Evaluating Digital Tabletop Collaborative Writing in the Classroom
We present an evaluation of an “in the wild” classroom deployment of Co-located Collaborative Writing (CCW), an application for digital tabletops. CCW was adapted to the classroom setting across 8 SMART tables. Here, we describe the outcomes of the 6 week deployment with students aged 13–14, focussing on how CCW operated as a tool for learning within a classroom environment. We analyse video data and interaction logs to provide a group specific analysis in the classroom context. Using the group as the unit of analysis allows detailed tracking of the group’s development over time as part of scheme of work planned by a teacher for the classroom. Through successful integration of multiple tabletops into the classroom, we show how the design of CCW supports students in learning how to collaboratively plan a piece of persuasive writing, and allows teachers to monitor progress and process of students. The study shows how the nature and quality of collaborative interactions changed over time, with decision points bringing students together to collaborate, and how the role of CCW matured from a scaffolding mechanism for planning, to a tool for implementing planning. The study also showed how the teacher’s relationship with CCW changed, due to the designed visibility of groups’ activities, and how lesson plans became more integrated utilizing the flexibility of the technology. These are key aspects that can enhance the adoption of such technologies by both students and teachers in the classroom.