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How Children Contributed to the Design of Edublox Online Tutor

This paper reports on how children contributed to the design of the interface of Edublox Online Tutor. Read the abstract or click on the image below to read the full paper.

Abstract. Over the past 20 years a vast amount of research has been published on participatory design (PD) with children – especially in the field of educational technology design. The literature reveals many advantages (e.g. giving children voice in design), but also some challenges (e.g. overcoming the power distance between co-designers). What is difficult to find in published results on PD with children, is evidence that the children’s design ideas are suitable for development into actual products. Serious educational games (SEGs) have to meet certain requirements. If children participate in the design of SEGs but their designs do not fulfil these requirements, are we still supposed to include them in the final product? Researchers often present examples and descriptions of the prototypes produced by child designers, but they do not always discuss to what extent these ideas are implementable. This paper reports on a study to assess children’s contribution to the design of a web based educational application in the form of a SEG. Using a case study, children’s prototypes were analysed using a valued framework for SEG design to determine if their designs satisfy the requirements of SEGs. The results demonstrate how children naturally include the elements of the SEG design framework. The findings confirm that involving children in the design of a web based educational game using well-tested techniques for doing PD with children, will result in design ideas that are in line with general requirements for SEGs and are thus implementable. 




Gelderblom H. (2017). What children really contribute when participating in the design of web-based learning applications. In: Xie H., Popescu E., Hancke G., Fernández Manjón B. (eds.), Advances in Web-Based Learning – ICWL 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 10473. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.