Validating Student Personas for Learning Engagement: A Service Design Approach

Validating Student Learning Personas

Project dates: 01/02/2016 - Ongoing

According to the higher education literature, active student engagement during the learning process is essential, as it is linked to both student retention and learning outcomes. However, many students fail to sufficiently engage with their studies for a myriad of reasons, including a range of personal and work-related priorities (Russell-Bennett, Rundle-Thiele and Kuhn 2010).

There are global trends that are changing the ways that students interact with learning resources; consumer preference for visualisation of information, open access to content, increased time pressure,  instant access to content 24/7 via mobile, and consumer preference for personalised relevant content.  These trends are changing the way we do business at QUT in terms of class delivery and access to content.  As part of a marketing unit service redesign (see the Service Design for Teaching Innovation project), four student personas were conceptualised that have differing needs for access academic content in a unit however these personas require validation with empirical data.

There is also a need to identify which type of content is relevant for each persona and whether designing persona-specific content influences student engagement.  Some of this content includes online quizzes and polls, interactive activities in class, additional reading, information about real world relevance of content, team management tools and tips, time management tools, and short online videos.

This project will use a mixed-methods approach (service design workshop and survey) to address these gaps.  Stage 1: Literature review to identify scale measurement items, Stage 2. Survey to validate persona scale, Stage 3. Measure baseline student engagement levels in AMB240 and comparison group (QUTBS faculty), Stage 4. Service design workshop to identify process for aligning content to each persona, Stage 5. Measure post-design student engagement levels.

The benefits will be; curriculum that aligns with the QUT teaching goals, improved student learning experiences, contribution to scholarly knowledge, an evidence-base for other units to use when developing curriculum.

Funding / Grants

  • QUT Learning and Teaching Grant Scheme (2016 - 2017)