Developing an Evaluation Tool for Outdoor Welfare Technologies

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Anna Sofie Skjemt Ravnborg
  • Emma Mai Petersen
4. term, Engineering Psychology, Master (Master Programme)
This project was a collaboration with the municipal project SPARKX in Aarhus. The goal of the project was to create an evaluation tool for welfare technologies placed in the outdoor environment at Marselisborg Centret which is a rehabilitation facility. The purpose of the evaluation is to give both SPARKX and the owners of the technologies relevant insights about the strengths, flaws, and opportunities of the placed technologies.
To gain relevant insights regarding the requirements from the people behind SPARKX and the companies, meetings were held with these parties. The meetings led to a number of requirements for the evaluation tool, including the focus of having evaluations from the staff rather than the patients.
Afterward, four interviews with the staff from Marselisborg Centret were conducted regarding their experiences of using technologies in rehabilitation and their attitudes toward the SPARKX project.
These interviews were then analyzed through meaning condensation and Affinity Diagramming, which led to a greater understanding of which criteria outdoor welfare technologies had to uphold to be successful. An evaluation tool based on this knowledge led to the design of two guided questionnaires: one to be answered continuously and one to be answered once after a longer period of time.
These questionnaires were tested on three existing outdoor products over a four-week period by five departments, where the first questionnaire was answered once a week and the other questionnaire once after the four week period. Afterward, the participating departments were asked about their opinions on the evaluation model and content of the questionnaires.
A general reluctance towards evaluating this frequently was found, due to a lacking understanding of the purpose of the evaluations and a very busy daily schedule. The questionnaires themselves were however generally found fitting for evaluating outdoor welfare technologies and could be applied to various types of products including an interactive wall and a set of tree logs. They were furthermore found short and focused, which was perceived as positive traits. To supplement the evaluation, four short interviews were conducted with rehabilitation patients during a training session on one of the evaluated products. When their answers were compared to the staffs’
evaluation of the same product a general compliance was found, indicating that the staffs’ evaluation reflects the rehabilitation patients’ experiences.
All results were presented to SPARKX who initially called for the development of the evaluation.
Afterward, an interview focused on their thoughts on the results of the project showed that the project, in general, had reached its goal. SPARKX intends to use the evaluations in the future, supplying with extra questions, interviews, and observations. Moreover, the project group came up with suggestions and recommendations for SPARKX to have in mind for future work, as various insights were revealed throughout the project.
Publication date5 Jun 2018
Number of pages183
External collaboratorSPARKX
Teknologisk konsulent Mikkel Svindt
ID: 280428835