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The development of a theoretical framework for designing smart and ubiquitous learning environments for outdoor cultural heritage

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

  • Alaa AL-Khafaji
The work presented in this thesis focuses on exploring the potential of the use and development of mobile location-based services at outdoor cultural heritage sites. This PhD research investigated how people use mobile and wearable technologies for learning purposes with respect to cultural heritage sites. A user-centred design approach was adopted in this thesis using the socio-cognitive engineering methodology. Three empirical studies (field studies) were conducted with the aim of capturing users’ requirements adopting mixed methods. The studies were conducted sequentially using focus group, questionnaire and interview techniques; the focus group and questionnaire were conducted with potential end-users (learners), and the interviews were conducted with officials of cultural heritage and potential end-users. The studies with end-users were carried out to investigate their habits, behaviours and attitudes when using mobile and wearable technologies at outdoors cultural heritage sites. The official staff were interviewed to extract their opinions regarding using such services at their sites as well as find out what technologies they actually used to present information to their visitors. The results of the field studies led to the development of a theoretical framework, FoSLE, supported by the learning theories. FoSLE is introduced for designing smart and ubiquitous learning environments based on mobile and wearable technologies for outdoor cultural heritage sites. The framework was further analysed to pull out general requirements (GRs) (high-level requirements – more abstract) to be adopted in developing new technology supported artefacts. Four scenarios were developed based on the identified requirements to depict the context of use as well as to draw out a list of low-level requirements (LRs), i.e. detailed requirements. The LRs informed the design of a proof-of-concept, a smart and ubiquitous learning environment based on mobile and wearable technologies, SmartC. SmartC was evaluated in the field in two cycles using experts of human-computer interaction and potential end-users (learners). A combination of observation and interview techniques were used in the evaluation studies alongside the cognitive walkthrough method in the expert study and a usability questionnaire in the user study. The results of the evaluation studies revealed that SmartC is user-friendly and suitable for learning. The results of the evaluation studies contributed to the enhancement of the list of LRs, which consequently led to devise a list of design recommendations. The list of the design recommendations was designed to assist researchers and designers in designing and developing smart and ubiquitous learning environments based on mobile and wearable technologies. This PhD research introduces two main contributions to add to the academic knowledge, which are:
1. FoSLE: a theoretical framework for smart and ubiquitous learning environments utilising mobile location-based services and wearable computing. 2. A list of design recommendations for designing smart and ubiquitous learning environments utilising mobile location-based services and wearable computing.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Dr Ella Haig (Supervisor)
  • Sanaz Fallahkhair (Supervisor)
  • Jonathan Crellin (Supervisor)
Award dateJun 2018

Documents

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