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Visual informatics

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Various research conducted currently on computer multi-touch technologies involve work environments such as collaborative meeting interfaces (Scott 2002; Widgor 2006), which enables visualization, shared displays, document sharing (Karahalios and Berstorm 2006; DiMicco 2005; Borchers 2006), organization of content (Rekimoto and Saitoh 1999; Shahram 2003;Crabtree 2008; Lindley 2008) and group decision making. Current study in this area does not involve visual cognition principles embedded in the multi-touch environment for education applications. This means that teachers find it difficult to determine whether learners are truly undergoing effective collaborative learning. Multi-touch tabletops that has embedded the functionality to conduct an efficient user identification capabilities are also still relatively new tools that have not been fully investigated. Therefore,this research will incorporate findings of the previous research on cognition and multimedia instructional design for learning into the development of the prototype called Mi Tabletop™ to create a novel approach to display text, multimedia, augmented reality inputs on a horizontal interactive surfaces, using a combination of strategies and devices to resolve the inherent difficulty of using the conventional monitor and keyboards for collaborative learning purposes.The idea is that with the use of an interactive multi-touch tabletop, it provides a testbed for exploring the very foundations of education and communication in problem solving during collaborative learning. This multi-touch tabletop (Mi Tabletop™) provides a fluid interaction and meaningful multi-display of content to become the users’ true cognitive prosthesis (substitute for eyes etc), based on visual cognition principles. Such visual cognition environment is suitable for applications used for collaborative learning, where knowledge can be extracted easily through the multi-touch environment for presentation of information, brainstorming and group decision making essential in collaborative learning process (Halimah 2010; Riaza & Halimah 2010). However, this paper highlights the use of the visualization tool (Mi Tabletop™) embedded in the multi-touch tabletop to evaluate individual students in small group collaborative learning experience based on the learning material called ‘Digital Mysteries’ (Kharrufa et al. 2009), which was specifically developed to investigate the use of multi-touch tabletops in a face-to-face collaborative environment. Digital Mysteries was designed to be used on the multi-touch tabletop prototype that uses Tangible User Interface (TUI) that is the multi-pen that looks and feel like the normal pen. Qualitative and Quantitative analysis based on student trial videos were conducted based on their work logs. Criteria that could be visualized to reflect students’ ‘cognitive’ behavior were tracked by the tool as well as teachers (with educational psychology background) to see if the findings matched at the end of the trials. This would indicate the effectiveness of the visualization tool.

This talk is part of the Rainbow Group Seminars series.

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