The Role of Credibility In the Design of Mobile Solutions To Enhance the Social Skill-Set of Teenagers Diagnosed with Autism

Anne Gerdes, Peter Øhrstrøm

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

4 Citationer (Scopus)


Purpose – Helping Autism-diagnosed teenagers navigate and develop socially (HANDS) is an EU research project in progress. The aim of HANDS is to investigate the potential of persuasive technology as a tool to help young people diagnosed, to whatever degree, as autistic. The HANDS project set out to develop mobile ICT solutions to help young people with autism become more fully
integrated into society and the purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the design behind the HANDS toolset.
Design/methodology/approach – The topic of credibility is approached from an analytical, as well as an ethical, angle in order to address issues of credibility in relation to designing assistive technological tools. In addition, the authors set out to explore possible ways in which credibility can be evaluated. The paper presents a preliminary method for the evaluation of credibility; but which
requires further refinement, as well as empirical support in order to inform us about issues of system credibility. Therefore, the suggested method reflects a working hypothesis which may serve as a springboard for further investigation.
Findings – The authors propose a preliminary method which reveals the necessity of certain preconditions requisite for evaluating the credibility of a system; and, in this way, seek to establish an ethically sound evaluation procedure for analysing credibility, by combining quantitative (i.e. electronic footprints) and qualitative assessments (i.e. dialogue between teacher and learner) of
system credibility.
Research limitations/implications – Further investigation of the evaluation process is needed to develop a standard for resolving the credibility of a system. Naturally, such a standard would serve not only as a tool for measuring credibility but also as a didactic tool for scaffolding a pedagogic dialogue between teacher and learner. It becomes important, therefore, to undertake the task of developing this standard in collaboration with the teachers in the HANDS project.
Originality/value – The paper discusses credibility issues and ethical concerns with a view to designing mobile solutions for autism-diagnosed teenagers. The ideas expressed and developed herein are applicable to many assistive, technological tools available to persons with special needs.
TidsskriftJournal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)253-264
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 2011


  • Adolescents
  • Assistive technology
  • Autism
  • Ethics
  • Mental development
  • Mobile technology