Telephone-driven community forums have been a widely proposed solution to address the unreliable internet connectivity and large geographic scope that characterizes many international NGO contexts. Primarily, these applications support asynchronous activities, such as information portals or forums to access rural journalism, but opportunities for real-time experience sharing remain largely under-explored. In this paper, we explore the potential of such forums to support remote mentoring of NGO volunteers, a practice that requires synchronous, dialogical formats for experience sharing and peer discussion. We engaged 28 participants from a rural Indian NGO in the design of peer-mentoring sessions that leverage synchronous audio discussions, using the structure and format of traditional talk-show radio as a starting point. The participants favored an entertaining approach to mentoring and discussed the logistics required to achieve this within their resource constraints. We conclude with design implications for designing media-driven community engagement platforms and the ethical challenges around protecting marginalized community interests.
The rise of consumer augmented reality (AR) technology has opened up new possibilities for interventions intended to disrupt and subvert cultural conventions. From defacing corporate logos to erecting geofenced digital monuments, more and more people are creating AR experiences for social causes. We sought to understand this new form of activism, including why people use AR for these purposes, opportunities and challenges in using it, and how well it can support activist goals. We conducted semi-structured interviews with twenty people involved in projects that used AR for a social cause across six different countries. We found that AR can overcome physical world limitations of activism to convey immersive, multilayered narratives that aim to reveal invisible histories and perspectives. At the same time, people experienced challenges in creating, maintaining, and distributing their AR experiences to audiences. We discuss open questions and opportunities for creating AR tools and experiences for social change.
Research on social robots in care has often focused on either the care recipients or the technology itself, neglecting the care workers who, in and through their collaborative and coordinative practices, will need to work with the robots. To better understand these interactions with a social robot (Pepper), we undertook a 3 month long-term study within a care home to gain empirical insights into the way the robot was used. We observed how care workers learned to use the device, applied it to their daily work life, and encountered obstacles. Our findings show that the care workers used the robot regularly (1:07 hours/day) mostly in one-to-one interactions with residents. While the robot had a limited effect on reducing the workload of care workers, it had other positive effects, demonstrating the potential to enhance the quality of care.
Current Social VR literature provides limited insight on one of the most critical behaviors for developing and maintaining interpersonal relationships: self-disclosure. Therefore, we present an online survey (N = 126) investigating how users disclose personal information to each other in Social VR. Our results indicate that many participants see in Social VR access to authentic connections with others despite tending towards skepticism and privacy concerns. Most users disclose sexuality-related information, lifestyle preferences, and personal goals. In contrast, information that breaks anonymity, such as real names and more intimate aspects of oneself, are shared less commonly. Thereby, self-disclosure decisions depend on factors like the relationship to or age of disclosure recipients, the privacy of a virtual environment, the group size, or the activity context, and is driven by different goals, i.a., relational development or exploration of oneself. These insights advance the understanding of current Social VR users and their behavior by directing future research on self-disclosure-based relationship building in Social VR and outlying broader design implications for the future metaverse.