Investigating digital agility : Using a chatbot to scaffold learning opportunities for students

Armstrong, Niamh and Sime, Julie-Ann (2022) Investigating digital agility : Using a chatbot to scaffold learning opportunities for students. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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This research investigates how humanities students develop digital agility through targeted digital supports throughout their degree. Ensuring higher education students are digitally agile is of interest to academics in other degree programmes. Based on students’ prevalent use of text messaging, a chatbot was chosen as the platform to provide these supports. This research found it valuable to think through a self-regulated learning lens to ascertain the variety of needs and competencies that support students in their studies and in the future. The synthesis of digital competencies frameworks and policy documents provide an understanding of the diversity of competencies needed in this evolving landscape. Incorporating learning agility and design provides a holistic understanding of evolving digital needs. My definition of digital agility is the agency to use technology to create, design, communicate, collaborate and thrive in a changing digital landscape. A design-based research approach was chosen as it provides a balance of theory, artefact design and practice. Designbased research facilitated collaborating with students and academic staff over three iterative cycles of design, development, and evaluation, that shaped and aligned the chatbot to provide students with timely digital supports. The findings present that this collaboration with students and academic staff is needed to ensure alignment with disciplinary digital needs. Findings also highlighted the significant role assignment requirements play in driving digital agility. The main contributions to knowledge are: a digital agility framework incorporating: management of learning agility, research, communication, collaboration and data agility; design principles for future researchers to create their own intervention; and an improved understanding of the needs of students in support of their digital agility. Recommendations for practice and policy are also discussed. A limitation of the study is that it is confined to one degree programme in one institution during one academic year.

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Thesis (PhD)
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07 Dec 2022 14:35
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20 Mar 2024 00:04