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Digital Mysteries: Designing for Learning at the Tabletop

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ahmed Kharrufa, Professor Patrick OlivierORCiD, Professor David Leat



We present the iterative design, implementation, and validation of a collaborative learning application for school children designed for a digital tabletop. Digital mysteries, is based on the mysteries paper-based learning technique. Our work is distinctive in that the design process, the design choices, and the implementation framework are all grounded in theories of both collaborative interaction and learning. Our hypothesis was that, if well utilized, the digital tabletop's unique affordances would allow for the creation of collaborative learning tools that were significantly better than traditional paper- or computer-based tools. The two main design goals for the digital version are supporting externalization of thinking and reflection. The evaluation of the final version yielded strong evidence that use of the application increases the probability that effective learning mechanisms will occur and encourages higher-level thinking through reflection. We conclude the paper with design guidelines for tabletop collaborative learning applications.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kharrufa AS, Olivier P, Leat D

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: School of Computing Science Technical Report Series

Year: 2009

Pages: 13

Print publication date: 01/09/2009

Source Publication Date: September 2009

Report Number: 1171

Institution: School of Computing Science, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne