DIGIHLTH 705 : Digital Health Design and Evaluation

Medical and Health Sciences

2024 Semester One (1243) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Examines the design and development of digital health tools to meet end-user and health service needs. A series of case studies are used to illustrate the different stages of digital health tool development, evaluation, and implementation. Health service, researcher and end-user perspectives are covered.

Course Overview

The objective of the course is to develop an evidence-based understanding of the principles, frameworks and methods used to design, develop, evaluate and implement digital health tools. 

This course is structured into five parts covering different areas of digital health design and evaluation. Throughout each part case studies of digital tools are presented:
  • Part 1 covers the consultation and formative work needed to inform the design and development of digital tools
  • Part 2 covers intervention design and development 
  • Part 3 covers evaluation of digital tools
  • Part 4 covers implementation including key considerations and discussion of the barriers that might be encountered
  • Part 5 covers important considerations including individual and system considerations as well as equity and ethics. 

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Course Contacts

Dr. Rosie Dobson | Course Director
Rosie is a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Population Health. She is also the GM Health Services Research and Evaluation at Te Whatu Ora. Her clinical work as a Health Psychologist highlighted the inequities in access to psychology services and led her to conduct research investigating how digital tools could make health services more accessible. Her research work focuses on the development and evaluation of digital health tools to provide accessible health care and support to people within their daily lives. 

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: People and Place
Capability 2: Sustainability
Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 7: Collaboration
Capability 8: Ethics and Professionalism

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Critically reflect on the different theoretical approaches to the design and development of digital health tools. (Capability 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical and cultural considerations in the design and implementation of digital tools (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8)
  3. Describe how digital health tools can be used to address health inequities (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8)
  4. Evaluate a digital health tool (Capability 2, 3, 4 and 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Review 25% Individual Coursework
Presentation 35% Individual Coursework
Protocol 40% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend at least 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

Each week's 10 hours should consist of

  • Listening to recorded lectures/interviews/discussions/other resources
  • Reading at least the required readings that have been listed. Optional readings are also provided to broaden learning. Reading widely will improve your learning experience and your assignment performance, so find extra readings that interest you and share them online with others in the course
  • Organising and preparing for your assignments. The sooner you start the assignment preparation the better
  • Allocate some time each week for the online discussion. 

Delivery Mode


Attendance is expected at scheduled online seminars to complete components of the course.

The course will include live online events including group discussions and these will be recorded.

Attendance on campus is not required for the assessments.

Where possible, study material will be available at course commencement and some materials will be released progressively throughout the course in response to course discussions and external events and news.

This course runs to the University semester timetable and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

This course is delivered in online, or distance, mode. In other words, you will be able to complete the course without physically attending lectures, seminars or tutorials on campus. 

The course is divided into five online modules, each with a series of supporting resources, including lectures, readings from national and international literature and websites. All materials are accessed via the Web. Course readings are available via the University Library's web site.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Based on the feedback from 2023, the assessment due dates and timings for live online discussions have been updated.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.