Design as a discipline for postdigital learning and teaching: bricolage and actor-network theory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

228 Downloads (Pure)


Digital technologies for learning and teaching have promised much in higher education (HE). There has become, however, a dualism between digital and non-digital and a technological determinism which in some cases promotes digital technologies as being innately superior to the non-digital. There is pressure on universities to provide learning and teaching in new ways in the face of regulation, as well as increased numbers and diversity of students. The postdigital perspective allows for the appropriate approaches and tools to be used. Design for learning and teaching in HE has developed interventions which promote use of digital resources, but for some have not yet met the promise of ‘enhancing’ learning. Moving outside of education, approaches from design as a discipline are sketched out, including design thinking and the epistemology of design. All of these show how designers (in general) go about their work. How designs come about can be analysed by using the framework of people (epistemology), processes (praxeology) and products (phenomenology) in design. Actor-network theory is used as an approach across each stage of this framework, and those designing in HE are encouraged to be bricoleurs, using a variety of tools for the job at hand and to think of the designs as assemblages. The ideas described here are useful for the practices of those involved in the design of learning and teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-426
JournalPostdigital Science and Education
Early online date8 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Matthews, A. Postdigit Sci Educ (2019).


  • postdigital
  • design
  • design thinking
  • learning and teaching
  • bricolage
  • actor-network theory


Dive into the research topics of 'Design as a discipline for postdigital learning and teaching: bricolage and actor-network theory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this