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A study on the learning behaviors and needs of design-maker communities of practice in the era of mobile learning

Xin Zhang (College of Fashion and Design, Donghua University, Shanghai, China)
Jieming Hu (College of Fashion and Design, Donghua University, Shanghai, China)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 22 December 2022




The combination of mobile devices and innovative tools offers new possibilities for the development of a community of practice for design makers. Mobile learning has become an essential method that design makers should adopt. The main content of this study is to explore the characteristics of learning behaviors and learning needs of creative design makers' group in forming a community of practice in the era of mobile learning.


This study conducted questionnaire research on the potentially associated or directly associated population of design makers. The process of the study also combined observational and interview studies to compensate for the lack of questionnaire research.


Based on the support of mobile learning technology, design makers share and co-create to achieve individual development and evolution of learning organizations, and produce creative value. Design-maker communities of practice form common communities in the framework of informal organizations to support continuous individual learning. Convergent interests or concerns in making things, real-world contexts based on makerspaces and hands-on practice based on real projects are the basis for forming design-maker communities of practice. A variety of open-source hardware, software and platforms that can support mobile learning are important for the development of design-maker communities of practice. The design-maker community of practice needs group factors, activity development, physical and technical resources, spatial support and institutional norms to enhance learning behaviors and satisfy learning needs.


The discovery and construction of these associated factors can help creative design practitioners form a lasting and virtuous organizational development. This study facilitates the formation of a social network for learning and knowledge sharing among design-maker communities of practice. It enhances the innovation ability and enthusiasm of design makers according to the population characteristics and learning needs of design makers. This study also facilitates the generation of a positive adaptive maker culture and maker spirit within design maker organizations.



The authors thank Huang Haoxiang and Ding Xinyi of Donghua University for their help in this thesis research. Huang Haoxiang and Ding Xinyi provided substantial support in paper retrieval and visualization of graphs.

Funding: The study was funded by the Prosperity Plan Pre-research Project of Donghua University-Multiple Evolution and System Construction of Open Design Maker Co-creation Field [Award number: 2020Y003] and Project Intelligent Wearable Products R&D Design Research Team supported by Shanghai Summit Discipline in Design [Award number: DD18003].


Zhang, X. and Hu, J. (2022), "A study on the learning behaviors and needs of design-maker communities of practice in the era of mobile learning", Library Hi Tech, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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