University of Oulu, 2016


Persuasive Games: Designing Games for Change - Doctoral course

‘Games for Change’ are games that are designed to motivate people to change, modify or reinforce their behaviours without coercion or deceit. This is a subset of the field of persuasive technology which is also referred to as Persuasive Games. This course would explore the application of persuasive design strategies and various implementations, ethical issues, design, and evaluation of persuasive games. We would also explore existing research in the field of Persuasive Games and their implementation of persuasive strategies to cause behaviour change. Students would get hand-on experience on the design and evaluation of persuasive games prototypes aimed at solving known societal issues including health and wellness, safety and
security, and environmental sustainability.

Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, students would be able to:

  • Demonstrate a good understanding of Persuasive games development processes.
  • Demonstrate a good understanding of persuasive strategies for persuasive game design and their various implementation.
  • Analyse and evaluate the persuasiveness of existing games that motivate behaviour change

Course outline

  • Introduction to Persuasive Technology and Games
  • Quick Overview of Persuasive Strategies
  1.   Rewards and Praises
  2.   Punishment
  3.   Reminders and Suggestions
  4. Personalization and Tunneling
  5. Scarcity
  6. Social Proof
  7. Recognition
  8. Competition
  9. Cooperation
  10. Simulation
  11. Authority and Endorsements Trustworthiness
  12. Liking and Surface Credibility

Overview of Persuasive Games Research

  • Analysis of persuasive games from various domains based on their:
  • Game Concept
  • Design Methodology 
  • Persuasive Strategies
  • User Study and Evaluation

Course Deliverables

Students are expected to submit two deliverables for this course: - A prototype of a persuasive game exhibiting some selected persuasive strategies. - A critic of two selected persuasive games with respect to the persuasive strategies, their implemented, evaluation, target behaviour, ethical issues, etc.


Dr. Rita Orji


Is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University. Her research areas include Human-Computer Interaction, Persuasive Technology, Games for Change, and Digital Health. Her research group is particularly interested in investigating user-centered approaches to designing interactive systems to motivate people for actions and causes that are beneficial for them and their communities as well as how interactive systems can be designed for the under-served population (HCI for Development (HCI4D)). 


Course Schedule

Date: 2, 4 & 9.11.2020

Days: Mon, Wed & Mon 14.00-18.00.

Hours: 4 hours daily

Credit Point


Mode of delivery

Remote lectures and exercises, independent study

Contact person


Digital Addiction and Persuasive Design - Doctoral course


Digital media usage can be problematic and described by properties like being compulsive, excessive, obsessive, and hasty. It can be associated with negative life experiences such as procrastination, preoccupation, decreased physical activities, and interrupted sleep. Such ‘digital addiction’ (DA) can relate to more profound personal and contextual factors. Still, digital media design can be argued as one of the contributors through its persuasive elements such as notification, personalised content, and peer pressure facilitation. Simultaneously, there is an unprecedented opportunity that the same medium of the addictive experience plays a role in the solution space. We can design digital media to monitor usage and deliver persuasive prevention and corrective strategies in a personalised, real-time, and intelligent style. In this course, we will discuss the concept of DA and the role of digital media design in triggering problematic usage and, at the same timple, helping to regulate it.

Course Objectives

The course will consolidate skills in the analysis of DA and the role of technology in both triggering and regulating it. The course aims to

  • introduce the concept of DA, its latest definitions and approaches to handling it
  • elaborate the different facets of user experiences characterising DA
  • discuss the role of persuasive technology design in triggering DA and facilitating it
  • discuss the role of persuasive technology in combatting DA and helping self-regulation

Learning Outcome

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • discuss and critically analyse the concept of DA
  • critically examine persuasive elements in the digital media that contribute to triggering DA
  • create socio-technical persuasive solutions to combatting DA
  • raise and debate professional and ethical issues in the area of technology design and DA


 Lecture 1: DA: Definitions and Foundations

Lecture 2: Approaches to combat DA

Lecture 3: Fear-based DA

Lecture 4: Self-regulation and DA

Lecture 5: Escapism-based DA

Lecture 6: Online Peer Support Groups for DA


Professor Raian Ali


Dr. Raian Ali holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Trento, Italy. He joined Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Qatar, as a Professor in the College of Science and Engineering. Before that he was a Professor in Computing at Bournemouth University in the UK and founded and led the Engineering and Social Informatics Research Group (ESOTICS), focusing on the interrelation between technology and social requirements such as motivation, transparency, and wellbeing. Dr. Raian is in the editorial board, organising and program committee of leading conferences and journals in the area of information systems and social informatics
He leads multiple projects on the theme of making digital media and online gaming and gambling fairer through data-driven real-time transparency to empower users, support the conscious and regulated nature of their usage, and increase digital wellness. He frequently provides consultancy and policy advice, nationally and internationally, around the theme.

More info

Course schedule

Date: 17-19.11.2020

Days: Tue, Wed & Thu: 14.00-18.00.

Hours: 4 hours of lectures daily

Credit Point


Mode of delivery

Remote lectures and exercises, independent study


OASIS research unit

Contact person


Technostress as a negative side effect of IT use - Intensive course

Monday, October 9 2017  at 10:12 AM


Markus Salo, University of Jyväskylä

Henri Pirkkalainen, Tampere University of Technology



November 29th 12.15-16.00, room PR126B

November 30th 08.15-12.00, room SÄ105


Brief description: 

The two-day course examines negative side effects of individuals’ information technology (IT) use and focuses on technostress, which refers to an individual’s inability to use IT in a healthy manner. Researchers and practitioners have highlighted that negative side effects such as technostress are very common and have severe negative outcomes (e.g., decreased well-being and productivity). During the course, we will review recent studies, discuss research methods, and go through concepts such as technostress, technostress creators, technostress outcomes, and technostress mitigation. The examination embodies both organizational and personal/leisure contexts of IT use. The course also includes exercises for the participants to work in pairs or small groups on the spot and a brief written assignment (no pre-course assignments). The main learning outcome of the course is an understanding of the negative side effects of IT use and an overview of related research. Welcome!


Perspectives to social media research - Intensive course

Monday, October 9, 2017 at 9:56AM


Matti Mäntymäki, Turku School of Economics


October 30th 12.15-15.30, room L9

October 31st 08.15-12.00, room SÄ102


Theme of the course

Social media has become virtually omnipresent in most developed and developing societies. One could argue that for many people social media services have become a part of the everyday infrastructure. The massive-scale adoption of social media creates a need to better understand its benefits and opportunities as well as challenges and risks to individuals, organizations, and societies, and vice versa.  While, academic research on social media has been developing and accumulating rapidly in the recent years, the field of social media is far from being exhaustively investigated.

The purpose of the course is to support participants’ own research activities around and beyond social media. The course provides insights on contemporary and emerging themes related to social media. In particular, opportunities and challenges related to conducting research on social media will be discussed. Information Systems (IS) is used as a disciplinary example of how social media research has evolved over the years and to discuss how disciplinary conventions and traditions manifest themselves in the contemporary social media research.  The course will provide the participants a starting point to critically evaluate the phenomena surrounding social media and to identify research opportunities for their own research activities. The course is highly interactive and participant will be actively engaged in discussions.


1st International workshop on Behaviour Change Support Systems (BCSS) -- April 2013 -- Sydney

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 10:54AM

An array of persuasive applications have been developed over the past decade with an aim to induce desirable behavior change. Persuasive applications have shown promising results in motivating and supporting people to change or adopt new behaviors and attitudes.

The purpose of this workshop is to develop a richer understanding of the Behavior Change Support Systems (BCSSs) – as an object Persuasive Technology. The workshop will provide a platform where students, researchers, experts and practitioners will have an opportunity to not only present their work but equally importantly develop a mutual and broader understanding of Behavior Change models using the BCSSs.

The participants of the workshop will have a unique opportunity to discuss their work including on-going work relating to the design process of developing BCSSs for health, well-being, persuasive design, ethical issues, measuring behavior, task adherence and persuasive techniques.

The workshop will also cover research designs and methodologies that are applicable to BCSSs.

The workshop will be organized at the 8th International Conference on Persuasive Technology April 3-5, Sydney, Australia.


[CFP] Persuative Technolgoy 2013, Sydney, Australia

Monday, August 20, 2012 at 4:36PM

The 8th International Conference on Persuasive Technology (Persuasive 2013) will be held in Sydney, Australia, and will build on the success of previous conferences held at Eindhoven, Stanford, Oulu, Copenhagen, Claremont, Columbus, and Linköping.

Academics, students, and practitioners interested in theory, technologies, design, and applications related to persuasion are invited to submit their works for presentation at the Conference.

Call for Papers


[CFP] ECIS 2013, Persuasive systems design track

Monday, August 20, 2012 at 4:13PM

The 21st European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2013), June 5-8, 2013, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Track: Persuasive Systems Design

Track Chairs

Harri Oinas-Kukkonen, University of Oulu, Finland

Fahri Yetim, University of Siegen, Germany

Track Description

The study of users’ attitudes and behavior has a long history in information system research. The IS field has drawn many lessons from social psychology over the past few decades, in particular from theories such as Theory of Reasoned Action, Self-Efficacy Theory, Social Cognitive Theory, and Theory of Planned Behavior. IS researchers have also developed new models and frameworks based on these such as Technology Acceptance Model, and Unified Theory of Use and Acceptance of Technology. But beside these general attitude and behavior-related theories, there are also other useful attitude and/or behavior change related theories in social psychology, like Elaboration Likelihood Model, information processing theory, and cognitive consistency theory. These have been used to some extent in IS research, but these change related theories are not well known among IS researchers, however. A key element in behavior and attitude change is persuasion. Persuasive technology is a young and vibrant research area, focusing on how interactive technologies may be used to create, maintain, or change human thought and behavior. Combining well-established research methods and traditions from reference disciplines such as social psychology and communication with cutting-edge technologies brings about a special flavor characteristic of the track. The track will feature new insights, research and practice into how the development and use of technology may change and influence our behavior, thoughts, feelings and society at large. The track is expected to gather researchers, doctoral students, practitioners, and other people interested in presenting, discussing, reflecting, and networking on central themes associated with the development and use of persuasive systems. We welcome theoretical and empirical papers that employ diverse methodologies and philosophical perspectives, as well as design research papers which describe and evaluate novel design methods and system prototypes. In addition to full research papers also research in progress papers and teaching cases are welcome.

Themes of the conference include, but are not limited to:

  • Methods, models, and principles for persuasive systems design
  • Evaluation of persuasive systems
  • Mobile persuasion
  • Behavior change support systems
  • Smart/ambient/ubiquitous environments
  • Affective computing
  • Persuasive systems in inclusive ICT
  • Wellbeing and health behavior
  • e-Interventions for addictions
  • Metrics and evaluating measures of behavior change
  • Social and organizational issues
  • Motivational information behavior
  • Emotions and persuasion
  • Explanation/argumentation and persuasion
  • Personalization and persuasion
  • Value sensitive design of persuasive systems
  • Methodological issues in R&D
  • Ethics of persuasive systems
  • Theoretical foundations for persuasive systems

Associate Editors

Berkovsky Shlomo, NICTA

Bång Magnus, Linköping University

Chatterjee Samir, Claremont Graduate University

Ham Jaap, Technical University Eindhoven

Ho Susanna, Australian National University

Reitberger Wolfgang, University of Salzburg

Weigand Hans, Tilburg University


Prof. Harri Oinas-Kukkonen (Primary contact)
University of Oulu
Harri [dot] Oinas-Kukkonen [at] oulu [dot] fi

Dr. Fahri Yetim
University of Siegen
Department of Information Systems
Fahri [dot] Yetim [at] uni-siege [dot] de

Last updated: 24.9.2020