Ahmed Kharrufa

ahmed.kharrufa@ncl.ac.uk | Faculty

Ahmed Kharrufa

I am lecturer in Interaction Design at Open Lab, Newcastle University. I am leading the educational technology research at Open Lab and my research in this area focuses on the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of processes and technologies than can bridge the gap between schools and their communities as well as to enhance learning and the learning experience. My research and interest in the area of interaction design, on the other hand, ranges from improving our experience in interacting with digital surfaces, spaces and the IoT to rethinking the design of, and interaction patterns with, online platforms and services.

I am also the director of Reflective Thinking, an educational technology start-up. I founded Reflective Thinking to realize the impact of my PhD by commercializing ‘Digital Mysteries’ (a tool for collaborative learning and thinking skills development). Digital Mysteries is now a platform for releasing topic-specific apps on the Apple store. Currently there are about 30 apps covering different educational topics and different age groups with more than 500,000 downloads from over 60 countries.




A Unified Model for User Identification on Multi-Touch Surfaces: A Survey and Meta-Analysis
Kharrufa A, Ploetz T, Olivier P, ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction
Group tagging: Using video tagging to facilitate reflection on small group activities
Qarabash H, Heslop P, Kharrufa A, Balaam M, Devlin M, British Journal of Educational Technologyepub ahead of print
ThinkActive: Designing for pseudonymous activity tracking in the classroom
Garbett A, Chatting D, Wilkinson G, Lee C, Kharrufa A, CHI '18 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems


Remix Portal: Connecting Classrooms with Local Music Communities
Dodds C, Kharrufa A, Preston A, Preston C, Olivier P, 8th International Conference on Communities and Technologies (C&T '17)203-212
Exploring Public Places as Infrastructures for Civic M-Learning
Richardson D, Crivellaro C, Kharrufa A, Montague K, Olivier P, 8th International Conference on Communities and Technologies222-231
Group Spinner: Recognizing & Visualizing Learning in the Classroom for Reflection, Communication & Planning
Kharrufa A, Rix S, Osadchiy T, Preston A, Olivier P, Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems5556-5567
Students’ Perceptions of Learning Processes as Co-Authors of Digital Tabletop Activities
Heslop P, Preston A, Reid A, Kharrufa A, 31st International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2017)


Virtual.Cultural.Collaboration - Mobile phones, video technology, and cross-cultural learning
Sarangapani V, Kharrufa A, Balaam M, Leat D, Wright P, Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services, MobileHCI 2016341-352
Making L2 learners' reasoning skills visible: The potential of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Environments
Lin M, Preston A, Kharrufa A, Kong ZR, Thinking Skills and Creativity303-322
SOLE meets MOOC: Designing Infrastructure for Online Self-Organised Learning with a Social Mission
Celina H, Kharrufa A, Preston A, Comber R, Olivier P, 2016 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS '16)484-496
Expressy: Using a Wrist-Worn Inertial Measurement Unit to Add Expressiveness to Touch-Based Interactions
Wilkinson G, Kharrufa A, Hook J, Pursglove B, Haeuser H, Hammerla N, Wood G, Hodges S, Olivier P, ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 20162832-2844


Using IMUs to identify supervisors on touch devices.
Kharrufa A, Nicholson J, Dunphy P, Hodges S, Briggs P, Olivier P, Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2015565-583
Comparing Fatigue When Using Large Horizontal and Vertical Multi-touch Interaction Displays.
Al-Megren S, Kharrufa A, Hook J, Holden A, Sutton S, Olivier P, Human-Computer Interaction–INTERACT 2015156-164
Evaluating Digital Tabletop Collaborative Writing in the Classroom
Heslop P, Preston A, Kharrufa A, Balaam M, Leat D, Olivier P, Human-Computer Interaction - INTERACT 2015: 15th IFIP TC 13 International Conference531-548


Collaborative enquiry through the tabletop for second/foreign language learners
Lin M, Preston A, Kharrufa A, Kong Z, EUROCALL 2014: CALL Design: Principles and Practice202-208
Enhancing language learning around the digital tabletop: do actions speak louder than words?
Preston A, Kharrufa A, Lin M, Kong Z, Innovative Language Teaching at University: Enhancing student performance


Learning extended writing: designing for children's collaboration
Heslop P, Kharrufa A, Balaam M, Leat D, Dolan P, Olivier P, 12th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC)36-45
Designing for Reflection: A Case Study with Digital Tabletops and Digital Mysteries
Kharrufa A, Leat D, Olivier P, Cases on E-Learning Management: Development and Implementation268-292
Tables in the Wild: Lessons Learned from a Large-Scale Multi-Tabletop Deployment
Kharrufa A, Balaam M, Heslop P, Leat D, Dolan P, Olivier P, CHI 2013: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems1021-1030


Collaborative Strategic Reading on Multi-Touch and Multi-User Digital Tabletop Displays
Maslamani JA, Windeatt S, Olivier P, Heslop P, Kharrufa A, Shearer J, Balaam M, EUROCALL211-216
Magic Land: the design and evaluation of an interactive tabletop supporting therapeutic play with children
Pykhtina O, Balaam M, Wood G, Pattison S, Kharrufa A, Olivier P, DIS 2012: Proceedings of the Designing Interactive Systems Conference136-145


Exploring the Requirements of Tabletop Interfaces for Education
Kharuffa AS, Olivier P, International Journal of Learning Technology42-62
Digital Mysteries: Designing for Learning at the Tabletop
Kharrufa A, Leat D, Olivier P, ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces
Learning Through Reflection at the Tabletop: A Case Study with Digital Mysteries
Kharuffa A, Olivier P, Leat D, World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications665-674


Digital Mysteries: Designing for Learning at the Tabletop
Kharrufa AS, Olivier P, Leat D, School of Computing Science Technical Report Series13
TangiSoft: A Tangible Direct-Touch Tabletop Keyboard
Sulaiman A, Olivier P, Heslop PA, World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications (EDMEDIA 2009)918-926


Attribute gates
Sulaiman AN, Olivier P, 21st Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST)57-66

Associated Projects

  • TangiSoft
    TangiSoft was a hybrid of a physical and soft keyboard, intended to combine the advantages of both. It was designed for use with a digital tabletop, specifically for applications that require high mobility and frequent switching between text entry and ...
    August 30, 2011
  • Digital Mysteries (Digital Tabletops and Collaborative Learning)
    The mysteries learning techniques was created to develop and assess students’ higher-level thinking, with their cognitive processes being shown through their manipulation of data slips. Groups of students are given a mystery with an open question...
    August 30, 2011
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