Collaborative Learning with Interactive Surfaces: An Interdisciplinary Agenda

ICLS 2010 Pre-Conference Workshop
Monday, June 28, 9:00AM – 5:30PM


Because they allow multiple users to interact concurrently, new interactive surfaces (tabletops, whiteboards, etc.) have an unprecedented potential to support co-located collaborative learning. As commercial hardware becomes available and software tools mature, research on these technologies need no longer be confined to technologists. This workshop will familiarize participants with the current state of interactive surfaces, connect them with current leaders in the field, and prepare them for starting their own research.


The research space on collaborative learning with interactive surfaces is vast and still largely unexplored. To cover this space, the workshop will use the Open Space method to flexibly divide the workshop into smaller groups based on attendee interest. Thus, we can support participants from diverse backgrounds (educators, instructional designers, psychologists, ethnographers, computer scientists, etc.) and diverse interests (laboratory studies, classroom integration, museum use, etc.). All are welcome.


Michael A. EvansMichael A. Evans, assistant professor in the Department of Learning Sciences and Technologies at Virginia Tech, teaches courses and conducts research focusing on the application of human learning theory to the design and development of instructional materials and systems. Graduate courses taught include games and simulations for education, instructional multimedia development, and, perhaps most relevant to the symposium, and introduction to the learning sciences for advanced masters and doctoral students. Current research projects include: 1) examining the effects of physical and virtual manipulatives on the mathematical reasoning of elementary students, 2) designing educational simulations and games for middle school students in STEM areas, and 3) developing instructional multimedia for mobile and wireless devices. His publications include Facilitating guided participation through mobile technologies: Designing creative learning environments for self and others (Journal of Computing for Higher Education),Transforming e-learning into ee-learning: The centrality of sociocultural participation (Innovate: Journal of Online Education), and Conceptual and practical issues related to the design for and sustainability of Communities of Practice: The case of e-portfolio use in preservice teacher training (Technology, Pedagogy, & Education).

Jeff RickJochen “Jeff” Rick is a research fellow on ShareIT, an interdisciplinary research project between Yvonne Rogers’s Pervasive Interaction Lab (Department of Computing, Open University) and Nicola Yuill’s Children and Technology Lab (Psychology Department, University of Sussex). As lead technologist on that project, he has developed six applications to support collaborative learning with interactive tabletops. He started the Children and Interactive Surfaces, UK mailing list as a forum for exchanging ideas and for organizing meet-ups. As a technologist, he is familiar with the current hardware for interactive tabletops and the challenge of implementing applications for that hardware. As a learning scientist, his focus has been on supporting collaborative learning and better understanding how children collaborate with this technology.


Crafting Theoretical Lenses for Designing & Evaluating Interactive Surfaces for Learning: Michael A. Evans and Elisabeth Drechsel, Virginia Tech, will propose a collection of theoretical lenses, inspired by a participationist view of learning, by which existing and emerging interactive surfaces can be designed and tested. [pdf]

Playing with Interactive Tabletops: Jochen “Jeff” Rick, The Open University, will give hands-on demonstrations of several collaborative learning applications that have been created for the ShareIT project. [pdf]

Physical-Gestural-Parametric: Learning through graceful transition: Chreston Miller, Yannick Verdie, Francis Quek, Anurodh Joshi, and Roger Ehrich, Center for Human-Computer Interaction, Virginia Tech, will provide insight and direction as to the application of multi-touch and TUIs for collaborative learning in early childhood education contexts. [pdf]

A Smart Classroom Technology Framework: Supporting Collaborative Visualizations: Mike Tissenbaum, Michelle Lui, and Jim Slotta, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, are developing a “smart classroom” infrastructure to facilitate cooperative learning that leverages physical and semantic spaces to achieve innovative pedagogical formats. [pdf]

Getting Down to Details: The Tangible Learning Design Framework: Alyssa Wiseand Alissa Antle, Simon Fraser University, will present a comprehensive framework for thinking about the relationships between TUI features, interactions and learning. [pdf]

Designing Learning Trajectories with Interactive Tabletops: Palmyre Pierroux andOle Smørdal, InterMedia, are interested in presenting design, experiences and findings from a co-design process related to a touring museum exhibition. The exhibition is on design and architecture and includes a multi-touch table and an integrated mobile service and a wiki. [pdf]

SynergyNet: Multi-touch in Education: Andrew Hatch, Emma Mercier, Liz Burd, and Steve Higgins, Durham University (UK), will explore the technological and pedagogical innovations necessary to use interactive surfaces successfully in a classroom setting, possibly in contrast to museum or other informal learning environments. [pdf]

NetLogo Tango: Supporting Student Programming with Tangible Objects and Multi-Touch Displays: Izabel C. Olson, Michael S. Horn, and Uri Wilensky, Northwestern University, present NetLogoTango, a tool designed to introduce elementary school children to the NetLogo programming language. [pdf]

DALI: Bring Multi-touch Interaction to Painting Artwork Appreciation: Xiangliang Meng, Li Tian, and Yuanchun Shi, Tsinghua University, present DALI (Dalí’s Artwork for Learning Interactively), a system which brings multi-touch interaction to painting artwork appreciation. [pdf]

G-nome Surfer: Supporting Collaborative Learning of Genomic Concepts through Tabletop interaction: Orit Shaer, Wellesley College, present G-nome Surfer, a tabletop user interface for genomic exploration. [pdf]

Enhancing Tabletops: Multi-Surface Environments for collaborative learningBertrand Schneider and Chia Shen, Harvard University, argue that augmenting a tabletop with other visualization displays not only increases the space of information, but may also provide specific advantages in a collaborative learning situation. In particular, we propose that multi-surface environments have the potential to enhance learning on a perceptual, cognitive and social level by utilizing Multiple External Representations (MER). [pdf]