Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Investigating digital agility

Electronic data

Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

Investigating digital agility: Using a chatbot to scaffold learning opportunities for students

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Niamh Armstrong
Publication date2022
Number of pages230
Awarding Institution
Award date17/10/2022
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This research investigates how humanities students develop digital agility
through targeted digital supports throughout their degree. Ensuring higher
education students are digitally agile is of interest to academics in other degree
programmes. Based on students’ prevalent use of text messaging, a chatbot
was chosen as the platform to provide these supports. This research found it
valuable to think through a self-regulated learning lens to ascertain the variety
of needs and competencies that support students in their studies and in the
future. The synthesis of digital competencies frameworks and policy documents
provide an understanding of the diversity of competencies needed in this
evolving landscape. Incorporating learning agility and design provides a holistic
understanding of evolving digital needs. My definition of digital agility is the
agency to use technology to create, design, communicate, collaborate and
thrive in a changing digital landscape. A design-based research approach was
chosen as it provides a balance of theory, artefact design and practice. Designbased research facilitated collaborating with students and academic staff over three iterative cycles of design, development, and evaluation, that shaped and aligned the chatbot to provide students with timely digital supports. The findings present that this collaboration with students and academic staff is needed to ensure alignment with disciplinary digital needs. Findings also highlighted the significant role assignment requirements play in driving digital agility. The main contributions to knowledge are: a digital agility framework incorporating: management of learning agility, research, communication, collaboration and data agility; design principles for future researchers to create their own intervention; and an improved understanding of the needs of students in support of their digital agility. Recommendations for practice and policy are also discussed. A limitation of the study is that it is confined to one degree
programme in one institution during one academic year.