TVLAB: Experimental television for children

TVLAB is an experimental television laboratory oriented toward education innovation in schools. The project is promoted by Laboral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial and funded by Gobierno del Principado de Asturias y Ministerio de Educación Cultura y Deporte.
TVLAB forms parts of a bigger educational project oriented toward innovating educational practices in schools in Asturias.
The project is mainly devoted toward training teachers in Project-Based learning and skills-based curricula. This training takes place through an experiential process where schools are involved in one-year project in which children produce their own audiovisual products. Schools came to the TVLAB for a total of 10 sessions (4 hours each) during the overall years. During this process. the children have to choose a topic or theme of their interest and work on it in a transdisciplinar and collaborative way. During the year, the children work in researching, formalizing and producing different format of audiovisual material such as tv shows, fictional stories or documentaries based on their own interests and concerns.

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The TVLAB is set-up as a television set that affords and needs coordination, collaboration and shared attention to work. During the last year, some relevant projects addressed the need for structural improvements in the schools and the creation of a fictional story on the values of elderly and the values of childhood.
For more information about the project, look at: http://tvlab.laboralcentrodearte.org/
If you want to see the videos produced by the children: https://vimeo.com/user39653974

Pico’s Adventure: A Kinect Game to Promote Social Initiation in Children with Autism Spectrum Condition

 

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Pico’s Adventure is a Kinect game for children with autistic spectrum disorder, aimed at promoting social initiation. The project was part of the European Project “M4all: motion- based adaptable playful learning experiences for children with motor and intellectual disabilities” and developed in the collaboration between the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and the Specialized Unit on Developmental Disorders of the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu.

My role

During my Phd  I have been working in the design and evaluation of the game “Pico’s Adventure” . Specifically, I focused in the requirements elicitation, participatory design, evaluation and reporting.

Defining the project

schermata-2016-10-17-alle-19-47-31Context: European Project “M4all: motion- based adaptable playful learning experiences for children with motor and intellectual disabilities”

Goal: Develop  a Kinect-based game for children with Autistic Spectrum Condition aimed toward promoting social initiation, understood as the promotion of behaviors such as approaching and looking for others, trying to start social communication and producing any verbal or gestural behavior for communicative goals.

Target users: 4-6 children with Autistic Spectrum Condition

The concept:  THE GAME AS A MEDIATOR OF SOCIAL COMMUNICATION = Design situations that:

  •  Are valuable for the children to communicate about them
  • Integrate therapeutic techniques used to facilitate social initiation
  • Require the child to look for external collaboration

Challenges

  • Make an experience that is relevant for children and effective in terms of therapeutic goals
  • Orchestrate requirements from therapists and children’s interests
  • Test the therapeutic effectiveness of the developed game

The Design Approach

  • Elicit and combine requirements from therapists and children

Approach: Narrative- based elicitation to combine narrative structure and therapeutic techniques

Method: Participatory Design with Children and Focus Groups with therapists

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  • Iterative Design and Evaluation : field notes, video analysis, questionnaire for stakeholders feedbacks

The Game

During the game, the children will be introduced to a fantasy world inhabited by a friendly mascot (the virtual agent), named “Pico”, who will accompany them in the journey toward social initiation. Children – either alone or in collaboration with adults and peers – will have to help the mascot, an amicable alien, who landed on our planet Earth after having some problems with its spaceship. Children will have to help it in overcome different missions, each one designed to address a targeted behavior related with social initiation. Within that, major emphasis will be posed on designing game situations that require the child to seek for the collaboration either of an adult or a peer.

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The evaluation

The game has been evaluated in two stages: a first exploratory stage aimed at evaluating its acceptance by the child, and a second experimental study oriented at assessing the effectiveness of the game in trigger target behaviors related with social initiation.

Experimental study

schermata-2016-10-17-alle-21-38-09Population: The study  involved 15 boys with ASD between 4 and 5 years old.

Goals: In the study we compare social interaction between free-plays activities and games activity

Methods: For the analysis we employed systematic video-coding by focusing specifically on: Social requests, Social initiation, Responses, Gestures

 

Results

schermata-2016-10-17-alle-20-41-27Results show a significant increase of social initiation behaviors in 1st and 4th game sessions compared to free play (p< 0.05)

 

 

 

 

Lessons Learned

  • The use of narrative resources showed to be an effective mediator between different disciplines, framework and generations.
  • We develop a set of effective participatory design methods for populations with special needs
  • Effectiveness of immersive, bodily-based interaction to support social initiation and collaborative behaviors

Related publications

Malinverni, L., Mora-Guiard, J., Padillo, V., Valero, L., Hervás, A., & Pares, N. (2016). An inclusive design approach for developing video games for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Computers in Human Behavior.

Malinverni, L., MoraGuiard, J., Padillo, V., Mairena, M., Hervás, A., & Pares, N. (2014, June). Participatory design strategies to enhance the creative contribution of children with special needs. In Proceedings of the 2014 conference on Interaction design and children (pp. 85-94). ACM.

Mora-Guiard, J., Malinverni, L., Pares, N., (2014) Narrative-Based Elicitation: Orchestrating Contributions from Experts and Children, in CHI ’14 Extended Abstracts Proceedings of ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Toronto, Canada

THE GAME “PICO’S ADVENTURE”  IS AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOADING FOR WINDOWS 7 or WINDOWS 8 in the following webpage: http://m4all.widetesting.info/

Embodiment & the Socio-Affective Aspects of Collaboration

Analyzing the impact of different interfaces on collaborative attitudes.

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During my PhD I’ve been researching on how different interaction paradigms -one based on Full-Body Interaction and the other on Desktop computer interaction- may impact the socio-affective aspects of collaboration. The results of this research showed that Full-Body Interaction had a highly significant impact on how the participating children perceived collaboration in small groups and on how they felt about the other children in the group. This indicates that Full-Body Interaction may be beneficial for supporting the construction of a positive social space for collaborative learning, given its potential to enable the use of embodied resources, which are fundamental for social communication and social cognition.

Here you can find the paper that report the results:

 

Rethink Game Design through Feminist Methodologies

“Or what a feminist perspective can bring to the design of video games?”
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During the seminar “Xoy1 Digital Industry and Gender” (Sevilla), with Manuela Acereda we carried out a 4 hours workshop aimed at collaboratively create a series of prototypes of mini-games capable of offering a critical perspective to the topics of gender, subjectivity and identity in the Internet . The workshop was based on the re- appropriation and remix of feminist and theatrical methodologies.The methodologies used were based on three key concepts: embodied experience, synesthetic thinking and intersubjectivity. Embodied experience was been addressed through the use of theatrical techniques oriented towards putting the body into action. The synesthetic thinking has been used to translate ideas proceeding from a logocentric field of knowledge (cultural studies) to visual, theatrical and plastic languages, in order to explore the semiotic values of the materials.To enact intersubjectivity we used the sharing of subjective experiences as the starting point for ideating games. Participants were invited to share their personal experiences related to “gender/subjetivity /identity and internet” and to use their reciprocal narrations as raw materials for game design. At the end of the workshop participants prototyped different games capable of implementing novel mechanics and proposing new imaginaries.

Here you can find a presentation summarizing the experience:

And here a short abstract of the talk we gave at ECER 2014 “The Past, the Present and Future of Educational Research in Europe”, Porto, Portugal: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265592516_Rethink_Game_Design_through_Feminist_Methodologies_a_Case_Study

Learning through Full-Body Interaction

Or learning through the body in technologically enriched spaces.

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For my PhD I’ve been researching on how novel interfaces may shape learning experiences. In particular my research focused around Full-Body Interaction interfaces, understood as interactive system that allow users to interact with digital technology through the use of their bodies and the physical space.  This kind of interaction opens promising possibilities given its capacity to involve the users at different levels, such as sensorimotor experience, cognitive aspects and affective factors.

If you want to know more about Full-body Interaction and its application in learning contexts you can read my paper: Malinverni, L., & Pares, N. (2014). Learning of Abstract Concepts through Full-Body Interaction: A Systematic Review. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 17(4), 100-116. Available at: http://www.ifets.info/journals/17_4/7.pdf

 

Body, Technology and Learning

Or whether our bodies may help us in learning.

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During my Master project I’ve been working in the design and evaluation of an educational application aimed at supporting the learning of  Archimedes’ principle through concrete and embodied experiences. Results proceeding from an experimental study carried out with 331 children show modest but noticeable improvements in test scores from children that played with the embodied interface, thus suggesting potential design directions for the development of educational games

If you want to know more about the project, read: Malinverni, L., Silva, B. L., & Parés, N. (2012, June). Impact of embodied interaction on learning processes: design and analysis of an educational application based on physical activity. In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (pp. 60-69). ACM.

Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Laura_Malinverni/publication/235652686_Impact_of_embodied_interaction_on_learning_processes_design_and_analysis_of_an_educational_application_based_on_physical_activity/links/0fcfd5124bbc792e79000000.pdf