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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

SynergyNet: Supporting Collaborative Learning in an Immersive Environment

Grant reference: RES-139-25-0400

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Journal article details

Multi-touch tables and collaborative learning
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.

Primary contributor

Author Steve Higgins

Additional contributors

Co-author Liz Burd
Co-author Emma Mercier
Co-author Andrew Joyce-Gibbons

Additional details

28 November 2012
British journal of educational technology

Cite this outcome


Higgins, Steve et al (2012) Multi-touch tables and collaborative learning. British journal of educational technology. 43 (6), pp. 1041-1054 Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.


Higgins Steve et al. Multi-touch tables and collaborative learning. British journal of educational technology 2012; 43 (6): 1041-1054.