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Abdullah, Zaleha (2011)
Languages: English
Types: Unknown
This study examines the activity of an online community in developing design creativity. This involved undergraduate Malaysian university students and their tutor from the School of Education, and professional designers in a private online community using the social network site - Facebook - to improve interface design (websites or interactive courseware). Two research processes adapted from different communities - the creative industries and the higher education communities - were applied in the collaboration. Each community embraces distinctive methods, objectives, instruments, rules and roles in producing design. Contradictions and tensions resulting from incorporating these two communities were analysed. In addition, the effect of social interactions on students’ performance, awareness, and perspectives were also investigated. A qualitative approach was utilized and data consisted of online semi-structured questionnaires, face-to-face interviews, field documentation on Facebook, and Facebook chat. The process of analysis is divided into two parts: initial analysis and substantive analysis of four case studies. Thematic (Braun and Clarke, 2006) and comprehensive data treatment (Silverman, 2010) approaches were used to analyse the initial data. Activity systems analysis (Engeström, 1999) was employed in the substantive analysis to explore the contradictions within the collaboration. The results indicate that contradictions occurred due to the new practice introduced by the community of practitioners (the designers). The collision of new practice positioned students in a disequilibrium stage but managed to also improve students’ design outcomes and promote awareness of the importance of producing purposeful design. However it also revealed the importance of both cognitive and emotional support during the process as the harsh nature of the feedback from designers could potentially hinder creativity. The findings of this study contribute to our understanding that the social-cultural process of creativity can be nurtured within higher education through the use of social network sites such as Facebook. It concludes that more research exploring online social interactions between a learning community and a community of practitioners is required in order to better understand the benefits it has to offer for creativity development.
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