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Designing for and with developmentally diverse children in the special education context

Licentiatsavhandling
Författare Peter Börjesson
Datum för examination 2017-04-26
Opponent at public defense Ole Sejer Iversen, Aarhus University, Denmark
Publiceringsår 2017
Publicerad vid Institutionen för tillämpad informationsteknologi (GU)
Språk en
Länkar https://gup.ub.gu.se/file/206776
Ämnesord Children, Developmentally diverse, Special needs, Participatory design, Human-centred design
Ämneskategorier Människa-datorinteraktion (interaktionsdesign)

Sammanfattning

Nowadays, children use technology every day and as children are growing up with interactive technologies, the ways they play, learn and interact with others are changing. It is therefore important to understand how children can take part in the design of these technologies. However, involving children in the design process is not without challenges as it can be hard to involve children and adults on equal terms. For children in special education additional challenges are often introduced, not only related to the involvement of adults, but around providing familiarity and structure during design activities. The aim of this thesis is to contribute to the knowledge on how to involve developmentally diverse children in the design process of technology. This has been explored through a two-year long design process taking place in the special education context. Conducting design activities in the children’s school, with support of familiar teachers and assistants, help to provide familiarity and structure. As design activities need to be adapted to conform to the practice of school, the relationships and mutual understanding between the researcher and children, and between researcher and teachers or assistants stand out as important. The thesis presents a model describing the relationships, mutual understanding, and roles that children, teachers, and assistants play during the design process, and the effects this may have on design activities. The D3iSC model (Designing for and with Developmentally Diverse children in a School Context) consists of five different stages, Access, Acceptance, Understanding, Involvement and Alignment. To gain access, the perceived value of the research must outweigh the costs in terms of the effects on the children’s well-being, and to not disturb of the daily practice of the school. Next the researcher need to gain acceptance from children and teachers, and start to build up an understanding of the context. While it is possible to conduct design activities with children at this stage, the researcher will be very dependent on teachers and assistants to facilitate the relationship with children, and to understand the practice. This can affect the design activities as teachers may have different goals and be unaware of the researchers desired outcome from the activity. By investing time and building stronger relationships, the researcher can get a better understanding of practice, allow teachers to align with research goals and enable children to take part in design activities more independently.

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