Investigating Separation of Territories and Activity Roles in Children’s Collaboration around Tabletops

Citation:

Woodward, J., Esmaeili, S., Jain, A., Bell, J., Ruiz, J., and Anthony, L. 2018. Investigating Separation of Territories and Activity Roles in Children’s Collaboration around Tabletops. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW’18), Article 185, Jersey City, NY, November 9-12, 2018. [pdf]

Abstract:

Prior work has shown that children exhibit negative collaborative behaviors, such as blocking others’ access to objects, when collaborating on interactive tabletop computers. We implemented previous design recommendations, namely separate physical territories and activity roles, which had been recommended to decrease these negative collaborative behaviors. We developed a multi-touch “I-Spy” picture searching application with separate territory partitions and activity roles. We conducted a deep qualitative analysis of how six pairs of children, ages 6 to 10, interacted with the application. Our analysis revealed that the collaboration styles differed for each pair, both in regards to the interaction with the task and with each other. Several pairs exhibited negative physical and verbal collaborative behaviors, such as nudging each other out of the way. Based on our analysis, we suggest that it is important for a collaborative task to offer equal opportunities for interaction, but it may not be necessary to strive for complete equity of collaboration. We examine the applicability of prior design guidelines and suggest open questions for future research to inform the design of tabletop applications to support collaboration for children..”

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