Children as co-researchers – Including children in developing and collecting data as part of a European research project on digital safety

Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalPaperCommunication


This proposal seeks to present methods to evaluate a research project based on the idea of participatory design methodology. During the development of the research design the aim of the Erasmus Plus project CYGEN (Cyper Safe Generation: Digital education by design) has been to include children, teachers and parents not just as contributing to the project by being involved in a research design but even aiming to include children as co-researchers. We have developed - and are currently testing – a participatory design in Denmark, United Kingdom, Belgium and Greece, where a group of pupils participate in a Young Peoples Panel (YPP) that e.g. generate themes and design ideas to the digital educational package that the Erasmus Plus project CYGEN in the end will produce.The project has intended to bring together young people, teachers, parents and academics to develop a digital education package to promote children's safe online participation in diverse European countries. The YPP contributes as co-designers, -developers and co-researchers based on the use of creative and art based methods (Clark and Moss, 2011; Mannay, 2015) in order to capture the ways that both children and adults express their ideas in order to support the inclusion of the least powerful children. The proposal intends to present and discuss both the value and challenges in including children as participators in research, data collecting, design development, interviews and evaluation in a research project based on user-involved design processes and Design Based Research. This project is a work in progress but we will be able to present findings so far as the CyGen design cycle already has been tried out in two out of the four participating European countries (Denmark, United Kingdom, Belgium and Greece). * Methodology or Methods/ Research Instruments or Sources Used:Methodology: Design based research. Observation studies. Including children in research, Young Peoples panel.The developing of the participatory design model in the project is based on the Design Based Research tradition. The model has proven effective in the project progress, user involvement and knowledge generation. As part of the project the research team has developed a design model and a design kit that have been continuously tested and evaluated with teachers, students, children and researchers so we now have a strong model for participatory design with children for local enhancing the digital citizenship and wellbeing of children.* Conclusions, Expected Outcomes or Findings:The outcome of the project is an educational package containing a participatory Design kit based on local and cultural perspectives that includes question techniques, tools and materials for supporting children´s safe online participation, involvement and behavior.CyGen will provide important findings to work with a methodology and discuss challenges in how to include children as co-designers, -developers and co-researchers in different educational research settings* Keywords:Participatory design with children, Kids at risk - online safety and behavior, including children as co-researchers, involving children’s voice, evaluation design on developing a digital education package
Original languageEnglish
Publication date6 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2018
EventECER 2018: Inclusion and Exclusion, Resources for Educational Research? - Free University Bolzano, Bolzano, Italy
Duration: 4 Sept 20187 Sept 2018


ConferenceECER 2018
LocationFree University Bolzano
Internet address


  • children and youth
  • learning, educational science and teaching
  • Media, communication and languages


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