Shima Salehi, Jain Kim, Colin Meltzer, and Paulo Blikstein. 2012. Process pad: a low-cost multi-touch platform to facilitate multimodal documentation of complex learning. In Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI ’12), Stephen N. Spencer (Ed.). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 257-262.
This paper introduces Process Pad, an interactive, low-cost multi-touch tabletop platform designed to capture students’ thought process and facilitate their explanations. Process Pad is designed to help students improve their thinking skills and meta-cognition in various subjects. The system is intended to dynamically externalize how a student arrives at the final answer. Process Pad enables the documentation of students’ think-aloud narratives that would otherwise be tacit. Our focus is on identifying and understanding key themes in creating opportunities for students to externalize and represent their thought process using multimodal data. From our user observations, we gleaned four design perspectives as essential criteria based upon which we form our design decisions: flexibility, tangibility, collaboration and affordability. Our initial results show that for many users explaining their reasoning or problem-solving procedure is a challenging activity in itself, and for learners to be able to deepen their understanding by narrating or re-enacting a process there would be many intervening steps. To address these challenges we designed scaffolding activities, which made use of the system’s affordances to improve students’ explanation skills.