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Exploring Direct Communication and Manipulation on Interactive Surfaces to Foster Novelty in a Creative Learning Environment

Author(s): Alejandro Catala | Fernando Garcia-Sanjuan | Jose Azorin | Javier Jaen | Jose A. Mocholi

Journal: International Journal of Computer Science Research and Application
ISSN 2012-9564

Volume: 02;
Issue: 01;
Start page: 15;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Interactive Surface | Tangible User Interface (TUI) | Creativity

Information technology has supported learning in many different ways as improvements in communication, virtual environment embodiment and even mobility has allowed remote discussion and collaboration in exploring topics and developing ideas. However, learning environments often lack validation studies related to the grounding technology being used and do not consider creativity as a factor despite being essential for ideas generation and innovation processes which push human development. Moreover, computer-mediated communication quite often limits the effective expression of ideas between peers because technology may be a barrier rather than an aid. Taking this into consideration, this paper proposes the use of interactive surfaces as a promising technology to develop future creative learning environments. An exploratory experiment with 22 teenagers has been conducted. The experiment consisted of reflection, discussion and creation processes in which participants created entities with basic building blocks. The environment based on the interactive surface was compared to a completely tangible approach based on a tabletop with wooden blocks. A creativity model is used in the evaluation in terms of novelty, flexibility, fluency of thinking and motivation. The results showed that creations’ novelty is significantly higher in the digital environment and also higher collaboration degree was observed so that this technology should be considered in the development of future learning environments to support creativity.
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