They were funded through Edinburgh Napier’s Researcher Development Fund (RDF), administered through the Research, Innovation & Enterprise (RIE) office. The workshops were designed to correspond to the learning domains of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF).
The purpose of the workshops was:
- first, to support the self-directed personal development and informal learning of PhD students and early career researchers at Napier, and
- second, to pilot an online participative design workshop methodology for the elicitation of information needs.
The workshops took place over the course of three weeks spread throughout April and May, leaving a week in between each workshop so as to allow participants time to reflect on discussions and devise their self-directed learning strategies.
The theme for the workshops chosen by participants was “Reading and literature reviews”, though several other clusters of interest such as “Project management”, “Information about institutional processes”, and “Using interpersonal information” were also generated, and could be the focus of future workshops using this methodology.
The methodology combined individual reflection, group sorting tasks, and discussion around personal development areas of shared interest.
Work is now underway to evaluate the effectiveness of the methodology by reviewing the data generated in the workshops. Final outcomes will be presented over the coming months in the form of a RIE report and blog post, with an academic article anticipated.