In the first half of July 2017, members of the Hilali research team from Kingston University and City for Scientific Research and Technological Applications (SRTA-City) – Alexandria, Egypt participated in an extended visit to project partners Open Lab at Newcastle University. The aim of the visit was to learn more about cutting edge issues and trends in Digital Civics approaches to community-led research and development. Digital Civics is a long-term research initiative led by Open Lab that is exploring how digital technologies can empower citizens and communities. Current Doctoral Trainees’ research on Media Literacy, civic participation and community participation in digital learning were particularly interesting to the Hilali project work. The team are currently looking at other digital tools to be incorporated in the Hilali Summer School and ways of documenting Intangible Cultural Heritage, including ParkLearn and Bootlegger.
Beyond the Human Computer Interaction focus, the Kingston and SRTA-City teams met with Dr Sam Elkington from the Higher Education Academy to brainstorm on different approaches to curriculum design – drawing on the HEA’s Flexible Learning approaches for Higher Education. Together, they explored ways to integrate flexible curriculum design ideas into the upcoming HCI Summer School at SRTA-City for Egyptian computing science and engineering students. The objective of the school is to develop students’ own thinking about HCI research via their experiences of open source technology for community engagement, like those being developed at Open Lab, to capture and document intangible cultural heritage in Egypt. One of the interesting outcomes of this interdisciplinary meeting was agreement in an approach to curriculum design which focuses on an authentic student experience of design thinking and personal development with HCI teaching and learning.
The next half of July sees Dr Lazem visiting Kingston University London so that the team can spend time together to design the Summer School and make further plans for the Hilali project and future collaborative activities.