Our Journey: Designing and utilising a tool to support students to represent their study journeys

Coughlan, Tim; Lister, Kate and Freear, Nick (2019). Our Journey: Designing and utilising a tool to support students to represent their study journeys. In: Proceedings of the 13th Annual International Technology, Education and Development Conference (INTED) 2019 pp. 3140–3147.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21125/inted.2019


Students have diverse circumstances, experiences, and goals. The challenges they face are often invisible to the educators and staff working to support them. In this paper we describe the design of a novel tool to support each student to represent their own study journey. This has been created with the participation of students and other stakeholders throughout the design process, and was inspired by previous research on the barriers faced by disabled students and the impacts of these on their experiences and attainment. The tool (Our Journey) can be used online or in a printed form. The basis of the design is the creation of cards that describe particular events that were important to the student. Students choose an event type and an emotional state, and provide short descriptions. Through this they build a structured narrative that has several potential uses. Our Journey provides an accessible and engaging means for dialogue and reflection on the nature of study journeys which could be beneficial for students. Journey data collected at scale could provide insights into areas such as student mental health and wellbeing, challenges commonly faced in study, and a holistic view of the lives of students.

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