Examining tools and talk with Youtopia: Using discourse analysis to reveal design opportunities for supporting collaboration with tangibles

Date created: 
Collaborative learning
Shared meaning-making
Discourse analysis
Speech acts

This study analyzes learners’ use of speech and tools with a tangible tabletop system, with the goal to understand how learners used the system’s tools to support their interactions as a way to inform future design. Six salient combinations of speech and tool use were found: 1. exploring the activity, 2. proposing plans, 3. advocating for a position, 4. hypothesis testing, 5. working cohesively, and 6. controlling decisions.The findings contribute new understandings about how learners negotiate meaning-making by reflecting together on why they should make key decisions and develop next steps, and using information and tangibles to: develop verbal reasoning, regulate behaviours, support team needs, resolve conflict, and encourage buy-in before acting. As recommendations for design, TUIs which aim to facilitate negotiation should support: the pausing of the activity to engage in discussions, have multi-step actions or interdependent tangibles to support planning, provide low-risk/shared spaces to support deeper understanding of concepts/relationships, and should consider the implications of how tools will be used to influence power struggles and accountabilities in the activities.

Document type: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
Senior supervisor: 
Alyssa Wise
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.