Friday keynote by Shane Nuessler

The deep and meaningful of requirements gathering

During the course of my career I have sought to improve the teaching and learning experience for students and colleagues in Higher Education. Here in the opening line lies the wicked problem. What epistemologies enable us to identify experiences that don't currently exist? As a university student I was aware that my potential and my goals could have been better supported, but had someone asked what I needed I doubt I could have articulated exactly what. Asking people what they want is a challenge for many reasons.

Big data is proposed by many as the solution, useful when needing to analyse what is currently happening, for example how users are using an existing system or space. However it cannot provide data on what is on people's minds but not expressed, or on experiences that don't exist. For example, if smartphones didn't exist, would big data be able to tell us that it was a preferred device for shopping for example? In other words, if it doesn't exist, big data can't reveal it, but that doesn't mean a novel solution isn't needed; it doesn't reveal that we need a completely new way of doing something. Only humans have the bank of life experiences to know that they want a different experience, if only they had a way to articulate what it was.

We need another weapon in our requirements gathering arsenal, because contrary to popular belief, people do know what they want; we just have to ask the right questions. Youn-Kyung Lim and William Odom propose we develop questions relating to the affective domain (feelings, values, attitudes, etc.) to elicit the more meaningful responses we are looking for. My keynote will discuss this approach and explore its potential as applied to two very different experiences-centred design processes at the University of Canberra.

About Shane Nuessler

Shane Nuessler profile photShane's career in Higher Education began in 1999 at the Northern Territory University, Darwin, Australia (now Charles Darwin University - CDU). Since then he has worked in various institutions, roles and teams to support the work and advancement of learning, teaching, and research.

Professional roles include technology support officer, server administrator, educational technology programmer, project manager, teacher, co-convener, curriculum designer, and manager of scholarly technology platforms. His current role involves leading and managing the teaching/learning and library management systems with a team of 16 for the University of Canberra, reporting to the Director Teaching and Learning.

Achievements include successfully concluding a procurement project involving 10 university-wide teaching, learning, and library systems. Leading large education transformations including a Unit Outline Repository and Mahara ePortfolio at the University of Canberra, and contributing to the development of the first digital lecture recording system at The Australian National University (ANU). Development projects include an Academic Needs Archive (ANU) and a faculty wide help desk system (CDU).

Last modified: Wednesday, 15 March 2017, 11:09 AM