• Mette Pedersen
  • Isabella Maria Czarny
According to the Global Partnership for Education and UNESCO there were 121 million children in 2015 worldwide who never started school or dropped out prematurely. The number of children receiving primary education has stagnated after several decades of growth. This thesis, “A digital learning platform for children the NIC and developing countries – A new solution to an old problem”, is primarily a design project and seeks to explore the possibility of teaching children in newly industrialized and developing countries using a digital learning platform on a mobile device through an iterative design based research process. The research question that has guided the project process focuses on how a digital platform for learning can be designed to expand the reach of primary school education for children in the ages of 6 to 11 years who are outside of the school systems in newly industrialized and developing countries.
The overall methodology used, was Design Based Research, which means that the thesis goes through several iterations with the goal of reaching a properly tested conceptual design. This was done through repeating phases of design involving relevant theories and domain specific research, which could be tested through user tests. The thesis goes through two iterations and initiates a third. An eclectic approach to theory was used as our way of perceiving theories as not being in competition with nor excluding each other but working side by side as equals.
In the first iteration, the initial idea was explored by gathering information through desk research on the specific domain and two learning theoretical approaches namely social and radical constructivism. The purpose of the first iteration was to establish if and how the idea was viable.
In the second iteration a redesign was made based on the analysis of the previous iteration. Here, theories about learning styles, multiple intelligences, self paced learning, self determination theory and minimally invasive design were added. The design was evaluated through an empirical approach by applying a focus group interview with experts in the field.
The third iteration was considered as the beginning of the prototype design process and the results of the focus group led to the inclusion of theories about Game Based Learning, Adaptive Learning, Zone of Proximal Development and collaboration. Furthermore, When it comes to the design of a platform in particular focusing on intuitiveness and usefulness, theories on User Experience, User Experience Honeycomb and Mobile User Experience were applied.
Based on the findings in the three iterations, it became evident that the target group have some very specific needs that influenced the design process further. A major challenge was to design for a user group who might have very little knowledge of using mobile devices and has no or poor literary skills.
Publication date10 Nov 2016
Number of pages88
ID: 243537388