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Title: Designing and supporting technology assisted inclusive learning for disaster preparedness : a case study of Bangladesh
Author: Tarek, Syed Ali
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 9905
Awarding Body: Liverpool John Moores University
Current Institution: Liverpool John Moores University
Date of Award: 2017
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This research aimed to explore the ways in which a technological artefact can assist in creating an inclusive learning environment to provide localised disaster preparedness training for predominantly technologically disadvantaged rural people of Bangladesh, one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. The research was complex and required a multidisciplinary approach. Content selection and interface design in the medium chosen for dissemination was a significant part of the research process, as was conducting the field research to understand how the content could be disseminated among the participants in the chosen locations to improve their disaster awareness. ‘Rapid ethnography' and ‘Participatory action research' were the key research strategies that were used in the fieldwork and interview and observation methods were used to collect the data. A design log, a content specification and two sources of feedback from expert and general user evaluators were used to collect data for the development cycle of the content and the interface. The research findings established the local needs and they also demonstrated a set of ways in which localised content and a localised interface could be created; one that preserved local values and cultures and ensured that end users were not overly exposed to foreign content. Furthermore, they provided insights into how a meaningful ‘disruptive learning' that reduced existing negativities that less literate people associate with learning could take place by removing physical and psycho-social barriers and facilitating user-friendly ways to engage with a (newer) technological artefact. The findings also assisted in determining how teaching functions interacted with both the technological artefact and technologically disadvantaged people within a social learning setting to deliver a training programme with minimal supervision. Finally, the findings provided insights into how faster and informed decision making could be achieved by improving knowledge of available resources and fostering proactive rather than reactive action. One of the major contributions of this research to the knowledge was the identification of the limitations of ‘Minimally Invasive Education' as a teaching pedagogy. The research identified its weak and under-acknowledged theoretical base, an ignoring of the importance of contextualised content, and a lack of clarification of the role of teaching functions. Another crucial finding was that majority of prior user interfaces designed for less literate and illiterate people have largely ignored local languages and presented the numerals in the standard ‘Arabic’ format with a common understanding that everyone knows the universal numerals. The empirical findings of the research establish this as an uncertain approach with a potential for confusion due to the universal numeral's similarity with local numerals which may not represent the same number. Finally, this novel initiative to provide disaster preparedness training contributes to an understanding of how by using a newer and unfamiliar technology artefact among people who are generally technologically disadvantaged, less literate, financially challenged and plagued with gender discrimination can learn essential lifesaving skills. This research adds to the current practices of integration of ‘localised' content in a technology artefact to be used predominantly by technologically disadvantaged, less literate and illiterate people. The contributions of this research are significant for disaster risk management practitioners, especially those based in Bangladesh, with a possibility of replication within the neighbouring countries who share similar socio-cultural traits.
Supervisor: Jones, C. ; Enriquez-Gibson, J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: L Education (General) ; LC Special aspects of education