Interfaces for thinkers: Computer input capabilities that support inferential reasoning

Sharon Oviatt

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

6 Citations (Scopus)


Recent research has revealed that basic computer input capabilities can substantially facilitate or impede people's ability to produce ideas and solve problems correctly. This research asks: What type of interface provides best support for inferential reasoning in both low- and high-performing students' Students' ability to make accurate inferences about science and everyday reasoning tasks was compared while they used: (1) non digital pen and paper, (2) a digital pen and paper interface, (3) pen tablet interface, and (4) graphical tablet interface. Correct inferences averaged 10.5% higher when using a digital pen interface, compared with the tablet interfaces. Further analyses revealed that overgeneralization and redundancy errors were more common when using the tablet interfaces and among low performers. Implications are discussed for designing more effective computational thinking tools.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICMI 2013 - Proceedings of the 2013 ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction
EditorsAndrew Sears , Kristina Jokinen, Bjorn Schuller
Place of PublicationNew York, United States
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781450321297
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Multimodal Interfaces 2013 - Coogee Bay Hotel, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 9 Dec 201313 Dec 2013
Conference number: 15th (Conference website) (ACM proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Conference on Multimodal Interfaces 2013
Abbreviated titleICMI 2013
Internet address


  • cognitive load
  • inference
  • pen interfaces
  • thinking tools

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