Why Tangibility Matters: A Design Case Study of At-Risk Children Learning to Read and Spell

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Faculty/Staff
Final version published as: 

Fan, M., Antle, A.N., Hoskyn, M., Neustaedter, C., and Cramer, E.S. 2017. Why tangibility matters: A design case study of at-risk children learning to read and spell. In Proceedings of Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '17), 1805-1816.

Date created: 
2017-05
Keywords: 
Tangible user interfaces
Dyslexia
Children
Embedded interaction
Reading acquisition
Mixed-methods
Abstract: 

Tangibles may be effective for reading applications. Letters can be represented as 3D physical objects. Words are spatially organized collections of letters. We explore how tangibility impacts reading and spelling acquisition for young Anglophone children who have dyslexia. We describe our theory-based design rationale and present a mixedmethods case study of eight children using our PhonoBlocks system. All children made significant gains in reading and spelling on trained and untrained (new) words, and could apply all spelling rules a month later. We discuss the design features of our system that contributed to effective learning processes, resulting in successful learning outcomes: dynamic colour cues embedded in 3D letters, which can draw attention to how letter(s) position changes their sounds; and the form of 3D tangible letters, which can enforce correct letter orientation and enable epistemic strategies in letter organization that simplify spelling tasks. We conclude with design guidelines for tangible reading systems.

Description: 

CHI 2017, May 06 - 11, 2017, Denver, CO, USA

Language: 
English
Document type: 
Article
Rights: 
Rights remain with the authors.
File(s): 
Sponsor(s): 
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
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