Participatory design as apprenticeship: Sustainable watershed management as a community computing application

Umer Farooq, Cecelia B. Merkel, Heather Nash, Mary Beth Rosson, John M. Carroll, Lu Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


This paper develops research in the area of sustainable, long-term participatory design for community groups. We adopt a perspective that emphasizes participatory design as a learning process and introduce hierarchical (cognitive apprenticeship) and lateral (collaboratively constructed Zones of Proximal Development) aspects of learning. We describe our experience of working with an environmental community group from the initiation of our involvement to the group adopting designer-like roles. The goal of our involvement was to induce a sustainable strategy of adopting, using, and maintaining information technology as an everyday organizational practice to reify the goals of community groups, even after we fade away from the process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178
Number of pages1
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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