Evaluating digital tabletop collaborative writing in the classroom

Philip Heslop, Anne Preston, Ahmed Kharrufa, Madeline Balaam, David Leat, Patrick Olivier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


We present an evaluation of an “in the wild” classroom deployment of Co-located Collaborative Writing (CCW), an application for digital tabletops. CCW was adapted to the classroom setting across 8 SMART tables. Here, we describe the outcomes of the 6 week deployment with students aged 13–14, focussing on how CCW operated as a tool for learning within a classroom environment. We analyse video data and interaction logs to provide a group specific analysis in the classroom context. Using the group as the unit of analysis allows detailed tracking of the group’s development over time as part of scheme of work planned by a teacher for the classroom. Through successful integration of multiple tabletops into the classroom, we show how the design of CCW supports students in learning how to collaboratively plan a piece of persuasive writing, and allows teachers to monitor progress and process of students. The study shows how the nature and quality of collaborative interactions changed over time, with decision points bringing students together to collaborate, and how the role of CCW matured from a scaffolding mechanism for planning, to a tool for implementing planning. The study also showed how the teacher’s relationship with CCW changed, due to the designed visibility of groups’ activities, and how lesson plans became more integrated utilizing the flexibility of the technology. These are key aspects that can enhance the adoption of such technologies by both students and teachers in the classroom.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2015
Subtitle of host publication15th IFIP TC 13 International Conference Bamberg, Germany, September 14–18, 2015 Proceedings, Part II
EditorsJulio Abascal, Simone Barbosa, Mirko Fetter, Tom Gross, Philippe Palanque, Marco Winckler
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783319226682
ISBN (Print)9783319226675
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventIFIP TC13 Conference on Human-Computer Interaction 2015 - Bamberg, Germany
Duration: 14 Sep 201518 Sep 2015
Conference number: 15th

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceIFIP TC13 Conference on Human-Computer Interaction 2015
Abbreviated titleInteract 2015
Internet address


  • Collaborative learning
  • Digital tabletops
  • Multi-touch

Cite this

Heslop, P., Preston, A., Kharrufa, A., Balaam, M., Leat, D., & Olivier, P. (2015). Evaluating digital tabletop collaborative writing in the classroom. In J. Abascal, S. Barbosa, M. Fetter, T. Gross, P. Palanque, & M. Winckler (Eds.), Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2015: 15th IFIP TC 13 International Conference Bamberg, Germany, September 14–18, 2015 Proceedings, Part II (pp. 531-548). (Lecture Notes in Computer Science ; Vol. 9297). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-22668-2_41