it may help address these problems. The researcher therefore reviewed the literature in four main areas: instructional design, workplace learning, participatory design and design research.
Methodology. This study involved exploring a particular instance of using participatory design for workplace learning in rich detail. Such studies are considered to be case studies reflecting a qualitative research methodology. The researcher therefore followed a team of six instructors working for a training institute of the Canadian Public Service who collaboratively determined what to design to meet their needs and how to design it. Over a period of one year, this core team worked together to design a course on instructional techniques to meet their specific needs. The researcher did not participate in the design effort but observed and documented the team’s work instead.
Results and Discussion. The researcher found that participatory design can be used to design learning activities for workplace learning provided that some conditions are met and precautions taken. The results of this study suggest that participatory design for workplace learning is more effective when structured as a project and managed properly. The researcher therefore proposes a model of participatory design for workplace learning that clearly situates participatory design within a project management framework. Study results also suggest that organizations wishing to use participatory design should carefully consider their context and how it may affect individual or team participation. Participants must be actively supported, by allowing them enough time to participate for example. Because some of those who were invited to participate in this study refuse to do so and because in some cases they subsequently worked against the project, the results of the study suggest that successfully using participatory design for workplace learning also means ensuring that all those involved understand the project, its requirements and expected outcomes, and actively support it. It would also be important to identify various other issues that affect the organization and addressing them directly in a way that minimizes their influence on the participatory design effort.

Keywords: design, instructional design, participatory design

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Guillemette, Jean-Marc
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Educational Technology
Date:15 October 2012
Thesis Supervisor(s):Carliner, Saul and Ann-Louise, Davidson and Schmid, Richard
ID Code:974898
Deposited On:16 Apr 2013 14:50
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:39
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