HCIL-2013-02

Yip, J., Clegg, T., Bonsignore, E., Gelderblom, H., Rhodes, E., Druin, A.
January 2013
HCIL-2013-02
Researchers often utilize the method of Participatory Design to work together with users to better enhance technology. In particular, Cooperative Inquiry is a method of Participatory Design with children that involves full partnership between researchers and children. One important challenge designers face in creating learning technologies is that these technologies are often situated in specific activities and contexts. While children involved in these activities may have subject expertise (e.g., science inquiry process), they may not have design expertise (e.g., design aesthetics, usability). In contrast, children with design expertise may be familiar with how to design with researchers, but they may not have subject expertise. Little is known about the distinction between child design and subject experts in Cooperative Inquiry. In this paper, we examine two cases -- involving children with design expertise and those with subject expertise -- to better understand the design process for both groups of children. The data from this study suggests that similarities do exist between the two cases, but that design and subject knowledge does play a significant role in how children co-design learning technologies.
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