Call: Workshop on Exploring Collaboration with Shareable Interfaces

Workshop on Exploring Collaboration with Shareable Interfaces

**Update: we’re delighted to be able to announce that Pierre Dillenbourg will be the third keynote speaker at this event**

16th and 17th of September 2010

Call for participation: deadline 28th May 2010

This 2-day workshop at the University of Sussex aims to bring together researchers from across disciplines who are analyzing interaction, talk and gesture, involved in the development of collaboration. It will focus on how shareable interfaces can both support and help us understand processes of collaboration associated with typical and atypical development. It follows from the highly successful workshops on shareable interfaces held in 2008 at the University of Sussex ( and 2007 at the Open University (

Shareable interfaces are designed to support co-located collaboration. They include technologies such as interactive multi-touch walls and tables, tangibles, single display groupware and multiple personal devices used to interact with a shared representation. These technical innovations provide both opportunities and challenges to educators and designers who aim to build systems to better support co-located collaborative learning. On the one hand, these technologies would intuitively seem to support collaborative activity better than the single user PC or the one-to-many whiteboard presentation. For example, tabletop interfaces might encourage equity of participation and be less restrictive of embodied aspects of collaboration such as gesturing and establishing joint visual attention than a keyboard and mouse interface. Carpet sensors, gesture recognition and large wall-mounted displays may support broad channels of communication. On the other hand, shared interfaces can dissipate joint attention, with each person engaged in their own action, or can require negotiation of turn-taking rules that draws effort away from the task in hand. Since the ShareIT project began, there is more research and better understanding of design guidelines to suggest how new technologies might best be used to support collaboration. In addition, a little-explored aspect of shareable interfaces is that they show us forms of interaction we may not have seen before, as users negotiate shared use in a new environment, with different tools at their disposal. In particular, children are growing up in a world populated by such tools as they develop abilities required for collaboration such as self-regulation, joint attention, turn-taking and coordination of social interaction with peers. How do these new tools for collaboration illuminate developmental processes and how might they be used to support these processes?

This workshop, sponsored by the ShareIT project (, will draw together researchers using a range of analytic techniques, whether or not in the sphere of new technology, to illustrate productive ways of bringing out the possible benefits of shareable interfaces. Workshop themes will include: 

  • analysis of conversation in collaborative working using shareable interfaces, and how such conversation might support learning and conceptual change
  • the role of gesture and the body in supporting collaboration, e.g. simulation, analysis of gestures that support mutual knowledge, methods of assessing gesture and its importance
  • planning and coordination of joint activity, turn-taking and reciprocity, perspective taking, speaking and listening skills
  • the role of shareable interface technology in illuminating and supporting coordination of joint action in typical and atypical development e.g. autism
  • developmental prerequisites for joint action and collaboration and the use of shareable interfaces to understand and support these

The workshop will feature 3 invited talks and several activity sessions to ground discussion and provide a shared focus. The invited speakers will be: 

In addition, it will be associated with two future publications: 

  • CSCL flash issue on supporting and illuminating co-located collaboration and conversation with technology
  • Special issue of BJEP on new directions in conversation and collaborative learning.

Submission and Participation:

Please email a 1 page document including your name, affiliation, research keywords, summary of your work in relation to the themes of the workshop, and short statement of what you hope to get out of the workshop to   A template can be downloaded here:  In order to facilitate coherent discussion participation will be based on accepted submissions only.

Participation is free and will be funded by the ShareIT project. Lunch and refreshments during the workshop will be provided. There will be charge of around £30 for the conference dinner to be paid in cash on arrival at the workshop. Some financial assistance may be available to PhD students to enable participation.


University of Sussex, Brighton, UK

Time and Date:

10am 16th – 4pm 17th September 2010.


Rowanne Fleck and Nicola Yuill (Department of Psychology, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK: r.m.m.fleck, Nicolay

Paul Marshall, Jochen Rick and Yvonne Rogers (Pervasive Interaction lab, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK: p.marshall, j.rick,

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