Around the Table: Are multiple-touch surfaces better than single-touch for children's collaborative interactions?

A Harris, J Rick, V Bonnett, N Yuill, R Fleck, Paul Marshall, Yvonne Rogers
in CSCL'09 Proceedings of the 9th international conference on Computer supported collaborative learning - Volume 1, Conference paper (text)

Abstract

This paper presents a classroom study that investigated the potential of using touch tabletop technology to support children's collaborative learning interactions. Children aged 7-10 worked in groups of three on a collaborative planning task in which they designed a seating plan for their classroom. In the single-touch condition, the tabletop surface allowed only one child to interact with the digital content at a time. In the multiple-touch condition, the children could interact with the digital content simultaneously. Results showed that touch condition did not affect the frequency or equity of interactions, but did influence the nature of children's discussion. In the multiple-touch condition, children talked more about the task; in the single-touch condition, they talked more about turn taking. We also report age and gender differences.