Place-making in higher education: co-creating engagement and knowledge practices in the networked age

Teresa Swist*, Andreas Kuswara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The pedagogical locations, functions and possibilities of higher education continuously unfold as mobile technologies, digital content and social practices intersect at a rapid pace. There is an urgent need to understand better how student learning is situated within this complex system and interrelates with broader sociotechnical knowledge practices. A geo-phenomenology optic frames this paper, exploring how activity system and affordance theories assist in highlighting the interconnections between online, offline and blended learning environments. Introduced is a theoretical notion of ‘place-making’ which frames how different depths, patterns and modes of learning engagement emerge from the activity system of personal, material and social affordances. It is argued that fostering engagement and cocreating knowledge practices hinge upon increasing awareness of how these nested affordances interrelate with one another. The proposed ‘place-making framework’ has implications for how activity systems of learning, teaching, assessment and research can be integrated meaningfully within pedagogy for the networked age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-114
Number of pages15
JournalHigher Education Research and Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • activity system
  • affordances
  • digital technologies
  • engagement
  • knowledge practices
  • learning
  • placemaking


Dive into the research topics of 'Place-making in higher education: co-creating engagement and knowledge practices in the networked age'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this