What is the research project Overcoming Breakdowns in Teams with Interactive Tabletops (ORBIT) lead by the University of Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) all about? 

Research context: learning collaboration with interactive tabletops

There is an increasing recognition that future societal and intellectual challenges can only be solved collaboratively. Yet, constructive collaboration on new challenges is a difficult matter and the joining of people’s forces will only reach its full potential when people know how to collaborate. Hence, learning to learn and to work together must become an important goal in education and professional training.

Shared interfaces such as multi-touch tables and tangible systems mediate and support collaboration by allowing co-located participants to simultaneously interact with digital information on a large horizontal shared screen.

However, the project goes beyond relying on the affordances of shared interfaces to enable participants' collaboration. Indeed, the designed tabletop activity implements a group-worthy task which elicitates and challenges participant's collaboration in order to support the development of collaboration methods.

Research questions:

ORBIT addresses the following research questions:

  1. How to design a tangible tabletop-mediated joint problem-solving activity eliciting participants’ collaboration to overcome breakdowns?
  2. How do the participants cope with and overcome breakdowns in a tangible tabletop-mediated joint problem-solving activity through collaboration?

To go further, what are the project methods and outcomes?

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