Shaping a Participatory Health Communication Pedagogy with UX and Patient-Agency

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Lori Beth De Hertogh
Danielle Devasto


This short article offers examples of how rhetoricians of health and medicine (RHM) can employ user experience (UX) design principles and practices to enhance student learning in courses that focus on scientific, health, and/or medical communication. More specifically, we propose a participatory health communication pedagogy that can help RHM educators leverage UX principles to meaningfully incorporate students’ experiences into the classroom as both content creators and content users. We argue that by framing students as both creators and users, RHM educators can enact classroom practices and approaches that more fully account for diversity and inclusivity, a process that better accounts for “racism and other forms of injustice [that] permeate health and medicine” (Scott, Melonçon & Molloy, 2020, p.vii). Drawing from two RHM courses as case studies, we demonstrate how a participatory health communication pedagogy can help educators become innovative, UX practitioners who center students’ learning experiences as they design content for health and medical contexts.

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