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Understanding sector connections of disability carers in online communities

Study level

PhD

Master of Philosophy

Honours

Vacation research experience scheme

Faculty/Lead unit

Science and Engineering Faculty

School of Information Systems

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.

Supervisors

Dr Jason Watson
Position
Senior Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty

Overview

While there has been much focus on improving the capability and capacity of carers, there has been little understanding of how service providers can use online social networks to improve service delivery to meet evolving needs of carers. By understanding the current support structures, information flows, and, most importantly, benefits of peer networks for informal carers, service providers can determine both what services must be delivered and how.

A better knowledge of such networks can not only assist in service design, but may also enable carers, healthcare professionals and service providers to structure such networks and the disability support ecosystem to provide the benefits more effectively.

This study aims to understand the needs of informal carers and how support is often provided outside of a formal structure or framework. By recognising the support mechanisms that carers may utilise, and the benefits and deficiencies of such mechanisms, support services can better understand how to better fit into the ecosystem of disability care.

Research activities

You will be required to conduct theoretical and systems research into social technology, online communities, and their various stakeholders. The activities of this project will employ multiple methods to understand meanings, look at, describe and understand experience, ideas, beliefs and values of stakeholders. You will be required to conduct a literature review and then employ empirical methods such as focus groups, survey, interviews, etc.

You may also be required to research existing online communities using various techniques such as SNA, virtual ethnography, observation, and/or content analysis. You should be comfortable learning a range of research methodologies. Activities will be configured depending upon the situation and your level of technical ability. Those with technical skills may perform experiments where concepts are tested via a prototype online community.

Outcomes

You will derive and model the characteristics of social technology platforms (and their users) provide the community with frameworks that explain human behaviour and experience on social platforms that inform our understanding of social technology, online community design, adoption and impact. You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Skills and experience

  • You should be comfortable learning a range of research methodologies.
  • Activities will be configured depending upon the situation and your level of technical ability.
  • Those with technical skills may perform experiments where concepts are tested via a prototype online community.

Scholarships

You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round

Keywords

Contact

Contact the supervisor for more information.