Learning extended writing: Designing for children's collaboration

Philip Heslop, Ahmed Kharrufa, Madeline Balaam, David Leat, Paul Dolan, Patrick Olivier

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

3 Citations (Scopus)


We describe the learner-centered design of an application for collocated collaborative writing on digital tabletops. Learning writing is an activity that is traditionally undertaken as a non-collaborative, non-visuospatial activity. We demonstrate how framing writing as a visuospatial manipulation of elements of writing sub-tasks can promote collaboration. While collaborative visuospatial activities lend themselves to digital tabletops in particular, not all activities naturally translate into such tasks. Our application allows for (or supports) writing as a collaborative task, as well as providing a platform for students to learn extended writing. We describe the mapping between the design principles used, and the pedagogical and thinking theories that are incorporated into the design. The design is described at each iteration, including the associated user studies, and we conclude with a discussion of more widely applicable design implications. This research shows how traditional non-collaborative learning activities can, using visuospatial representations, be reconfigured as collocated collaborative learning activities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of IDC 2013 - The 12th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2013
EventInteraction Design and Children (ACM) 2013 - New York, United States of America
Duration: 24 Jun 201327 Jun 2013
Conference number: 12th


ConferenceInteraction Design and Children (ACM) 2013
Abbreviated titleIDC 2013
CountryUnited States of America
CityNew York


  • Collaboration
  • Digital tabletops
  • Distributed cognition

Cite this

Heslop, P., Kharrufa, A., Balaam, M., Leat, D., Dolan, P., & Olivier, P. (2013). Learning extended writing: Designing for children's collaboration. In Proceedings of IDC 2013 - The 12th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (pp. 36-45) https://doi.org/10.1145/2485760.2485765