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Title: Life drawing : to what extent might exploiting design epistemologies within an inquisitive graphic practice reveal graphic design undergraduates' experiences and understandings of the contingent and multi-contextual nature of employability?
Author: Sharman, Ian James
ISNI:       0000 0004 7429 382X
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2018
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This research was designed to elicit insights from the implausibly-hushed stakeholders of graduate employability - current undergraduates. (Johnston, 2003; Moreau and Leathwood, 2006; Tymon, 2013). It is argued that previous rare attempts to probe students about employability have utilised methods, frameworks and/ or language that reflect dominant discourses of employability, so encouraging capitulation to existing perspectives; and have focussed mainly on alumni rather than current undergraduates. It is hypothesised that graphic elicitation is an apt data capture practice by reflecting the epistemologies and practice of its thirty-seven final-year graphic design undergraduate respondents at eight art and design institutes across the United Kingdom. My version of graphic elicitation was theatricalised through large sign-writing pens on expansive golden 'safety' blankets, emphasising to respondents both the process and the artefacts of production. The analytical framework was phenomenography, selected for its claim to reveal the range of experiences that respondents have of a target phenomenon (Åkerlind, 2012). This contrasts with other qualitative frameworks that focus on finding commonalities of experience. The multi-step, iterative analysis led to several phenomenographic outcome spaces, elaborating the extent of ways that undergraduates experience and perceive the construct of employability within their education and beyond. The outcomes were incorporated to an interactive interface to address a key criticism of phenomenography - that individuals' conceptions are forsaken by its reductive practice (Säljö, 1997). This element of my practice is proof of concept of an interactive phenomenographic outcome space, in which the categories of the outcome space can be drilled-down to associated underlying conceptions. The thesis describes the reason for, and elaborates, my inquisitive graphic practice with students, and discusses the outcomes. The accompanying praxis document supports the telling, from production of graphic artefact, via photographic recording of the artefacts and iterative analysis, to the phenomenographic outcome spaces and interface. The thesis concludes with an elaboration of what has been revealed, and what might be elaborated by subsequent practice.
Supervisor: Martin, Craig ; Patterson, Zoe Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: employability ; graphic elicitation ; phenomenography ; graphic design ; undergraduates ; students