"It's just a toolbar!" Using tangibles to help children manage conflict around a multi-touch tabletop

Izabel C. Olson, Zeina Atrash Leong, Uri Wilensky, Michael S. Horn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper we present a case study of children's collaborative behavior around a multi-touch tabletop interface. The study includes data from four sessions with four children over a period of three weeks. The children in our study exhibited a diverse set of collaborative behaviors including territorial control of screen real estate, conflict over interface elements, and turn taking behavior, all of which seemed related to specific aspects of the interface design. Most notably, we observed conflict relating to a graphical toolbar that the children could drag around the screen. After observing this conflict, we redesigned the interface so that children were forced to use a tangible object (a wooden block) to make the toolbar appear on the screen. This tangible object seemed to help the children resolve their conflict and to promote spontaneous turn taking behavior. This paper is an effort to understand why the graphical toolbar alone seemed to spur conflict and why the introduction of a tangible object seemed to help children resolve the conflict on their own.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 5th International Conference on Tangible Embedded and Embodied Interaction, TEI'11
Pages29-36
Number of pages8
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 11 2011
Event5th International Conference on Tangible Embedded and Embodied Interaction, TEI'11 - Madeira, Portugal
Duration: Jan 23 2011Jan 26 2011

Other

Other5th International Conference on Tangible Embedded and Embodied Interaction, TEI'11
CountryPortugal
CityMadeira
Period1/23/111/26/11

Keywords

  • Children
  • Collaboration
  • Learning
  • Multi-touch tabletops
  • Tangible interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Information Systems

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