PHD thesis by Sandra Burri Gram-Hansen: Persuasive Design for Learning - Learning in Persuasive Design. Exploring the Potential of Persuasive Designs for Learning in Complex Environments
In this dissertation, I explore analyse and develop the notion of applying persuasive design in complex learning environments. The project seeks to explore the theoretical and practical cross field between persuasion and learning, and to develop a methodological framework which considered and bridges between user-centred and system-oriented perspectives.
The project springs from my participation in the EuroPLOT EU project, which was funded by the EACEA Life Long Learning program. While this project elucidated some of the immediate overlaps between persuasion and learning, it also brought about some frustration, as I found myself unable to establish a distinct claim of persuasive design in relation to learning, based on the project findings. Consequently, the relation between persuasion and learning was further explored as I engaged in collaboration with the Danish Defence Establishments and Infrastructure Organisation. The aim of this collaboration was to explore the potential of applying persuasive design in the development of digital learning resources for a complex organisation, namely the Danish army.
From my research I establish an outline of persuasive design, which is generally applicable to other research fields. I explore the potential of applying persuasive design to motivate and engage learners in subjects which are not of their immediate interest, and I explore how theories of learning and knowledge processing may contribute to the theoretical and methodological underpinning of persuasive design.
The dissertation is paper based, and does as such contain two separate parts. In the first part I present a summary of the process of my research and my findings, and in the second I include 5 published research papers. The papers have been selected as the correspond to the research questions I seek to address, and also as they contribute to accentuate my process and progress as a researcher throughout this project.