Tabletop Collaborative Reading

This study reports on the design, implementation, and evaluation of a digital collaborative Strategic reading (DCSR) application with regard to its effectiveness for ESL (English as a Second Language) reading. DCSR applications allow users to read collaboratively on multi-touch and multi-user digital tabletop displays, which support both face-to-face and computer-based interaction.

The application created involves several stages of reading and comprehension. In the first stage the students are given a preview of the text. In the second and third they are encouraged to brainstorm about the subject generally and then predict what the document will contain. In the next stage they can identify unknown words from within the text, one paragraph at a time. The unknown words are then collaboratively examined by the group using various “fix up” strategies, such as breaking words down into syllables, showing words in context and eventually obtaining a dictionary definition. The participants then write down “the gist” of the paragraph. Once all the paragraphs are viewed, the final stage requires the participants to look at how their final understanding of the document matches their initial brainstorming and prediction stages.

Date: Sept 2009 – Oct 2012

Project supervisor: Scott Windeatt

Researchers: Philip Heslop, Jaber Maslamani (Digital Institute)