From diaries to desktops: exploring and supporting the needs of international top-up students using UX research during the coronavirus pandemic.

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch


As part of our ongoing commitment to inclusive teaching we started a UX research project to explore business top-up student perceptions, behaviour and expectations of library services and academic skills support. This cohort is largely made up of international students, and previous research suggests that their engagement and attainment varies (Datig, 2014; Toner, 2019). The interruption of the pandemic has meant we have to reconsider both our research project methods and our approach to developing online resources that are accessible for all students, particularly those adversely affected by the move to wholesale online provision.

The session will give an overview of the aims and methods of the research project, providing details about the UX techniques we employed, including the ethnographic method of the ‘cultural probe’ (Preistner and Borg, 2016). We will consider how the data we have gathered has revealed deeper inequities in the experiences of this group of students, and how this has impacted on our plans for future cohorts. Finally, we will present some of our online teaching resources designed for use specifically with top-up students, and we will invite participants to reflect on the possible wider applications of the tools and techniques with other cohorts.
Period6 Jul 2020
Event titleThe 18th Academic Practice and Technology Conference 2020
Event typeConference
LocationLondon, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational