Project goals

Scientific objectives

In order to obtain the valorization objectives, in the first instance, it is necessary to obtain a good overview of the existing literature on cyberbullying, on health interventions, and on the development of game modeling languages. Furthermore, we also want to actively contribute to the scientific knowledge regarding these topics.

  1. A first scientific objective is to closely monitor the cyberbullying behaviour (prevalence, profiles of bullies, victims and bystanders), using own and other data. This information will help us to further define the main target group(s) of the intervention tool – i.e. those groups of youngsters who are highly involved in cyberbullying and who experience the most negative consequences thereof. This up-to-date information will also be helpful for the intervention tool itself, as we will try to create realistic (and therefore also up-to-date) scenarios.
  2. A second scientific objective will be to gain additional information on the (relative importance) of different types of behavioural determinants (in the case of cyberbullying). This information is necessary to specify SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) objectives with regard to intermediate effects (e.g. did we manage to change attitudes, self-efficacy, risk perceptions, and other determinants as we intended?). Changes in these behavioural determinants are, of course, supposed to lead to changes in actual cyberbullying behaviour or victimization.
  3. A third objective of this project will be to choose the most appropriate intervention methods to change the selected behavioural determinants of cyberbullying amongst the most important target groups, and to determine how this method should be translated to the context of virtual scenarios.
  4. Fourthly, in order to support the development of engaging virtual scenarios against cyber bullying by people from the field, we will develop a Domain Specific Modelling Language (DSML). This DSML can be used by non-technical persons, such as educators and teachers, to specify these virtual scenarios at a high level, a level of abstraction beyond programming.
  5. A fifth aspect is the actual implementation of the DSML. In other words, the building blocks and connections as defined by the DSML need to be translated into executable code. For the input layer of the DSML we need to research how we can assemble virtual and real life data of the participants/players of a Friendly ATTAC session to help create a highly personalized, adaptive and engaging story.
  6. The final research objective can be described as performing a process- and effect evaluation based on a lab study. It will be explored among which youngsters, and under what conditions the virtual scenario’s succeed in changing the intended change objectives.