Navarro Bringas, Eduardo

Project Title

Application of a Human Factors Systems Approach to the Design and Evaluation of Higher Education Learning Spaces and Facilities


In recent years, Higher Education has undergone substantial changes driven by ICT developments, globalization, and the prioritisation of new socio-constructivist pedagogic practices such as, active learning, problem solving, or peer reviewing. Estate capital expenditure and investments on retrofitting spaces and developing new facilities has surpassed for the first time 3 billion £ during 2016. However, evaluation of these new spaces has received criticism, as the focus is solely on user outcomes, such as satisfaction, and investment efficiency measures, while providing weak evidence on how the spaces support the users and institution in their activities and therefore, offering little information to designers.

This PhD aims to explore how Human Factors methods, specifically Cognitive Work Analysis, can offer a supplementary formative approach to analyse and study these new spaces. Cognitive Work Analysis, offers a solid theoretical framework to the study of socio-technical systems, by focusing on the constraints that shape behaviours and activities within the facilities.


Dr Graeme Bowles and Dr Guy Walker