Empowering children as participants in designing resilience strengthening online tools

Zelenko, Oksana & Hamilton, Jillian G. (2008) Empowering children as participants in designing resilience strengthening online tools. In ED-Media 2008—World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications, June 30-July 4, 2008., Austria.

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As young people take up digital media to gather information, explore ideas, and support their social interaction, educators are harnessing its potential for health promotion. In the field of mental health, a range of interactive games, quizzes and online activities has been developed. Visual and interaction design plays a vital role in determining their appeal, levels of engagement and so, ultimately, their efficacy.

Just as the content of such tools is typically seen as the domain of health education experts, the interface and interaction design is usually developed in collaborating with IT specialists, with user participation limited to trials of the prototypes. In the QUT Visualising Resilience Project, an alternative approach has been taken. A Participatory Design methodology has been used to engage children in designing interactive tools to promote resilience. As co-designers, children have been involved in defining resilience, and co-determining the goals and interactivity of the tools.

It is our long-term objective to investigate whether this user-centered approach influences the uptake, engagement and efficacy of the tools, but as the project has unfolded, we have identified a concomitant advantage of the Participatory Design process. Children have reported a greater understanding of, and capacity for, resilience as a result of participating in the design workshops. This paper reports on the Participatory Design process as a case study. It shows that children as participant designers not only contribute effectively to the design process, but that participation in itself can achieve significant benefits for the young designers.

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ID Code: 18171
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: participatory design, education, interaction design, resilience, children
Divisions: Past > Disciplines > Art & Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Ed/IT Lib Digital Library, Association for the Advancement of Computing in Eduaction
Deposited On: 03 Mar 2009 01:50
Last Modified: 22 May 2014 06:00

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