University of Technology Sydney case study – August 2021 to July 2022
Funded by iyarn and Investment NSW – COVID-19 Tech Voucher
iyarn is an Australian company that has developed a digital platform for people in schools
and workplaces to ‘check in’ about their wellbeing, as a tool for monitoring and managing
issues such as stress, anxiety, isolation and depression. iyarn’s product is already being
adopted by schools across Australia to promote and support young people’s wellbeing.
The company wanted to invest in research to ensure the tool is grounded in evidence and
enhance its effectiveness for young people and schools in improving student wellbeing
outcomes. iyarn partnered with the Centre for Research on Education in a Digital Society
and the Institute for Public Policy and Governance at UTS to successfully apply for NSW
Government research funding under the COVID TechVouchers Program.
What we did
The project aimed to help iyarn create a model of how the check-in tool can best be
implemented to achieve its intended impact. It was designed to be research led, while
grounded in practice, to ensure the rigour of the work and its practical value in supporting the
future design and use of iyarn and its ultimate goal of supporting young people’s wellbeing.
To do this, UTS worked with the iyarn team – together with subject expert Dr Paula
Robinson from APPLI (Applied Positive Psychology Learning Institute) – to create a model
and theory of change. This was used to drive literature reviews and syntheses of key
evidence on topics such as efficacy of check-in apps to support wellbeing, and teacher
support for wellbeing. Interviews with teachers were then conducted to triangulate this
evidence, adding rich user insights on current use and future directions for the tool.
This evidence was used to assess and highlight the strength of evidence underpinning
aspects of the iyarn tool and to generate new design directions and evaluation approaches,
as well as creating FAQs for stakeholders about the tool.
A research report was delivered to iyarn in July 2022 and demonstrated that, in most areas
where there is research evidence, iyarn is well supported. Broadly: check-in apps can build
routine and awareness around wellbeing; use of apps can support young people as part of
school use; teachers – and support for them – play an important role in this use. The report
also identified gaps in the research base and made recommendations around future
development and possibilities for iyarn to contribute to the research evidence.
A specific ‘evidence-informed check-in wheel’ was also developed as part of the research,
grounded in theories of wellbeing and mapped to support strategies and resources for young
Building an evidence base for iyarn with UTS
- We will be publicly launching the findings over Mental Health month in October 2022
- We are in to process of implementing the finding from UTS into the live platform
- If you would like a demo of the product please contact us here.
- Follow us on our socials
If you want to access the full report send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org