Extending tabletop application design to the classroom

Ahmed Kharrufa, Roberto Martinez-Maldonado, Judy Kay, Patrick Olivier

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

38 Citations (Scopus)


While a number of guidelines exist for the design of learning applications that target a single group working around an interactive tabletop, the same cannot be said for the design of applications intended for use in multi-tabletops deployments in the classroom. Accordingly, a number of these guidelines for single-tabletop settings need to be extended to take account of both the distinctive qualities of the classroom and the particular challenges of having various groups using the same application on multiple tables simultaneously. This paper presents an empirical analysis of the effectiveness of designs for small-group multi-tabletop collaborative learning activities in the wild. We use distributed cognition as a framework to analyze the small number of authentic multi-tabletop deployments and help characterize the technological and educational ecology of these classroom settings. Based on previous research on single-tabletop collaboration, the concept of orchestration, and both first-hand experience and second-hand accounts of the few existing multiple-tabletop deployments to date, we develop a three-dimensional framework of design recommendations for multi-tabletop learning settings.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationITS 2013 - Proceedings of the 2013 ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450322713
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventACM Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces Conference 2013 - St. Andrews, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Oct 20139 Oct 2013
Conference number: 8th


ConferenceACM Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces Conference 2013
Abbreviated titleITS 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CitySt. Andrews
Internet address


  • classroom
  • guidelines
  • multi-tabletop setting
  • orchestration

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