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Being objective: communities of practice and the use of cultural artefacts in digital learning environments

Hopes, David (2014)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Over the past decade there has been a dramatic increase in the volume of digital content created from museum, library and archive collections but research on how this material is actually used, particularly in digital learning environments, has fallen far behind the rate of supply. In order to address this gap, this thesis examines how communities of practice (CoPs) involved in the supply and use of digital artefacts in the Higher Education sector in the UK interact with content and what factors affect this process. It focuses on a case study involving the digitisation of Shakespeare collections used in postgraduate research, and the testing of use in a range of different learning environments. This produced a number of significant findings with implications for the HE and cultural sectors. Firstly, similar patterns of artefact use were found across all users suggesting there are generic ways in which everyone interacts with digital artefacts. However, distinct forms of use did emerge which correspond with membership of particular communities of practice. Secondly, members of a CoP appear to share a particular learning style and this is influenced by the learning environment. Finally, the research indicates that a mixed method for analysing and measuring use, piloted and tested in the case study, is possible.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Chapman, Henry and Grosvenor, Ian
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity
Subjects:C Auxiliary sciences of history (General)
ZA Information resources
ZA4050 Electronic information resources
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:5344
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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