Explanation-Giving in a Collaborative Tangible Tabletop Game: Initiation, Positionality, Valence and Action-Orientation

Peer reviewed: 
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Wise, A.F., Antle, A.N. and Warren, J. 2017. Explanation-giving in a collaborative tangible tabletop game: Initiation, positionality, valence and action-orientation. In Proceedings of International Conference on Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL ‘17) 471-478.

Date created: 
Tangible computing
Digital tabletops
Student roles
Positive interdependence
Sustainability education

Explanations given to each other by 20 pairs of 5th grade children while playing a tangible tabletop sustainability game were analyzed inductively for key themes relating to their use of language, gesture and system tools. Half the pairs had been assigned roles (human development or natural resources manager) with associated system controls. Findings showed that explanations by pairs in both conditions often employed collectivist language (“we”) in conjunction with positive reflections on the game-world state using the provided Impact Tool which gave feedback while system was paused. Pairs in the roles condition also gave explanations in response to partner actions and more frequently included negative and actionoriented prospective language about what should be changed moving forward. Roles pairs additionally used questions to seek confirmation or action from their partner and made comments from the perspective of the inhabitants of the fictional world. Implications for theresearch and design of collaborative tabletop learning systems are discussed.


CSCL 2017, the 12th International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning

Making a Difference: Prioritizing Equity and Access in CSCL. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, June 18-22, 2017

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Rights remain with the authors.
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
Graphics, Animation and New Media Network of Centres of Excellence (GRAND NCE)