Breanna Coyle
Applied Psychology / Year 4

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Breanna Coyle

Breanna Coyle

Applied Psychology

Year 4

  • Project Title Cybersafety And Cyberbullying: Designing An Instructional Application For Safeguarding Vulnerable Users Online
  • Course BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology
  • Year 4
  • Contact Info N00145998@student.iadt.ie

Cybersafety: Designing An Instructional Application

This research project will examine the key issues and design challenges involved in designing a learning application. The aim is to design and develop a multiplatform application to support this user group to make independent decisions about staying safe online. Evaluation of Let’s be Safe aims to address gaps in literature, by making recommendations for the content and interaction design of applications for this user group using a mixed-methods approach to investigate engagement, preferred learning modality and the key issues and design challenges.

Project Description

Bullying has been described as an aggressive act on a target that is not able to defend themselves easily (Olweus; Ross, as cited in Smith, del Barrio, & Tokunaga, 2013). When perpetrated through technology it is known as Cyberbullying and is a major challenge for adolescents today (Tokunaga, 2010). Cyberbullying has been experienced by 20-40% of youth and is associated with academic and psychosocial problems (Tokunaga, 2010). It is a myth to believe that disconnecting from the internet will protect a person from experiences of bullying (Sabella, Patchin, & Hinduja, 2013). Listening, empowering and supporting young people to manage risks will help them understand how to stay safe (Paine, 2009). Interventions are required to support and encourage an individual to live their life to the fullest capacity, independently. An individual’s need to interact and socialise is often overshadowed by their disability. Individuals with an intellectual disability (ID) often lack in development of social skills, possibly due to the restriction of the natural interaction allowed for the general population (Anderson, Sherman, Sheldon, & McAdam, 1997). Restricted social participation creates disadvantages personally and within the environment (Schalock, Luckasson, & Shogren, 2007). Educational psychology is required to consider the strengths along with the identified limitations of an individual with ID, assessing an individual within a context (Luckasson et al., 2002; American Psychological Association, 2018). Re-framing identified difficulties is possible using a social paradigm to encourage a more collaborative relationship between the marginalised community of people with disabilities and the psychologist (Gill, Kewman, & Brannon, 2003). A well-designed system will support the user and work in a way that adheres to principles of identified human skills and judgements (Preece, Sharp, & Rogers, 2015).

Project Findings

Overall, observations used to identify occurrences of positive and negative emotional engagement while engaging the Let’s Be Safe application revealed positive emotional responses were more frequently observed than negative emotional responses. Adapted SUS self-report measures indicated participants liking a lot of the Let’s Be Safe application, with the listening activity most frequently rated the highest, followed closely by the game activity. Indications of what the participants would like to see more of revealed games and videos with people were most favoured. Preferred learning method does not appear to indicate what the users would like to see more of.

Breanna Coyle
Applied Psychology / Year 4