|dc.description||This was a UK-wide research, analysis and design project funded competitively by JISC for the AHRC Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Training and Research Programme. It was led by DMU, supported by Salford University and directed by Stephen Brown. We researched ICT usage, skill levels and training requirements among researchers across all the 8 domains covered by the AHRC. We also investigated attitudes towards ICT, identified examples of best practice in use of ICT, and best practice examples of training and support for ICT in Arts and Humanities Research.
The project identified:
1) Users’ information ICT skill levels
2) Users’ awareness and attitudes regarding currently available online services and tools.
3) Patterns of recent user-activity in relation to publicly-funded digital resources and services.
4) Users’ requirements with respect to future ICT skills support.
The research is unusual in scope (all arts and humanities domains of the AHRC); scale of enquiry (UK-wide, ca.50-60,000 active practitioners); focus (ICT usage and service requirements) and impact. It resulted in the design of a major new online service for the AHDS: http://www.ahds.ac.uk/ictguides/. The user interface workflow analysis and information design was carried out by De Montfort University Knowledge Media Design while the back-end database was designed by the AHDS.
Our methodology drew upon design-based research and applied social-science. Design-based research involves a continuing cycle of design, enactment, analysis and redesign. Within this study we have entered the cycle at the enactment stage, conducted an analysis of the current picture and used the redesign stage to explore user-reactions to possible future functionality through prototype demonstrators. Quantitative and qualitative techniques were combined to achieve the best results in terms of addressing the information types:
a. Published Reports and Evaluations of Service Providers
b. Questionnaire survey
c. Focus Groups
d. User trials||en