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Understanding and Using Technological Affordances: A Response to Boyle and Cook

Understanding and Using Technological Affordances: A Response to Boyle and Cook
Understanding and Using Technological Affordances: A Response to Boyle and Cook
Our use of affordance draws on Salomon (Salomon, 1993) who takes the definition back to Gibson and Norman (Gibson, 1977; Norman, 1988). Perhaps a key difference between the use of the term affordance in design is the emphasis on intended use, whereas our approach reflects Salomon’s focus on ‘possible’ use. Like Gibson the approach taken in our paper is focused on the relationship between the infrastructure of information and communication technologies and people’s use of those technologies. We are interested in asking questions about what uses ICT invites and facilitates, what it lends itself to and what it can do well. A potential difficulty with using a term so popular in the field of design is that ‘use’ tends to be focused on how something ‘should’ be used, what it is designed for. Discussion about affordance can be limited to the intended, prescribed or designed function of technology. We are also interested in exploring the creative and innovative way people respond to technologies and perhaps adapt them for use in unforeseen circumstances. An affordance of the technology does not simply refer to the intended use but also to the unintended consequences.
e-learning, ICT, affordances
301-317
Conole, Grainne
fa25d715-d791-4fe5-9ada-21ceacd4cc25
Dyke, Martin
aea86b1b-3942-4cba-819a-e0ddf7315c63
Conole, Grainne
fa25d715-d791-4fe5-9ada-21ceacd4cc25
Dyke, Martin
aea86b1b-3942-4cba-819a-e0ddf7315c63

Conole, Grainne and Dyke, Martin (2004) Understanding and Using Technological Affordances: A Response to Boyle and Cook. ALT-J: Research in Learning Technology, 12 (3), 301-317. (doi:10.1080/0968776042000259609).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Our use of affordance draws on Salomon (Salomon, 1993) who takes the definition back to Gibson and Norman (Gibson, 1977; Norman, 1988). Perhaps a key difference between the use of the term affordance in design is the emphasis on intended use, whereas our approach reflects Salomon’s focus on ‘possible’ use. Like Gibson the approach taken in our paper is focused on the relationship between the infrastructure of information and communication technologies and people’s use of those technologies. We are interested in asking questions about what uses ICT invites and facilitates, what it lends itself to and what it can do well. A potential difficulty with using a term so popular in the field of design is that ‘use’ tends to be focused on how something ‘should’ be used, what it is designed for. Discussion about affordance can be limited to the intended, prescribed or designed function of technology. We are also interested in exploring the creative and innovative way people respond to technologies and perhaps adapt them for use in unforeseen circumstances. An affordance of the technology does not simply refer to the intended use but also to the unintended consequences.

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More information

Submitted date: May 2004
Published date: October 2004
Keywords: e-learning, ICT, affordances

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 9738
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/9738
PURE UUID: e20e07ef-7626-48d0-9033-217dceee6632

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 23 Oct 2004
Last modified: 24 Jul 2017 16:36

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Contributors

Author: Grainne Conole
Author: Martin Dyke

University divisions

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