Data collection at AAU. Photo credits: Nanna Dam Johansen, Mia Laybourn Steiness, Troy Leininger, Rike Neuhoff, Hadas Zohar
At the Service Design Lab, we are currently developing scenarios to reveal the critical issues and everyday challenges faced by students in WeNet project pilots. Understanding the variety of contexts in which the WeNet project will operate is a crucial step to identifying meaningful approaches and solutions that could help all students, whether Danish or Mexican.
In collaboration with our service design students, we have been collecting data about students´ needs, behaviours, and motivations by means of mixed research methods as desk research, focus group interviews and in-depth interviews.
In addition, our research team collected qualitative data by means of online interviews with experts – study counsellors, professors – and students from various countries. The online approach was used to eliminate the constraints of time and distance. The purpose of the online interviews was to compare different perceptions, attitudes, cultures, and lifestyles of university students in relation to their local contexts.
In this initial phase of the projects the research focused mainly on the following pilots:
- University of Trento (Italy)
- IPICYT University (Mexico)
- Jilin University (China)
- Aalborg University (Denmark)
The preliminary field research across the pilot projects reveals that the transition to university life implies academic, social and psychological adjustments for the students, many of whom have difficulty adapting to the new environment.
The acknowledgement of the complex, intertwined nature of students´ needs will be relevant when designing for richer and more diverse social interactions.
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