Investigation of Participatory and Codesign Methods in Research with Children

Research Overview

The choice to include children as active participants in research projects about digital media and interactive technology may have begun as a pragmatic one but it has increasingly become an ethical and political decision. Child-specific participatory design (PD) and codesign methods continue to emerge and gain uptake across a variety of fields including computer science, design, medicine, psychology, and education. A fundamental assumption is that there is value in including children’s voices as active agents and experts into their own lives in academic and industry research. In this project we conducted a series of reviews and studies of different PD and codesign methods that have been used within these research communities.

Research Goals, Objectives and Questions:

Our initial goals include providing an entry point for those interested in using such methods, generating best practices, identifying considerations and constraints of working with children in meaningful ways, and generating new methods that empower children and a future research agenda that considers inherent power structures, the messiness of situatedness, and makes a commitment to diversity and inclusion in research with and for children.


Alissa N. Antle, Research Lead

Annemiek Veldhuis Ph.D. (abd), Research Assistant

Sadhbh Kenny (MA candidate), Research Assistant

Priscilla Lo (MSc candidate), Research Assistant


Dr. Sara Grimes (Director of the Knowledge Media Design Institute and Professor in the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, Canada)

Dr. Alyssa F. Wise (Professor Technology and Education, Peabody College and Director of LIVE Vanderbilt University, USA)

Dr. Yumiko Murai (Educational Technology and Learning Design, Faculty of Education, SFU, Canada)

Dr. Gillian Russell (SIAT, SFU, Canada)

Funded By

NSERC (Alliance)


Related Publications

Annemiek Veldhuis, Sadhbh Kenny, Priscilla Lo and Alissa N. Antle. 2024. Report: Existing literature on child-centered design and the ways children can be involved in AI research and development. 

Jillian L. Warren, Alissa N. Antle, Alexandra Kitson, Alireza Davoodi. 2023. Journal Article: A codesign study exploring needs, strategies, and opportunities for digital health platforms to address pandemic-related impacts on children and families.

Jillian L. Warren, Alissa N. Antle, Alexandra Kitson, Alireza Davoodi. 2022. Proceedings Article: Lessons Learned and Future Considerations for Designing Remotely Facilitated Co-Design Studies with Children Focused on Socio-Emotional Experiences.