TRACKINGUP: HOW COMPUTERIZED PROGRESS TRACKING AND LESSON PLANNING IMPACTS THERAPEUTIC RIDING

Open Access
Author:
Garthwaite, Hannah Katherine
Area of Honors:
Information Sciences and Technology
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Steven Raymond Haynes, Thesis Supervisor
  • Steven Raymond Haynes, Honors Advisor
  • John Miller Carroll, Faculty Reader
Keywords:
  • Software development
  • usability study
  • therapeutic riding
  • software design
Abstract:
Therapeutic riding has recently gained prominence as one of the more effective forms of physical and animal therapy. However, despite holding a position in the modern therapeutic profession, therapeutic riding centers have lagged behind their counterparts in the use of technology. Most therapeutic riding centers operate on a purely paper-based system of record keeping. Building a computer application to manage the planning and record keeping aspects of any therapy is a challenge that has still not gained a satisfactory solution. In the realm of therapeutic riding, the challenge is further complicated by a domain consisting of technology resistant therapists with a long-standing dependence on legacy systems. As no computer application currently exists in this realm, this study aimed to build one and trial it with three different therapeutic riding facilities. This application, named TrackingUP, aimed to increase the standardization of recording keeping between therapists, assist therapists in their session planning, and provide further insight into patient progress tracking. The study focused on identifying the therapeutic riding specific design principles necessary to develop an effective application that is acceptable to the instructors and provide a solid foundation for future development in the field. The study revealed a larger than expected level of acceptance among participants with all of them stating a desire to keep using the application after the end of the trial. Results of this study could be used to develop more effective and useful applications within the therapeutic riding profession.