Tablet for Two: How do Children Collaborate around Single Player Tablet Games?

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Tablet computers are increasingly used in school classrooms. However, despite the fact that these devices are conceived as single-user devices, and most games or apps developed for them are designed for single-users, pairs or groups of students usually use these devices. Surprisingly little research has been done to explore the ways in which these devices support or not children's collaboration – instead research has focused on larger tabletop computers, or on collaboration around configurations of multiple tablet computers. In this paper we present a case-study analysis of pairs of children playing single player tablet games together. We use a combination of temporal video analysis and the Collaborative Learning Mechanisms (CLM) framework previously developed to understand collaboration around surfaces. This analysis aims to unpack collaborative interactions around these devices and identify ways in which successful and less successful collaborations occur. A comparison of our findings to previous studies of interactions around larger tabletop surfaces reveals some of the ways interactions around tablets differ to these. We use these understandings to begin to outline some of the issues to take into consideration when facilitating and designing for children's collaboration around single tablet computers.


Original languageEnglish
Article number102539
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Human Computer Studies
Early online date16 Sep 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Sep 2020