Multi-touch tables and collaborative learning

Steve Higgins, Emma Mercier, Liz Burd, Andrew Joyce-Gibbons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development of multi-touch tables, an emerging technology for classroom learning, offers valuable opportunities to explore how its features can be designed to support effective collaboration in schools. In this study, small groups of 10- to 11-year-old children undertook a history task where they had to connect various pieces of information about a mining accident to reach a consensus about who had been responsible. Their interaction using traditional resources was compared with their interaction when using a multi-touch table. Analysis suggests that the design and capabilities of the multi-touch technology offers some key features that supported the collaboration and interaction of the participants, particularly in the early stages of the task. Some of these features appear to provide new opportunities for collaboration and interaction, which were different from the interactions observed in the paper-based groups. These features of the multi-touch surface therefore appear to support effective interaction between the pupils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1041-1054
Number of pages14
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Technology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Multi-touch tables and collaborative learning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this