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18 Years of Ethics in Child-Computer Interaction Research: A Systematic Literature Review

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Recent years have seen growing interest in 'ethics' within the Child-Computer Interaction (CCI) community. In this paper, we take stock of 18 years of CCI research by conducting a systematic literature study exploring how and to what extent ethics has been dealt with in the community's leading venues: the Interaction Design and Children (IDC) conference and the International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction (CCI). Searching all papers in the IDC conference proceedings and IJCCI, 157 papers were found that use the word stem 'ethic*'. Based on our analysis of these papers, our study demonstrates that while ethics is frequently mentioned, the literature remains underdeveloped in a number of areas including definition and theoretical basis, the reporting of formal ethical approval procedures , and the extent to which design and participation ethics is dealt with. Based on our study we provide five avenues of future research in the interests of developing a more explicit discourse on ethics in CCI.
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18 Years of Ethics in Child-Computer Interaction Research:
A Systematic Literature Review
Maarten Van Mechelen
Center for Computational
Thinking and Design
Aarhus University
Aarhus, Denmark
mvanmechelen@cc.au.dk
Gökçe Elif Baykal
Center for Computational
Thinking and Design
Aarhus University
Aarhus, Denmark
elif.baykal@cc.au.dk
Christian Dindler
Center for Computational
Thinking and Design
Aarhus University
Aarhus, Denmark
dindler@cc.au.dk
Eva Eriksson
Center for Computational
Thinking and Design
Aarhus University
Aarhus, Denmark
evae@cc.au.dk
Ole Sejer Iversen
Center for Computational
Thinking and Design
Aarhus University
Aarhus, Denmark
oivesen@cc.au.dk
ABSTRACT
Recent years have seen growing interest in ‘ethics’ within the
Child-Computer Interaction (CCI) community. In this paper,
we take stock of 18 years of CCI research by conducting a
systematic literature study exploring how and to what extent
ethics has been dealt with in the community’s leading venues:
the Interaction Design and Children (IDC) conference and
the International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction (CCI).
Searching all papers in the IDC conference proceedings and
IJCCI, 157 papers were found that use the word stem ‘ethic*’.
Based on our analysis of these papers, our study demonstrates
that while ethics is frequently mentioned, the literature remains
underdeveloped in a number of areas including definition and
theoretical basis, the reporting of formal ethical approval pro-
cedures, and the extent to which design and participation ethics
is dealt with. Based on our study we provide five avenues of
future research in the interests of developing a more explicit
discourse on ethics in CCI.
Author Keywords
Ethics; Children; Child-Computer Interaction; Systematic
Literature Review
CCS Concepts
Human-centered computing Interaction design theory,
concepts and paradigms;
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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3392063.3394407
INTRODUCTION
Recent years have seen an increased interest in ethics in Child-
Computer Interaction (CCI) research. At the IDC 2018 con-
ference, a panel emphasized the need for a more developed
understanding of ethics in IDC research raising questions such
as what do children gain from participating in our research
and what constitutes evidence of those benefits, how can we
explain to children what the research is that we want them to
participate in, and as researchers, what are our obligations to
the community of children we work with after the research
ends? This was followed by a similar 2019 initiative, which
‘broadened the discussion of ethics in the Interaction Design
and Children’ [74]. Also, recent IDC conferences have re-
quired a mandatory section on child participation and recruit-
ment for all research papers including ethical considerations
on how children are engaged in the design process and what
consent processes were followed, how they were treated, how
data sharing was communicated, and especially any additional
ethical considerations. In this paper, we extend the concern for
addressing ethics in CCI by exploring how and to what extent
ethics has been dealt with in CCI research. We address this
question by conducting a systematic literature review of 18
years of CCI research as presented in the IDC conference pro-
ceedings and in the International Journal of Child-Computer
Interaction (IJCCI), the two primary venues of the CCI com-
munity.
Merriam-Webster defines ‘ethic’ as “. . . the discipline dealing
with what is good and bad, and with moral duty and obliga-
tion”. While overarching definitions, such as this one, provide
a starting point, the ambition of this study is to investigate to
what extent CCI research contains more contextualized articu-
lations of ‘ethics’ in relation to designing technology for and
with children, acknowledging that this area of research comes
with “. . . unique ethical challenges and responsibilities, related
both to the inclusion of children in the research and design
processes and to the outcomes of that work” [71]. Others
have pursued this line of inquiry before. Markopoulos et al.
[121], for instance, address ethical and legal issues related to
evaluating interactive products for children, whereas Antle [9]
discussed the ethics of doing research with vulnerable popu-
lations in CCI. In a 2011 study, Yarosh et al. examined the
values held by the IDC community by analysing nine years of
research. Their ambition was to provide a tool in which par-
ticipants could define its culture, conduct informed research,
and reflect on their own design process [202]. In their study,
‘ethics’ is defined in relation to ‘personal growth’. Yarosh et
al. found that only 2 percent of all IDC papers focuses on
supporting children in developing morally and ethically [202].
However, as pointed out by Frauenberger et al. [74], ethics
also includes a broader concern for children’s well-being be-
fore, during and after their engagement in the design process.
What is labeled as ‘co-design’ and ‘diversity’ values in Yarosh
et al. [202] is referred to by Spiel et al. as research ethics and
thereby included in a more diverse understanding of ethics that
reaches beyond personal growth [179]. According to Spiel
et al. [179], research ethics includes the normative or formal
aspects of ethics determined by laws, norms and guidelines,
but also applied ethics that includes how we can think ethically
about specific issues. Finally, besides from research ethics,
Spiel et al. [179] also remind us to reflect on the level of micro-
ethics understood as the ethics of what happens in concrete
interactions between individuals in the design process (ibid,
p.2). This is in line with the In-Action Ethics framework, that
calls for ethical processes to be responsive to issues as they
arise in design, inclusive of stakeholders and reflective as an
activity [75]. Hence, ethics in CCI research can be considered
in relation to personal growth, as normative research ethics, as
applied ethics and at the level of in situ interactions between
individuals. The study provided in this paper seeks to give a
comprehensive account of the multi-faceted and multi-layered
use of ethics in the CCI community’s primary venues: IDC
and IJCCI. Our mission is to provide a broad overview of the
past 18 years of ethics in CCI research and, more importantly,
to develop a starting point to more thoroughly discuss the
ethical challenges of designing digital technology with and for
children.
The paper reads as follows. First, we briefly discuss how ethics
are a concern in related research areas. Second, we discuss
our methodological considerations for conducting the system-
atic literature review including the selection and analysis of
research papers, and the limitations of our study. Third, we
present the results of our analysis by looking at definitions
and theoretical groundings of ethics, types of ethics, actors
concerned with ethics, and different contexts of ethics. Finally,
we discuss the main findings and formulate actions points to
guide the CCI community forward.
BACKGROUND
Ethics is not only a concern in CCI but has been addressed in
many research areas, often from a multidisciplinary perspec-
tive. Looking beyond CCI, ethics has a long tradition within
fields such as philosophy, medicine and the social sciences,
and is also evident in more closely-related research areas that
deal with children, technology and design. In terms of the
ethics of technology, the related area of HCI has a relatively
well-developed discourse on ethics, dealing with the design
and use of digital technology [169] and HCI-specific research
ethics [72]. In terms of the ethics of design, there are also
resources to be found in related areas. Within design studies,
the discourse on design ethics stretches back to, at least, the
1990’s (e.g. [61, 126]) with a recent overview provided by
Chan [34]. Also, the related area of participatory design has
covered issues ranging from the micro-ethics of participatory
work [179] to broader issues of ethical theories and repre-
sentation [158]. Finally, the issue of engaging with children
in research has been addressed in a wealth of research areas
from social sciences (e.g. [131]) to medicine (e.g. [46]) to
more general considerations on conducting research with chil-
dren (e.g. [4]). The abundance of work in these areas speak
to the relevance and importance of addressing ethics in the
intersection between children, technology and design.
METHOD
We conducted a systematic literature review [79] to explore
how and to what extent ‘ethics’ is addressed in 18 years of
CCI research. In our review, we delimit the scope to IDC and
IJCCI which are the leading venues for the CCI community.
The review is a response to this year’s conference theme “that
invites critical and generative perspectives that take stock of
two decades of IDC research to conceptualize the role and
impact of digital technology for children.” The systematic
review process can be divided into two main parts: (1) data
extraction and selection, and (2) data analysis.
Data Extracting and Selection
Search Query
We included all conference proceedings of IDC which cover
the period between 2003 and 2019. No proceedings of the
first edition of the conference in 2002 are available and, hence,
could not be included in our review. In addition, we included
all articles published in IJCCI from the start of the journal in
2013 until September 2019.
For extracting IDC papers in the ACM Digital Library and
IJCCI articles in the ScienceDirect database, we used the
search query ethic*, which allowed us to search for all
stemmed words at once (e.g., ethics, ethical). This resulted in
a total of 181 papers.
Exclusion Criteria
Since we are interested in how ethics is dealt with in research
and design, we applied the following exclusion criteria to our
initial set of 181 papers:
Papers using the term ethic* exclusively in keywords and/or
references were excluded, as they provide no or little in-
formation about how ethics is addressed in research and
design.
Panels, keynote abstracts, workshop proposals and position
papers, course proposals, doctoral consortium papers, and
editorials were excluded, because these formats either do
not report on research and design or present less mature
work.
Based on these criteria, 24 papers were excluded, resulting in
157 papers for analysis, including 122 IDC papers (i.e., full,
short, work-in-progress, demo and art installation papers) and
35 IJCCI papers. The data extraction and selection process
was conducted by only one author, but all five authors were
involved in defining the exclusion criteria.
Data Analysis
Defining categories
To analyze the selected papers, we used the template approach
for qualitative analysis described by Robson and McCartan
[159]. We derived a set of categories from our research ques-
tion ‘How and to what extent is ethics addressed in CCI re-
search?’ on an a priori basis. These categories served as a
template or ‘bins’ for data analysis, and were refined in two
rounds. For each round, the five authors analyzed 10 randomly
selected papers individually, and then compared the results and
inductively revised the categories. This was done to assure that
the categories reflected the ethics-related content of the papers,
and to create a common understanding of the categories.
The resulting template is as follows:
Definitions of ethics, if any
Theoretical positions with regard to ethics, if any
Types of ethics: formal/informal procedural, design, situa-
tional, participation, or everyday ethics
Primary actors concerned with ethics: researchers/designers,
children, parents, teachers, or domain experts
Primary context of ethics: in the research/design process, in
formal education, or in the product
In addition, we collected meta-data about each paper, includ-
ing the year of publication and the number of instances of
ethic*.
Deductive and Inductive Analysis
All five authors were involved in the analysis. The 157 pa-
pers were randomly assigned to reviewer dyads; each author
analyzed 32 papers as a primary reviewer and another 32 as
secondary reviewer. The primary reviewer read the paper thor-
oughly and categorized the ethics-related content by applying
the template. Text segments that are empirical evidence for
categories were identified, extracted into an Excel sheet, and
provided with a descriptive summary. The secondary reviewer
then checked the categorization and discussed any disagree-
ments with the primary reviewer until consensus was reached.
If needed, the other three team members were invited in the
discussion. All disagreements could be resolved this way. To
improve reliability and consistency, each author was primary
reviewer in one dyad, and secondary reviewer in another dyad,
which means that each reviewer was paired with two different
peers in the review process.
For the second round of analysis, the content of each category
of the template was analyzed and subcategories were identi-
fied inductively. This was done in plenum, and resulted in
between three to eight subcategories per main category. The
subcategories were color-coded in the Excel sheet to provide
a visual overview (i.e., a matrix), enabling the authors to look
for patterns across categories. The categories, subcategories
and patterns are presented in the results section.
Limitations
In terms of limitations, our systematic literature review only
includes papers that explicitly use the term ethic*. It may be
argued that papers can address ethical issues or deal with the
nature of ethics without explicitly using the term or by using
related terms such as ‘values’ or ‘moral’. We are, however,
specifically interested in the discourse on ethics in relation to
CCI, and hence confined the search as described.
Also, this study only includes papers that are published in IDC
proceedings and IJCCI, although there will likely be relevant
work outside these venues (e.g. CHI, TEI). This choice of
scope was done in the interest of maintaining a manageable
corpus of papers and based on the fact that IDC and IJCCI are
the leading venues for publishing CCI research. Moreover, the
review is a response to this year’s conference theme to take
stock of the past two decades of research.
Finally, in terms of reproducibility, we experienced problems
with the ACM Digital Library. Some papers from 2005, 2012
and 2014 did not show up in the search results, because the
pdf files are stored in an unsearchable format. In our study we
have acquired readable versions of the missing proceedings
to make the search complete, but this workaround makes the
reproducibility of this study cumbersome.
RESULTS
In this section, we present the results from the analysis of the
157 included papers. An overview of all included papers is
given in Table 1. In the analysis, we used the category ‘Def-
initions of ethics’ to indicate explicit definitions of ethics in
CCI, and the category ‘Theoretical position’ to code papers
in regards to what references and frameworks are used for
ethics. The category ‘Types of ethics’ was used to identify
different types of ethics that are being addressed in CCI, result-
ing in eight subcategories: formal procedural research ethics,
informal procedural research ethics, situational ethics, partici-
pation ethics, design ethics, everyday ethics, teaching design
ethics, and teaching everyday ethics. In the category ‘Actors
concerned with ethics’, we distinguished between six actors
responsible for ethical concerns: researchers and designers,
children, parents and primary caregivers, educators, and do-
main experts. Lastly, the category ‘Context of ethics’ was
used to identify various contexts in which ethics is practiced,
resulting in three subcategories: in the research and design
process, in formal education and in the product.
The percentage of all papers published in IDC proceedings
(2003-2019) and IJCCI (2013-2019) that mentions ethic* in
the body text is 13,7% (157 out of 1143). We can see an
increasing tendency, from 3% (1 out of 31) of all papers
published in IDC proceedings in 2003, to 32% (34 out of
106) of all papers published in IDC proceedings and IJCCI
in 2019. However, from the 157 papers included in this re-
view, 91 (58%) mention ethic* only once, 25 (16%) mention
ethic* twice, 22 (14%) mention ethic* three times, 9 papers
(6%) mention ethic* four times, and 10 papers (12%) mention
YEAR NR % REFERENCE
2003 1 3 [155]
2004 1 3 [92]
2005 2 12,5 [138, 99]
2006 1 3 [70]
2007 2 5 [54, 45]
2008 3 9 [194, 154, 117]
2009 2 3 [24, 119]
2010 3 5 [120, 82, 76]
2011 4 8 [202, 49, 133, 149]
2012 4 7 [73, 97, 101, 173]
2013 12 10
IJCCI 1 [157]
IDC 11 [38, 145, 52, 93, 174, 69]
[172, 163, 183, 59, 187]
2014 6 8
IJCCI 2 [2, 53]
IDC 4 [43, 151, 58, 113]
2015 9 10
IJCCI 3 [21, 139, 23]
IDC 6 [60, 175, 197, 118, 81, 29]
2016 26 29
IJCCI 2 [66, 147]
IDC 24 [28, 78, 110, 8, 129, 208]
[123, 86, 132, 100, 12, 161]
[85, 148, 176, 111, 146, 33]
[209, 19, 201, 55, 18, 207]
2017 18 14
IJCCI 5 [195, 206, 180, 130, 88]
IDC 13 [35, 57, 98, 200, 114, 144]
[17, 94, 3, 143, 37, 106, 107]
2018 29 23,5
IJCCI 9 [15, 105, 156, 103, 68]
[104, 185, 108, 160]
IDC 20 [203, 192, 196, 178, 199]
[189, 164, 166, 65, 64]
[182, 168, 84, 95, 39]
[87, 205, 171, 198, 134]
2019 34 32
IJCCI 13 [137, 177, 190, 22, 5, 191, 48]
[140, 20, 181, 204, 125, 40]
IDC 21 [7, 210, 16, 170, 184, 115]
[80, 162, 30, 6, 211, 25, 32, 193]
[109, 10, 42, 44, 124, 63, 26, 136]
Table 1. Overview of the 157 included papers according to year and
venue. ’%’ details the percentage of total papers that mention ’ethic*’.
Before 2013, all papers derive from IDC.
One
58%
Two
16%
Three
14% Four
6%
Five
6%
Figure 1. Number of times ethic* is mentioned in the body text of the
included papers.
ethic* five times or more in the body text, see Figure 1 for an
overview.
Definitions and Theoretical Positions
The results revealed 73 unique references for ethics, but no
definitions of the term ethics are provided. However, one pa-
per on immersive virtual reality in classrooms [177], divides
research ethics in procedural ethics [83] and ethics-in-practice
[142]. Procedural ethics is defined as the process of seek-
ing institutional approval for research by demonstrating that
ethical principles have been applied in research design and
protocols. Ethics in-practice is defined as researchers making
judgements and decisions in real time through careful observa-
tion, awareness and sensitivity [142]. Another paper, focused
on ethical concerns in participatory design with children [151],
argues for ‘ethical symmetry’ in addition to consent. Ethical
symmetry between researchers and children is defined as the
understanding of children as social actors, meaning that re-
searchers take as their starting point the view that the ethical
relationship between researchers and informant is the same
whether they conduct research with adults or with children
[41].
The most common type of references found are for formal
procedural research ethics, meaning national or organisational
ethical policies or guidelines, such as National Science Foun-
dation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), American
Psychological Association (APA), Association for Computing
Machinery (ACM), European union, Danish ministry of educa-
tion, British Educational Research Association (BERA), and
similar guidelines provided by national or state organizations.
Another common type of references relates to doing research
with children with disabilities, e.g.[89, 141, 52, 31, 13], and
includes the most cited paper on ethics that presents socially
and ethically aware inclusive design guidelines for people with
disabilities [1]. The three papers citing this work all have a
focus on children with autism or special needs education.
Eight unique references on ethics derive from within the IDC
conference [11, 52, 56, 82, 112, 111, 151, 202]. The most
cited author is from inside the CCI community, Janet Read,
who is cited 6 times, with 4 unique papers [151, 153, 152, 150].
Eight unique references on ethics derive from CHI [91, 89,
122, 127, 128, 153] including a mention of a special interest
group meeting at CHI 2001 [127].
Seven unique references derive from fields such as medicine
and psychology [167, 165, 67, 62, 14, 141, 116], while four
references derives from learning sciences [77, 135, 47]. One
reference stemming from social sciences [186] argues that
ethical problems in research involving direct contact with
children can be overcome by using a participatory approach.
However, participatory design activities raise ethical questions
that are not always considered in a standard ethics review.
Some references on ethics in CCI research are concerned with
this issue, such as the CHECK tool to inform and encourage
ethical practice in participatory design with children [153].
Other examples of references on ethical considerations in
participatory design include [122, 27, 151].
Types of Ethics
We can distinguish eight different types of ethics in CCI re-
search. The first type concerns
formal procedural research
ethics
. This entails procedures to protect participants from
physical and/or psychological harm, obtaining informed con-
sent from children and their parents, procedures to prevent an
invasion of privacy including data collection and storage proto-
cols, and, if applicable, argumentation for the use of deception.
These formal procedures are typically developed before the re-
search and design process, and result in institutional approval
from the university’s review board or ethics committee. How-
ever, the requirements to obtain such formal approval vary
across countries, universities and even faculties. Out of 157
papers, 78 (49%) fit the category formal procedural research
ethics. These papers can be divided into two groups; papers
that briefly mention institutional approval without giving any
further information (e.g.[114, 206, 15, 48, 193]), and papers
that give more details about ethics procedures and how these
were implemented after obtaining institutional approval. For
instance, in the context of a digital game to collect data about
children’s awareness of law in their everyday lives, Law et
al. [110] describe how they verbally informed children and
their parents about the goal of the study, the purpose of the
research tools, their rights as participants, the type of data they
would collect and how it would be anonymized and securely
stored in encrypted devices. A summary of this information
was provided in jargon-free language in a consent form that
parents had to sign before their children could partake in the
research activities. Similarly, Allsop [5] discusses how she
dealt with formal procedural research ethics to conduct fo-
cus groups in schools to evaluate children’s computational
thinking processes. Adhering to the British Psychological So-
ciety Ethical guidelines, she obtained informed consent from
head-teachers of participating schools and parents, informed
children about the goal of the focus groups, explained that
she would audio-record and transcribe their dialogues, and
reminded them of their right to withdraw from the study at any
time.
The second type,
informal procedural research ethics
deals
with similar challenges as the previous category, but in a less
formalised way, and both before and during the research and
design process. Whereas formal procedural research ethics
typically results in institutional approval, this is not the case
for informal procedural research ethics. 32 papers (20%) fit
this category. Examples include considerations about good
ethical practice when working with children (e.g, [82, 144,
42]), the inclusion of vulnerable children in the research and
design process, such as children with special needs (e.g.[73,
53, 176]), and challenges regarding data protection and privacy
(e.g. [70, 157, 106]). Another example concerns the use of
deception in research activities, meaning that children are not
fully informed about the aims of the study they partake in.
Höysniemi et al. [92], for instance, describe the use of the
Wizard of Oz method in the design of computer vision based
action games controlled by body movements. The authors
engage in an ethical discussion related to the use of the method,
and claim that existing ethical codes and principles are of little
help to deal with concerns regarding deception of participants.
The third type,
situational ethics
, considers moments of eth-
ical importance during the research and design process, also
referred to as ‘in-action ethics’ and ‘micro ethics’. These are
often unexpected events, such as a child participant showing
signs of personal distress, to which researchers have to respond
on the spot in ethical ways. When reported, instances of situa-
tional ethics can result in new formal procedural standards in
the long run. Only 3 papers (2%) mention situational ethics.
Pares et al. (2005) discuss ethical challenges that emerged
when involving children with autism and their parents in the
research and design process. They had to tone down the partic-
ipants’ expectations because they seemed to have unjustified
hope that the project would result in “the technical solution”
to autism. Yarosh et al. [203], in turn, explain how they gave
priority to ethical considerations over procedural consistency
when involving children as testers of a speech interface; they
wanted to ensure that every child left the study feeling as if
they succeeded. Another example of situational ethics is pro-
vided by Sim et al. [172], who compared three prototypes
ranging from low to high fidelity within the context of mobile
games. They allowed children who were assigned to test low-
fidelity prototypes to play the high-fidelity version after the
study because it was perceived as more fun.
The fourth type,
participation ethics
, concerns the value of
participation and representation, and how we engage children
actively in the research and design process. This type of ethics
also concerns the interpersonal bonds between researchers and
children, and what children can gain from participating in the
research and design process. Only 9 papers (6%)) fit in this
category. Chen et al. [39], for instance, acknowledge the im-
portance of participation ethics, emphasizing that researchers
and designers have to be sensitive to children’s values when
giving them a voice. In a similar line of thought, Lindberg et
al. [113] point out that participation in research should not
be too demanding, especially when working with vulnerable
populations such as children diagnosed with cancer. Iversen
and Smith [97], in turn, reflect on the shift from politics to
ethics in their participatory design work with teenagers, and
how this approach affects key design activities including the
establishment of the design space, the power relations among
participants, and the final outcome of the project which is not
confined to the research prototype but instead aims to provide
children with meaningful alternatives to existing technologies.
Lastly, Read et al. [150] highlight ethical concerns about par-
ticipatory design with children. To address these concern, they
developed a method to help children understand how their de-
sign ideas are used which itself challenges researchers to seek
a fair and equitable process that is describable and defensible.
The fifth type,
design ethics
, concerns the actual or potential
impact of technology on our lives and society at large. Design
ethics can relate to existing technology and technology that is
currently being developed, and is also referred to as ‘ethics of
technology’. 13 papers (8%) in our selection refer to design
ethics. For instance, Fitton and Read [63], identified a set of
problematic dark design patterns in free-to-play mobile apps
for children, which often include advertising and other mech-
anisms for monetization. With their study, they aim to raise
awareness and stimulate further research on this important
ethical challenge. Antle et al. [10], in turn, reflect on the
possible negative impact of technology advances in robotics
and artificial intelligence in the context of an interactive socio-
emotional learning system that aims to teach children how to
regulate their emotions and develop empathy. Other examples
include concerns raised by researchers about data privacy in
the design of robotic agents that monitor children’s behaviour
and collect sensitive data (e.g. [175, 78, 86, 111]).
The sixth type,
everyday ethics
, deals with ethical concerns
in daily life and social interactions between people without
an explicit link to technology. 18 papers (11%) with a wide
range of topics fit in this category. Fields et al. [60], for in-
stance, discuss everyday ethics in the context of children’s
online communication. Based on an extensive analysis of
children’s feedback on user-generated content in the online
Scratch community, they explain how children negotiate ethics
(e.g., dealing with rude behaviour and copyright infringe-
ments). Cuthbertson [45], in turn, refers to everyday ethics
when presenting a collaborative discovery-based educational
model that simultaneously addresses different learning styles.
This model, that was implemented with emerging interactive
media technologies, resulted in a strong sense of group ethic
among the students, which facilitated their learning. Another
example stems from the work of Malinverni and Pares [118]
who compared children’s collaborative learning experiences
based on two different interaction paradigms (full body and
desktop computer interaction). They mention ethics in relation
to educational policies on the use of technology in learning
contexts. A last example provided by Brevik et al. [30] refers
to ethics in relation to child marriage and presents a mobile
application aimed at informing youth in Malawi about the
prevalence and dangers of child marriage.
The seventh type,
teaching design ethics
, focuses on raising
critical awareness about the impact of technology on people’s
lives and society at large. Here, ethics is conceived as an
explicit learning goal. This is also the case for the eighth
type,
teaching everyday ethics
, aimed at learning children to
become ethical actors and deal with ethical challenges in daily
life. Teaching everyday ethics does not necessarily mention
ethics in relation to technology. Only 2 papers (1%) report on
teaching design ethics, and 3 papers (2%) report on teaching
everyday ethics. Radu and Antle [148] provide a good exam-
ple of teaching design ethics. They present a concept for an
augmented human system that allows students to experience
life from the perspective of different organisms by control-
ling a nanobot entering living creatures. Albeit a simulation,
this approach raises ethical concerns about experimentation
on living creatures for the purpose of learning. The idea is
that, while interacting with the system, students learn to be-
come ethical actors in reflecting on this and similar issues.
Tuhkala et al. [191], in turn, discuss teaching design ethics
in the context of a new learning subject for secondary edu-
cation, technology comprehension, initiated by the Danish
Ministry of Education. An important aspect of technology
comprehension is the ability to critically reflect on technology,
its applicability and impact, and ethical concerns related to
the broader socio-political context in which the technology
is applied. An example of teaching everyday ethics can be
found in the work of Robertson and Good [155] who present
a virtual role-playing environment designed for educational
drama development and writing instruction. They demonstrate
how the system can be used to help children explore difficult
ethical problems through simulation.
Two papers (1.5%) were labelled as ‘miscellaneous’ because
it was unclear which type of ethics was referred to, and for
three papers (2%), two types of ethics could be identified, one
of which being ‘formal procedural research ethics’.
Actors Concerned with Ethics
We distinguished six different actors for whom ethics is of pri-
mary importance in CCI research. In 136 papers (86%), ethics
was mentioned in relation to
researchers and designers
who
are responsible for dealing with ethical concerns before, dur-
ing and/or after the research and design process. One such
responsibility is obtaining institutional approval from the uni-
versity’s institutional review board or ethics committee. Since
this is usually done beforehand, participants do not yet come
into play and, hence, papers that mention ethics in relation
to obtaining institutional approval were categorised as ‘re-
searchers and designers’ to indicate the primary actor. (e.g. [8,
12, 160, 6]). Not surprisingly, researchers and designers could
be identified as a primary actor in almost all papers that deal
with formal procedural research ethics (75 out of 78), informal
procedural research ethics (29 out of 32), situational ethics (3
out of 3), participation ethics (9 out of 9), design ethics (13
out of 13), and roughly half of the papers (7 out of 18) that
deal with everyday ethics. In 33 of the 136 papers that refer to
researchers and designers, one or two additional actors could
be identified to whom ethics is important, and in 26 cases this
additional actor is children. Closely related to researchers and
designers is the actor ‘research community’, in this case the
Child-Computer Interaction community. Here, the community
of a particular research field as a whole is addressed, for in-
stance to share ethical guidelines for working with children in
the research and design process. Only one paper by Yarosh
et al. [202]addresses the community as a whole; the authors
mention ethics as one of the core values of the CCI community
based on a content analysis of nine years of research.
Children
were referred to in 46 papers (29%) as a primary
actor in relation to ethics. Although different wordings were
used across papers (e.g., teens, adolescents, youth, students,
toddlers), we use the term children to refer to all people up
to 18 years old. As expected in CCI research, a wide range
of children is included in the research and design process,
ranging from typically developing children over vulnerable
and underprivileged children to children with special needs.
Moreover, children have different roles in the research and de-
sign process, ranging from passive research subjects to active
participants. Children could be identified as a primary actor
in all papers that deal with situational ethics (3 out of 3) and
teaching everyday or design ethics (5 out of 5), in the majority
of papers that deal with design ethics (9 out of 14) and ev-
eryday ethics (11 out of 18), and in approximately one third
of the papers concerned with informal procedural research
ethics (12 out of 32) and participation ethics (3 out of 9). In 33
out of 46 papers that refer to children, one or two additional
actors could be identified to whom ethics is important, and in
26 papers this additional actor is researchers and designers.
Examples of papers in which children are a primary actor in-
clude the work of Robertson and Good [155] and Radu and
Antle [148] who are concerned with teaching ethics. They
developed technology that aims to teach children how to deal
with ethical challenges in daily life. Other papers that focus
primarily on children include the previously discussed work
of Fields et al. [60], who shed light on how children negoti-
ate ethics in online communities, and Cuthbertson [45], who
discusses how interactive media technologies can facilitate
learning by creating a sense of group ethic. In these exam-
ples of everyday ethics, ethical behaviour emerges between
children without it being an explicit goal of the researchers
and designers. Another ethics actor is
parents and primary
caregivers
. They can be passive research subjects, active par-
ticipants and/or proxies for children (e.g., when participating
on behalf of their children, when providing consent for their
children). Only four papers (2.5%) address ethics in relation
to parents and other primary caregivers whilst also referring to
children and researchers and designers. For instance, Fraser et
al. [70] discuss challenges related to negotiating ethics when
involving families in the design of technology that keeps track
of personal data to support children in their transition between
home and school. Such technology raises ethical concerns
about the rights of children to privacy as it aims to increase
links between home and school while children often actively
resist such information transfer. Similarly, Hartikainen et al.
[86] reflect on the results of a public discourse survey about
children’s online privacy. They argue that parents risk losing
their children’s trust if they restrict internet access and monitor
children’s online behaviour. In designing technical mediation
tools, it is therefore important to aim for transparency and
trust, and to incorporate views of both parents and children.
Educators
are another actor mentioned in relation to ethics,
and refers to both school teachers and all kinds of education
facilitators, such as people who work with children in fablabs
and maker spaces. Only four papers (2.5%) refer to educators
whilst also referring to children, and three of these papers deal
with everyday ethics. A good example is the work of Smith
et al. [174]who reflect on ethical conflicts that may occur
between parents and teachers when involving social technolo-
gies in teaching, especially since children may appropriate the
technology in unintended ways that subvert positive learning
experiences. A different example is provided by Sobel et al.
[175] who discuss the current state of inclusive play in CCI
research based on extensive empirical work. They identified
key facilitators that can support children, parents and teach-
ers with inclusive play, and show how ethics (e.g., privacy
issues) might introduce trade-offs and barriers when designing
inclusive play technologies.
A final actor is
domain experts
, which refers to all third
parties and external stakeholders in the research and design
process (e.g., hospitals, companies). Domain experts were
mentioned in 3 papers (2%) in relation to ethics, whilst simul-
taneously referring to researchers and designers. For instance,
Ferrarini et al. [59] report on a project in which academia
and industry partners joined forces to design for vulnerable
generations, whereas Benveniste et al. [24] and Mora-Guiard
et al. [129] collaborated with hospitals and needed ethical
approval to work in these contexts.
Five papers (3%) were categorised as miscellaneous because
no actor could be identified, and in approximately one fourth
of the papers (26%) ethics was mentioned in relation to two
or three actors; the most common combination are children,
researchers and designers.
Context of Ethics
We distinguished three different contexts in which ethics is
primarily dealt with. A majority of 125 papers (79%) is con-
cerned with ethics
in the research and design process
. Re-
search and design are merged because they are often inter-
twined in CCI literature (e.g., in Research through Design
approaches). Not surprisingly, the research and design pro-
cess was referred to in most papers (75 out of 78) that deal
with formal procedural research ethics (75 out of 78; e.g., [43,
161] ), informal procedural research ethics (30 out of 32; e.g.,
[154, 53]), situational ethics (2 out of 3; [203, 172] ), and
participation ethics (9 out of 9; e.g., [168, 196] ). A further dis-
tinction can be made based on the timing in the research and
design process. Whereas formal procedural research ethics
typically deals with ethics before the start of the process in
order to obtain institutional approval, situational ethics deals
with emerging challenges during the process. For informal
procedural research ethics and participation ethics, the timing
is not as defined.
13 papers (8%) primarily deal with ethics as an issue
in formal
education
. An example is provided by Tinapple et al. [187]
who outline a project-based digital arts curriculum through
which novice secondary school students develop a work ethic
to learn and apply science, technology, engineering and math-
ematics (STEM) skills and computational thinking. Stager
[183] also reflects on students’ work ethic, but in the context
of Papert’s ideas for education and school reform (i.e., the
Constructionist Learning Laboratory) and his influence on the
maker movement more than a decade later. Abrahamson [2],
in turn, points to design researchers ethical obligation to in-
form the commercial production of educational technology for
the school context by explicating their tacit design practice
in workable structures and language. A last example stems
from the work of Tuhkala et al. [191] who discuss the imple-
mentation of a new learning subject for secondary education
in which students are taught about ethical challenges related
to technology. Whereas the latter example deals with teach-
ing design ethics (i.e, raising awareness about the impact of
technology on people’s lives and society at large) in formal
education, the first three examples deal with everyday ethics
(i.e., ethical concerns in daily life and social interactions) in
the context of formal education. Formal education was identi-
fied as the most occurring context for papers concerned with
everyday ethics (10 out of 18). From the five papers that focus
on teaching design or everyday ethics, two papers do so in
formal education.
17 papers (11%) deal with ethics
in the product
, which means
that ethics is primarily addressed as an issue embedded in the
qualities of the product or in the use of the product. Gram-
menos [78], for instance, presents a design concept for a
robotic companion that comes to life the day a child is born
and grows along with it. He highlights both positive and nega-
tive implications, including ethical challenges for children’s
emotional and social wellbeing, and issues related to data
privacy when using robotic companions in everyday life. In
a similar line of thought, Leite and Lehman [111]) discuss
privacy concerns in the context of a social robot that secretly
collects information about a child, and then discloses that in-
formation in conversation in an effort to personalise the child’s
experience. Zaman et al. [205], in turn, reflect on three de-
sign concepts for hybrid, internet-connected toys, and point to
the risk for unethical data treatment when children are being
datafied. All three examples have in common that they deal
with actual or potential ethical implications of technology on
our lives and society at large (i.e., design ethics), and do so by
focusing on the qualities of the product in use. ‘In the product’
is the primary context in the majority of papers concerned with
design ethics (9 out of 13). It is also the preferred context for
papers that focus on teaching design or everyday ethics (3 out
of 5), which means that teaching ethics is not per definition
realised in a the context of formal education.
Four papers (2.5%) were categorised as miscellaneous, be-
cause it was impossible to determine the context of ethics, and
in one paper ethics was dealt with in both the research and
design process and the product (see, Pantoja et al. [136]).
DISCUSSION
CCI embraces the design, evaluation, and implementation
of interactive computer systems for children, and the wider
impact of technology on children and society [90]. As our
findings show, this field of research comes with unique ethical
challenges and responsibilities that are addressed in multi-
faceted and multi-layered ways. Below, we highlight the most
striking findings of our systematic literature review, and formu-
late a set of action points. We leave it to the CCI community to
decide on the relative importance and the priority that should
be given to each of these actions points.
A lack of definitions and shared theoretical groundings of
ethics
When analysing the 157 papers that mention ethics, it became
evident that ethics is poorly defined in CCI research. Moreover,
the majority of papers does not provide explicit theoretical
grounding, and those papers that ground their ethical concerns
relate to literature from a wide range of disciplines including
medicine, learning science, psychology, and social science.
This lack of definitions and a common theoretical grounding of
ethics may come as no surprise since CCI emerged as an inter-
disciplinary research area. However, it can also be interpreted
as both a lack of focus on ethics and a lack of CCI-specific lit-
erature to which researchers can refer, despite previous efforts
by Markopoulos et al. [121]. The fact that the vast majority of
papers matching the inclusion criteria mentions ethics very few
times (see, Figure 1) supports this argument. This is striking
in light of arguments from within the community stressing the
unique ethical challenges and responsibilities related to CCI
research [71]. Nevertheless, the uniqueness of CCI-related
ethics has not yet led to a clear definition nor to a shared theo-
retical understanding of ethics. After 18 IDC conferences, CCI
is at a stage of maturity in which shared text-book material
on the unique ethical challenges could strengthen the research
community significantly.
CCI ethics is most often black-boxed in inaccessible IRB
documents
Our findings revealed eight different types of ethics in CCI
research, but formal and informal procedural research ethics
makes up for 69% of all papers that mention ethics. These two
types of ethics are concerned with protecting participants from
harm, obtaining informed consent and preventing an invasion
of privacy, but they differ in their degree of formality. Whereas
formal procedural research ethics (49% of papers) typically
results in Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, this is
not the case for informal procedural research ethics (20% of
papers). It is encouraging that many IDC papers address ethi-
cal concerns by gaining institutional approval. This formalized
way of dealing with ethical concerns testifies that CCI research
emerges from rigorous and statutory procedures. However,
as IRBs do not follow international or national standards and
thus apply rules and regulations adjusted to a state, university,
or even department level, the content, scope and rigorousness
of the IRB procedures remains opaque for the broader CCI
community. Whereas each of the studies mentioning IRB
approval undoubtedly followed the ethical standards of their
university, we have to consider the wider consequences of this
approach. A large part of CCI papers conceal their ethical
procedures and concerns in an IRB dossier which is inacces-
sible to the community at large. This black-boxing hinders a
shared understanding of ethical concerns (and cultural diversi-
ties) on a global scale, which is inappropriate for a maturing
international research field such as CCI.
Dissemination of situational ethics could lead to new for-
mal procedures
Situational ethics is addressed in only 2% of all included pa-
pers, and concerns responding in real-time to often unexpected
events during the research and design process. The surpris-
ingly low number of papers that report on situational ethics,
also referred to as micro-ethics [179], is critical in the sense
that thorough accounts of situational ethics could eventually
provide the basis for new formal procedures when reported
in academic publications. Despite panels on ethics in recent
years [74, 71] and the mandatory section on “selection and
participation of children” in the paper template (see IDC 2016,
2018, 2019 and 2020), this has not yet led to an increase of
papers dealing with critical cases of situational ethics during
the research and design process. This is striking since the in-
struction for the mandatory section states that “authors should
describe how children were selected, what consent processes
were followed, how they were treated, how data sharing was
communicated, and especially any additional ethical consid-
erations”. Except for the last instruction, the emphasis is on
procedural research ethics. We suggest that the IDC commu-
nity reconsiders the scope and requirements of this mandatory
section to animate researchers to unveil and reflect on their
work with situational ethics.
Participation is a hallmark in CCI research, but not partic-
ipation ethics
Participation has been a hallmark of CCI research for many
years, especially in relation to giving children a voice [51]
or, more recently, enabling them to become the main actor
in design processes [98]. Therefore, it is surprising to find
only 6% of the included papers explicitly dealing with partic-
ipation ethics. This type of ethics concerns children’s active
engagement in the research and design process, the interper-
sonal bonds between researchers and children that emerge
during this process, and what children gain from their partici-
pation. We acknowledge the fact that discussions on the value
of participation can be done using other terms than ‘ethics’.
However, we suggest that the relationship between participa-
tion and ethics should be made explicit in a research field that
pioneers child participation in design.
Design ethics is underdeveloped in CCI research
Design ethics, also referred to as the ethics of technology and
its qualities in use, is addressed as an overall concern in 8%
of all papers and as an explicit learning goal in only 1% of
all papers. The relatively low number of papers on design
ethics is significant since related research areas such as Design
Studies (e.g., [61, 126, 34], Participatory Design (e.g., [179,
158] and Human-Computer Interaction (e.g., [169, 72] have
a relatively long tradition of highlighting ethical concerns in
relation to the design of technology and its potential impact
on people’s lives and society at large. As design with and for
children accentuates these ethical issues, one would expect
that the weight of design ethics in CCI research would be
higher. Especially since design ethics closely relates to the
topic of digital empowerment of children, which is gaining
interest among scholars in CCI research and related areas [98,
102, 188]. Digital empowerment is concerned with how digital
technology affects children’s lives and social interactions in
general. Our literature review found that the increased interest
in digital empowerment is not reflected in the number of pa-
pers on design ethics in CCI. This finding relates to previous
research by Kuutti and Iivari [96]. They reported that there
are very few studies in CCI explicitly addressing critical de-
sign for, with and by children nor studies explicitly embracing
critical research traditions leading to a better understanding
of how technology shapes the lives of children. However, as
studies on children in relation to emerging technologies, such
as AI [50] and child-robotic interaction (e.g., [36]) begin to
emerge, there is perhaps a need for addressing the issue of de-
sign ethics, both as an overall concern and an explicit learning
goal, more explicitly in future CCI research.
CONCLUSION
This study has addressed the question of how and to what
extent ethics has been dealt with in 18 years of CCI research,
thereby focusing on the community’s two leading venues: IDC
and IJCCI. Our review demonstrates that while 157 papers use
the word ethics, the term remains largely undefined and the the-
oretical points of reference are scattered. In terms of the ways
in which ethics is dealt with, our review identifies eight differ-
ent types of ethics. Formal and informal procedural research
ethics make up for the majority of papers, and references to
approval from institutional review boards are frequently used
to account for ethical aspects of conducting research. Our
study also demonstrates the relative scarcity of work dealing
with situational and participation ethics which is remarkable
given that CCI research has a long standing commitment to
participatory practices in design and research. Lastly, our re-
view shows that design ethics, which is concerned with the
impact of digital technology, is addressed by only a few papers.
Given the acknowledged relevance and importance of ethics
in CCI, we consider the results of this study critical and we
suggest that the community needs to commit to developing
a more explicit discourse on the ethics of CCI research and
practice. To this end, we propose five specific avenues of work
that we believe should be leveraged by the CCI community:
Provide a better understanding and theoretical grounding of
the unique ethical challenges of CCI research.
Unpack and communicate the practices related to institu-
tional review boards in order to increase transparency about
procedural research ethics.
Address issues related to situational ethics in research pa-
pers, as this could lead to new formal procedures that are
better attuned to CCI research.
Account for the relationship between participation and
ethics, especially since CCI pioneers child participation
in design.
Address the issue of design ethics more explicitly, both as
an overall concern and a learning goal for children.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This research was supported by VILLUM FONDEN (grant
no. 28831), AUFF-E-2017-7-5, and EU Erasmus+ (ID:2018-
1-SE01-KA203-039072).
SELECTION AND PARTICIPATION OF CHILDREN
No children participated in this work.
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... Another contribution of this paper is identifying areas with growth potential: in education these were target audiences of primary school students and the general public, the use of explorative interaction, and combining more than one type of evaluation (Checa and Bustillo, 2020). A literature review study encompassing 18 years (2003-2019) of research within the Child-Computer-Interaction (CCI) community explored the discourse of ethics within the field of technology and children, including education (Van Mechelen et al., 2020). Results show a lack of shared theoretical understanding of ethics, and a general lack of situational ethics (how to handle situations ethically), participation ethics (participation in the research process), and design ethics (the impact of technology on society) in academic papers. ...
... Results show a lack of shared theoretical understanding of ethics, and a general lack of situational ethics (how to handle situations ethically), participation ethics (participation in the research process), and design ethics (the impact of technology on society) in academic papers. The survey identifies formal education as one of the main context for ethics while researchers and designers, the children and their parents/guardians/care givers, the educators, and the domain experts are identified as the main actors concerned with ethics (Van Mechelen et al., 2020). ...
... Heritage experts and educators are also identified as actors concerned with ethics involving technology with children (Van Mechelen et al., 2020). We seek to collaborate with curators and historians as domain experts to ensure an ethical representation of history within the IVR experience. ...
Article
Full-text available
The use of immersive virtual reality for learning is a growing opportunity that has so far suffered from limited application in the classroom, particularly with students in the 11 to 12 year bracket. Due to more concern being shown toward usability rather educational goals, mixed feelings exist about the technology’s ability to teach. Meanwhile, historical games usually have fun as the main or sole objective, which may cause problems by diminishing the value of the depicted cultural heritage and supersede the intended learning outcomes of the experience. This research aims to contribute toward this gap by working closely with teachers in developing an immersive virtual reality learning experience to teach prehistoric intangible cultural heritage to history students aged 11 to 12 years. The research question of this study is how to go about designing an immersive learning experience for secondary school teachers to teach 11 to 12 year old students about prehistoric cultural heritage on which very little documented evidence is available. To this end, the Re-Live History project was built upon a virtual reality navigation experience of a Maltese Neolithic hypogeum, adding a representation of intangible cultural heritage in the form of human behavior. A content requirement study from heritage experts’ perspective was carried out, followed by a similar study from the history teachers’ perspective. These provided which learning outcomes can be potentially addressed by the immersive learning experience, what form of intangible cultural heritage can be represented, and what success criteria were to be used for its evaluation. A prototype of the experience was then developed and reviewed by the heritage experts and subsequently developed into the experience evaluated by teachers and heads of department. Evaluation was carried out in terms of authenticity relative to the historic site, ease of navigation, impact in terms of achievable learning outcomes, and utility in the classroom. This ensured that educational objectives were given priority and should help teachers embrace and adopt the technology in the classroom. Future work should pilot the use of the IVR in the classroom and provide further empirical evidence to its ability to help such students achieve the learning outcomes expected by the syllabus.
... In addition, we briefly discussed three important issues that a learning technology and CCI researcher needs to be aware of: the importance of the context, ethical considerations, and working with children. There is a growing literature on each of these areas (e.g., Shibani et al., 2019;Van Mechelen et al., 2020;Romero & Ventura, 2017;Luckin & Cukurova, 2019), and we by no means claim to have covered them in detail; nevertheless, this book would have been incomplete if we had not provided an introduction to these important issues. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
User interfaces (UI) are an inherent part of any technology with human end-users. The design of the UI depends heavily on the intended end-user and is therefore extremely important for research in both learning technology (where the learner is the end-user) and CCI (where the child is the end-user). Another important concept of learning technology and CCI research (and also in neighboring fields) is that of “artifact”. Artifacts correspond to novel designs (which may be prototype systems, interfaces, materials, or procedures) that have a certain set of qualities or components (such as functionalities and affordances) and that allow us to experiment (e.g., to isolate and test certain components). This chapter describes how researchers can design educational interfaces, visualizations, and other artifacts to support their experiments and enhance learners’ and children’s experience with technology.
... In addition, we briefly discussed three important issues that a learning technology and CCI researcher needs to be aware of: the importance of the context, ethical considerations, and working with children. There is a growing literature on each of these areas (e.g., Shibani et al., 2019;Van Mechelen et al., 2020;Romero & Ventura, 2017;Luckin & Cukurova, 2019), and we by no means claim to have covered them in detail; nevertheless, this book would have been incomplete if we had not provided an introduction to these important issues. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Learning technology research focuses on the design, development, and/or use of technologies that support learning, whereas CCI research focuses on the design, development, and/or use of technologies that support children’s lives (with a heavy emphasis on learning). Therefore, learning technology and CCI research can be described as research that focuses on the design, development, and/or use of technologies that support learning and/or children’s lives. In this chapter, we provide an introduction to CCI and learning technologies as interdisciplinary fields of research, provide good working definitions and discuss their commonalities, synergies, and complementarities.
... In addition, we briefly discussed three important issues that a learning technology and CCI researcher needs to be aware of: the importance of the context, ethical considerations, and working with children. There is a growing literature on each of these areas (e.g., Shibani et al., 2019;Van Mechelen et al., 2020;Romero & Ventura, 2017;Luckin & Cukurova, 2019), and we by no means claim to have covered them in detail; nevertheless, this book would have been incomplete if we had not provided an introduction to these important issues. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter, we present three topics that are of great importance to CCI and learning technology researchers. The first topic is concerned with the role of “context” in experimental studies, and CCI and learning technology in general. The second topic is concerned with the ethical considerations in experimentation in human-factors IT-related research. The third topic focuses on researchers conducting experimental studies with children, and the need to employ different methods, approaches, and techniques. Although those are the three topics I decided to include in this book, I also believe that additional topics can complement this list.
... In addition, we briefly discussed three important issues that a learning technology and CCI researcher needs to be aware of: the importance of the context, ethical considerations, and working with children. There is a growing literature on each of these areas (e.g., Shibani et al., 2019;Van Mechelen et al., 2020;Romero & Ventura, 2017;Luckin & Cukurova, 2019), and we by no means claim to have covered them in detail; nevertheless, this book would have been incomplete if we had not provided an introduction to these important issues. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Conducting experimental studies in learning technology and CCI research entails an iterative process of observation, rationalization, and validation. Although data collection and data analysis procedures may vary widely in complexity, their selection is based on the research objectives, RQs or hypotheses. So the researchers need to carefully select them and make sure that the research design decisions of data collection and analysis, are adequate for the goals of the study. This chapter provides information on the various data collections and analyses that are usually employed in learning technology and CCI research. This chapter is intended to serve as a guide for CCI and learning technology researchers, and help them deciding what data they need to collect and how they should analyze them to address the goals of their study.
... In addition, we briefly discussed three important issues that a learning technology and CCI researcher needs to be aware of: the importance of the context, ethical considerations, and working with children. There is a growing literature on each of these areas (e.g., Shibani et al., 2019;Van Mechelen et al., 2020;Romero & Ventura, 2017;Luckin & Cukurova, 2019), and we by no means claim to have covered them in detail; nevertheless, this book would have been incomplete if we had not provided an introduction to these important issues. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Thus far, the book provides materials to carry out the whole process of observation, rationalization, and validation, as well as the necessary supporting processes (e.g., artifact design, data analysis, and reporting). At the end of the process, everything is documented in a comprehensive report or a paper, and the respective prototypes, datasets, and practical information are kept on file. An important question, however, remains: In the context of CCI and learning technology research, what are the main reasons for reviewers rejecting a paper or asking for revisions? Considerable effort goes into preparing a paper contribution for a respectable venue (journal or a conference). Researchers do not want to see their effort go to waste, especially if it involves a potentially valuable contribution that could bring credit to authors and fresh insights to readers. Drawing on our own experience and on various guides on how to review papers in CCI, learning technology, and neighboring fields, in this chapter we provide a list of criteria and pitfalls that are common to CCI and learning technology venues.
... In addition, we briefly discussed three important issues that a learning technology and CCI researcher needs to be aware of: the importance of the context, ethical considerations, and working with children. There is a growing literature on each of these areas (e.g., Shibani et al., 2019;Van Mechelen et al., 2020;Romero & Ventura, 2017;Luckin & Cukurova, 2019), and we by no means claim to have covered them in detail; nevertheless, this book would have been incomplete if we had not provided an introduction to these important issues. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Designing and conducting high quality research is extremely important in CCI and learning technology research. However, the same high-quality needs to be followed during the reporting of the work. At the end of the day, this what the reviewers and readers will credit – therefore, reporting is of equal importance. This chapter provides information on how you should structure your article and the information that is usually required. This chapter is intended to serve as a template for CCI and learning technology researchers. Moreover, I have summarized some recommendations based on my experience, as well as on published guidelines and recommendations from neighboring fields.
... In addition, we briefly discussed three important issues that a learning technology and CCI researcher needs to be aware of: the importance of the context, ethical considerations, and working with children. There is a growing literature on each of these areas (e.g., Shibani et al., 2019;Van Mechelen et al., 2020;Romero & Ventura, 2017;Luckin & Cukurova, 2019), and we by no means claim to have covered them in detail; nevertheless, this book would have been incomplete if we had not provided an introduction to these important issues. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
When learners interact with technologies and the learning context, a large amount of data is created. The collection, analysis, and utilization of those educational data has provided opportunities for learning technology (and CCI) research. In this chapter, we will discuss how learning systems produce and utilize educational data. In particular, we will discuss contemporary developments in the fields of learning analytics, educational data mining, and learner modelling; and how those advancements have impacted the design and functionalities of learning technologies.
... In addition, we briefly discussed three important issues that a learning technology and CCI researcher needs to be aware of: the importance of the context, ethical considerations, and working with children. There is a growing literature on each of these areas (e.g., Shibani et al., 2019;Van Mechelen et al., 2020;Romero & Ventura, 2017;Luckin & Cukurova, 2019), and we by no means claim to have covered them in detail; nevertheless, this book would have been incomplete if we had not provided an introduction to these important issues. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter we present a summary of the book, and discuss how the book can support learning technology and CCI researchers. Moreover, we provide some concluding remarks and thoughts for the future of learning technology and CCI research.
Article
Full-text available
While ethics has been part of design research for decades, few studies have explored how designers engage with ethics in practice. Based on interviews with 11 practitioners in design consultancies, this paper explores how ethics is understood and dealt with in commercial practice. Based on an analysis of the interviews, we present six themes that capture how practitioners articulate the concept of ethics, how they distinguish between personal and organisational ethics, and how this relates to serving clients with potentially conflicting agendas. Moreover, the study demonstrates that practitioners do not typically use methods or procedures for dealing with ethics, but rely on ongoing and sometimes ad hoc dialogue. Based on these results, we suggest promising avenues for future work relating to concepts for articulating how ethics is dealt with in the design process and how design activities give rise to different levels of ethical concerns.
Article
Full-text available
Intuitive features could make complex products and interfaces easier to use for children, and designing for embodied interactions is considered as one of the ways to make products and interfaces intuitive to use. However, there is lack of empirical study to validate this relationship and to determine how embodiment could be integrated in the design of products and interfaces. This study has explored embodiment for intuitive interaction in children. The research question for the study was: what is the role of design aspects of embodiment in facilitation of intuitive interaction in children in the context of tactile interactions. The study identified the extent to which design aspects of embodiment facilitate intuitive interaction in children. An observational study with 108 children (55 girls and 53 boys) was carried out. Half of them played with physical Jenga and the other half played with a virtual Jenga. The physical Jenga demonstrated more intuitive interactions than the equivalent virtual interface. Physical affordance is the prime contributor to children’s intuitive interaction with physical products while perceived affordance is the prime contributor to children’s intuitive interaction with virtual interfaces. Embodied interactions can be achieved through the following design aspects of embodiment — physical affordances, perceived affordances, scaffolding, emergence and cooperative activity. The study has further provided recommendations to make interfaces embodied and intuitive through the Enhanced Framework for Intuitive Interaction. These findings are significant as they provide insights into children’s embodied and intuitive interactions, which contribute to the broader context of children’s interaction with physical products and virtual interfaces. Free to download until September 2019 https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1ZTvt7t9Unpq~8
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper explores how a co-design process can be centred around pre-schoolers' enjoyment of constructive play practices, so that they, rather than adults, become protagonists in a design process. The pilot study was conducted involving 25 children from 3-6 years of age in an intuitive three-step design process that allowed the children to self-reliantly express themselves and make their own design decisions. Generative tools, storytelling, and a set of open-ended design tasks stimulated the pre-schoolers to design tactile 3D shapes. Observational data provided insight in the children's playtime and focus during the design process. The results showed that it is possible for pre-schoolers to (1) establish focus on construction play (environment), (2) that their explorative playing is led through distinctive phases of a design process (activity), and (3) that they are able to construct something specific by playing (concept).
Book
An important public discussion is underway on the values and ethics of digital technologies as designers work to prevent misinformation campaigns, online harassment, exclusionary tools, and biased algorithms. Values and Ethics in Human-Computer Interaction reviews 30 years of research on theories and methods for surfacing values and ethics in technology design. It maps the history of values research, beginning with critique of design from related disciplines and responses in human-computer interaction (HCI) research. The review then explores ongoing controversies in values-oriented design, including disagreements around terms, expressions and indicators of values and ethics, and whose values to consider. Next, it describes frameworks that attempt to move values-oriented design into everyday design settings. These frameworks suggest open challenges and opportunities for the next 30 years of values in HCI research.
Article
Smart mobile devices are widely used for dealing with information on education and provide entertainment at home and school. Mobile applications (apps) directed towards young aged children have changed the digital media landscape for infants and toddlers. Parents’ preferences and beliefs towards technology has a major role in toddlers’ and infants’ use of technology as they directly affect the quality and the quantity of digital media available to them especially at home. It is, therefore, crucial to understand how parents perceive the changes imposed by smart screen technologies upon their children’s development; their diverse beliefs, and practices. To date, in Greece, few studies have examined the use of smart screen technologies among young children especially at home. This study presents the main findings from a research conducted with 293 families in Greece between September 2018 and November 2018. It reports on parents’ perceptions regarding children’s usage of smart mobile technologies both at the home and the kindergarten context. The study results show that most of the parents have positive attitudes towards the use of these technologies. Parents want to support their children’s learning and seek to provide a stimulating home learning environment for them. Parents’ answers seem to differentiate depending on socioeconomic background, age and education. Older and less-educated parents seem unable to adapt appropriately to rapid technological progress and thus cannot effectively exploit the advantages that mobile learning technologies have to offer to children. On the contrary, younger parents or parents with a higher education level seem to more easily adapt to the new conditions striving to develop a better learning environment at home. However, the positive parents’ attitudes about mobile learning are hampered by the lack of the knowledge about the choice of apps with ‘substantial educational value’ as well as their use, particularly in the domestic environment. We anticipate that the findings from this study would provide valuable information for early childhood researchers, stakeholders and teachers leading to better learning digital experiences and even better outcomes for young aged children.
Article
There is good evidence that children’s prosocial skills are positively associated with health, well-being, and academic outcomes. Games-based approaches have demonstrated strong potential for teaching prosocial skills in both digital and non-digital formats. However, much of this research focuses on middle-childhood and adolescence and is based on self-reports from teachers, children, and parents. This paper reports on the pilot evaluation of a digital co-operative game (The Chase), which is based on a ‘shared goal’ interaction pattern such that children have to co-operate in order to be successful in the game. 49 children from Italy and 22 children from the UK, aged 7-10 years participated, playing the game twice in small groups during the course of a day. Children’s moves during gameplay were assessed using logging data, and their interactions with each other represented using a graphical social network analysis. Usability feedback was also obtained from some children and pedagogical possibilities explored with teachers. Findings show that even within a very short period children shifted towards a more co-operative mode of play. The social network analysis revealed the dynamics of these interactions while playing the game. Children enjoyed the game and were highly motivated by it, and teachers were very enthusiastic about the possibilities for embedding the game in their curriculum. These findings provide an encouraging basis for extending the range of digital prosocial games available for elementary-aged children and evaluating these as pedagogical tools for facilitating prosocial behaviours.
Conference Paper
The increased interest in promoting CS education for all has been coalescing around the idea of "computational thinking." Several framings for promoting computational thinking in K-12 education have been proposed by practitioners and researchers that each place different emphases on either (1) skill and competence building, (2) creative expression and participation, or (3) social justice and ethics. We review each framing and how the framings structure the theory space of computational thinking. We then discuss how CS education can leverage the explanatory potential that each framing offers to the implementation and evaluation of learning, teaching, and tools in computing education. Our goal is to help CS education researchers, teachers, and designers unpack and leverage the complexities of this theory space (rather than ignoring it) while also addressing broader educational concerns regarding diversity, providing new directions for how students and teachers can actively participate in designing their digital futures, and directing current computing education efforts towards a more humanistic orientation.
Article
Technologies that aim to support preschool children’s learning are emerging rapidly in the industry. However, the developmental needs and abilities of children under 4 years old have been insufficiently taken into account in the early stages of technology design. This paper addresses this gap in the child–computer interaction field by exploring how children between the ages of 2 and 4 years old interact with spatial manipulatives that facilitate their early spatial learning. To this end, we developed Embedded Figures in Stories (EFiS) method to elicit age specific knowledge about preschoolers’ spatial skills (i.e., mental rotation) and inform child-tangible interaction (CTI) design. To develop EFiS method, we modified intervention techniques for early spatial learning found in cognitive developmental studies and incorporated these into design methods used in CTI. In this paper, we first present an argument for why CTI design with and for preschoolers is important for early spatial learning. Second, we describe our method and how we applied it in a case study. Then, we discuss the potential opportunities and limitations of using the EFiS method, along with design guidelines for future use of the method. This study mainly contributes to design methods to extract age specific knowledge about very young children’s spatial thinking skills, which lay a basis for further STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) achievements.
Conference Paper
The majority of mobile apps are free-to-play and so include a variety of forms of advertising and other mechanisms for monetization. These monetization mechanisms often have deceptive elements and closely resemble what designers know as Dark Patterns. In-app advertising and purchasing have been studied with adults but, to-date, younger users have received comparatively little consideration despite their increased susceptibility to manipulation. This paper addresses the gap in research by creating the ADD (App Dark Design) framework which brings together insights from practitioners, theory from existing related research, and the findings from a user study which gathered qualitative data from 39 girls aged 12-13 years. We also derive a set of emerging issues and identify future research questions. This work is the first of its kind to create a framework to support the critical consideration of the design of free-to-play apps. We have identified a set of problematic Dark Design aspects that young people across the world are encountering in their apps every day and we hope this paper will both raise awareness and stimulate further research work on this important topic.
Conference Paper
Machine Learning-based (ML) technologies impact many facets of our lives. Given ML's ubiquity, and the ways it offers creative computational possibilities distinct from programming, we believe it could be a powerful tool for youth to leverage in making, creativity, and play. We investigate how youth with no programming experience can incorporate ML classifiers into athletic practice by building models of their own physical activity. In this paper, we describe a design experiment exploring how to introduce youth to making ML models within the context of their athletic interests. We present AlpacaML, an iOS application that connects to wearable sensors and allows young people to model physical movement using an ML classifier, and detail its use in a three-hour workshop with middle- and high-school athletes. We found the youth were able to collect data, build models, test and evaluate models, and quickly iterate on this process. We finish with a discussion of why this is a promising direction for the incorporation of Machine Learning into novice youth making, exploration, and play.