Abstract

Applications (apps) have become commonplace in the treatment of adolescent mental health problems. This study set out to explore whether it is possible to prepare undergraduate counselling students to use these professional tools, as part of an assessment regime. Using the software “Pencil Project” students enrolled in an undergraduate counselling degree were required to design wireframes for an app to support adolescent mental wellbeing. Evaluation methodology employing a concurrent quan-qual mixed method was used. Marks earned for student presentations of their wireframes, along with marker comments were analysed followed by a thematic analysis of student reflections of their learning experience. Students reported that this authentic learning approach to counselling constructs was innovative and positive. This positive engagement was reflected in student grades where all students earned a ‘pass’ or better and their reflections revealed the experience to be transformative. By sharing lessons learned this paper contributes to the literature in innovations in technology enhanced learning. While further iterations are required, it is hoped that this study provides the groundwork for those interested in pursuing the design of wireframes as a method to measure students’ application of knowledge.

Keywords

tertiary education, undergraduate education, counselling, assessments, application (apps) design

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