Mark Gaved presented the progress of the ARCLIGHT project at this year’s 40th anniversary CALRG conference at The Open University (‘Computers And Learning Research Group), 17th June 2019. Mark described the background context – challenges in supporting mental health in Guyana, and drawing from the ARCLIGHT team’s expertise, and the participatory approach to research we are taking. He discussed how we were exploring the use of digital technologies to help capture stories, building on prior Open University work both in Guyana and in the EU funded MAZI project. There was strong interest in the project’s use of a combination of smartphones as familiar tools for the participants, and ‘offline networking’ Raspberry Pi’s running MAZI software to enable us to collectively gather and reflect on stories in community settings.
Audience members were interested to hear about the diverse range of participant experiences and challenges across Guyana, and how smartphones and networked technologies might be used to support learning in places where internet connectivity couldn’t be assured. There was lively discussion around how to best support learning with technologies where there were heightened sensitivities to be taken into account: both personal subject matter, and ethical considerations to ensure participants weren’t put at risk. Evaluation was also discussed, and Mark explained how we were using the 6P’s framework developed by The Open University to ensure the impact of co-creation with participants also informs the impact of the developed learning resources.
A live ARCLIGHT MAZIzone was running in the room, and several members of the audience logged in and explored the tools the project is deploying.
Presentation: ARCLIGHT: offline networked tools for collecting positive mental health stories in Guyana
Authors: Andrea Berardi, Kerese Collins, Gareth Davies, Mark Gaved, Tania Hart, Ann Mitchell