Designing Smarter Touch-Based Interfaces for Educational Contexts


Anthony, L., Brown, Q., Tate, B., Nias, J., Brewer, R., and Irwin, G. 2014. Designing Smarter Touch-Based Interfaces for Educational Contexts. Journal of Personal and Ubiquitous Computing: Special Issue on Educational Interfaces, Software, and Technology, Volume 18, Issue 6, p.1471-1483, [PDF]


“In next-generation classrooms and educational environments, interactive technologies such as surface computing, natural gesture interfaces, and mobile devices will enable new means of motivating and engaging students in active learning. Our foundational studies provide a corpus of over 10,000 touch interactions and nearly 7,000 gestures collected from nearly 70 adults and children ages 7 years old and up, that can help us understand the characteristics of children’s interactions in these modalities and how they differ from adults. Based on these data, we identify key design and implementation challenges of supporting children’s touch and gesture interactions, and we suggest ways to address them. For example, we find children have more trouble successfully acquiring onscreen targets and having their gestures recognized than do adults, especially the youngest age group (7 to 10 years old). The contributions of this work provide a foundation that enables touch-based interactive educational apps that increase student success.”