Title: Action-effect mappings in tangible interaction for children with intellectual disabilities

Authors: Taciana Pontual Falcão

Addresses: Institute of Education, University College London, 20, Bedford Way, WC1H 0AL, London, UK; Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Rua Manoel de Medeiros, s/n, Dois Irmãos, 52171-900, Recife-PE, Brazil

Abstract: Children with intellectual disabilities have difficulties in responding effectively to the environment and present a strong dependence on physical materials. While the debate over the effectiveness of these materials remains, tangible technologies introduce new interactional and representational possibilities for mappings between physical actions and their effects, enhancing processes of exploration and laying the basis for learning through experience. However, the benefits of the educational opportunities created by these modes of interaction and feedback need further research. Based on qualitative analysis of empirical data from children using four tangible systems, this work indicates temporal and spatial contiguity, and simple causality, as key design characteristics for supporting construction of action-effect mappings in tangible environments by children with intellectual disabilities. In conjunction with previous work, findings suggest that actions must lead to consistent effects, with a clear and single cause, and given through visual representations immediately subsequent to action, co-located in space.

Keywords: intellectual disabilities; tangible interaction; systems design; action-effect mappings; exploratory learning; system feedback; temporal contiguity; spatial contiguity; causality; visual representations; qualitative analysis; children; learning technology.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLT.2017.089908

International Journal of Learning Technology, 2017 Vol.12 No.4, pp.294 - 314

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 08 Feb 2018 *

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