Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master in Education


Faculty of Education

First Advisor

Dr Tony Fetherson


As computer technology is increasingly adopted in education, some students continue to have little context for its use. This is particularly true of tertiary drama education students, of whom many still remain computer illiterate. Constructivist pedagogy proposes that a learner constructs knowledge through active participation in their learning. An approach that is gaining currency which applies this principle is learning by designing. This approach was adopted for this study, with the premise that the process of designing multimedia software for their peers would not only motivate these students to use computers but could also lead to a deepening of their understanding of the subject matter. Questions that arise in response to this hypothesis include: what do students learn from designing multimedia software; and what motivates their engagement in this task? These questions where addressed by a project which spanned a two week period at a university. Five university drama education students participated in designing multimedia software which aimed to elucidate the process of devising plays for their peers. The data this activity generated provided the foundation for five case studies which document the students' engagement and learning processes. The findings indicate that the learning by design approach paved an effective learning approach. Also, the use of flow theory as a theoretical framework was helpful in developing an understanding of each person's individual process of engagement. The thesis comments on this theoretical framework and suggests a number of hypotheses for further testing by education professionals.

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