Resilience by design: A participatory approach to designing an interactive digital application for promoting children's resilience

Zelenko, Oksana (2012) Resilience by design: A participatory approach to designing an interactive digital application for promoting children's resilience. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The promotion of resilience (the capacity of an individual or community to bounce back and recover from adversity) has become an important area of public health. In recent years it has expanded into the digital domain, and many online applications have been developed to promote children's resilience. In this study, it is argued that the majority of existing applications are limited because they take a didactic approach, and conceive of interaction as providing navigational choices. Because they simply provide information about resilience or replicate offline, scenario-based strategies, the understanding of resilience they provide is confined to a few, predetermined factors.

In this study I propose a new, experiential approach to promoting resilience digitally. I define resilience as an emergent, situated and context-specific phenomenon. Using a Participatory Design model in combination with a salutogenic (strength-based) health methodology, this project has involved approximately 50 children as co-designers and co-researchers over two years. The children have contributed to the design of a new set of interactive resilience tools, which facilitate resilience promotion through dialogic and experiential learning. The major outcomes of this study include a new methodology for developing digital resilience tools, a new set of tools that have been developed and evaluated in collaboration with children and a set of design principles to guide future development. Beyond these initial and tangible outcomes, this study has also established that the benefits of introducing Participatory Design into a health promoting model rests primarily in the change of the role of children from "users" of technology and education to co-designers, where they assume a leadership role in both designing the tools and in directing their resilience learning.

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ID Code: 54768
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Hamilton, Jillian & Stewart, Donald
Keywords: interaction design, children, resilience, participatory design (PD), new media, mentalhealth promotion
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 13 Nov 2012 23:15
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2016 00:35

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