Accessibility of Patterns: A Case Study

Jennifer E Flynn, Pace University


There are experienced professionals in various domains who have documented and published their suggestions on how to solve recurring problems that they have successfully addressed. These problems and suggested solutions are documented in a format referred to as “patterns”. The intention of documenting solutions to recurring problems is to share expertise with less experienced practitioners. The novice then has solutions available to them that would save time and frustration as they encounter the same problems as those before them. It is not known whether patterns can be properly understood and employed as intended by a pattern user that has no prior experience with patterns. This dissertation conducts an investigation into the use of patterns, by use of a case study, to show that patterns are accessible to pattern users in a pedagogical environment. This includes determining whether the patterns were properly understood and employed. In this case study the participants were introduced to a collection of pedagogical patterns and asked to identify patterns that they are already using, patterns that they would find beneficial, and to employ patterns to address existing problems. Interviews were conducted to capture the participant’s thoughts and experiences. Issues were uncovered that pattern users face when selecting and using pedagogical patterns to address problems within a specific context. This study supports the hypothesis that patterns are accessible to someone who is not in the pattern community. The pattern users were able to properly identify patterns that they are using and properly identify patterns that would be beneficial if employed. In scenarios where patterns were found to be in use or newly employed the pattern users successfully addressed their problems 100% of the time.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Flynn, Jennifer E, "Accessibility of Patterns: A Case Study" (2016). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI10744026.



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