Design Science Research for Non-Formal Education

Design Science Research for Non-Formal Education

Malgorzata B. Pankowska (University of Economics in Katowice, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2708-5.ch025
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Each year, non-formal education (NFE) constantly involves more and more learners. NFE can be considered as one of the activity forms within university social responsibility (USR) programs. This form of education is strongly focused on the cooperation of the university with business partners, associations, and governmental institutions. Beneficiaries are not only students, but also people from business. NFE is not like formal education, which provides a diploma. Rather, NFE is oriented towards discussions, meetings, and exchanges of experiences. The goal of this chapter is to present models showing that NFE can be considered as research activity. The chapter includes proposals for application of design science research (DSR) as a paradigm for non-formal education realization processes. The processes are modelled in business process modelling notation (BPMN).
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Compared with children, adults have a priori knowledge typical of their professional domains. They perceive a need to know more to perform more and more effectively. They are able to manage their own experience-gathering process. Their learning way is not necessary to be planned or organized in very systematic method. Learning is not mandatory for adults. However, only if they have a problem that is expected to be solved or simply a willingness or an opportunity to know more, then they learn. Adults use their own competencies, capabilities, experiences, abilities of auto-reflection, and environmental observations to be pro-active and creative in their problem-solving behaviors. Adult learning can be supported by universities through the following goals:

  • Promoting the interchange of knowledge and professional experiences at university level,

  • Facilitating the development of higher education to create open peer-based universities,

  • Conducting research for support of cooperation and mobility between education and research systems,

  • Promoting best practices to support high performance and innovation in professional careers,

  • Reinforcement of social cohesion of university education system and professional career development,

  • Support for intercultural dialogue to enable adult learners and graduate’s mobility in the labor market,

  • Realization of the research strategy named Science with and for Society (SwafS) (McLoughlin, 2017).

Non-formal education (NFE) for adults that is provided at universities covers various less-structured learning events, such as evening seminars, university visits by night, webinars, open lectures, community supported events, conferences, summer schools, or company visits. NFE does not require curricula, accreditation, or certification. In this chapter, the authors emphasize the particular values of NFE, which is considered as the university social responsibility (USR) activity. Beyond that, the authors present NFE processes and explain the conditions for it to be applied. First, the authors reveal the background knowledge on three educational forms and discuss their connections with USR programs. Next, authors focus on NFE development and process modelling. The authors propose the application of design science research (DSR) paradigm for NFE in this second part of the chapter. This part is supplemented by presenting NFE event processes and activities. Finally, the authors present the future research directions and include conclusions.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Formal Education: Teaching processes, where learning goals were generated from the domain knowledge.

Informal Education: Learning processes, where the recommendations are provided by the Web 2.0 community of learners.

University Social Responsibility (USR): Vision concerning teaching, research, management and projection of knowledge to society.

Event Management: planning organization, leading, and controlling of presumed set activities to achieve a particular goal in a specific context and time.

Design Science Research: technology research methodology, which offers specific guidelines for evaluation and iteration within research projects.

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