Small CCI – Exploring App Evaluation with Preschoolers

Read, Janet C orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7138-1643, Horton, Matthew Paul leslie orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2932-2233, Fitton, Daniel Bowen orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2300-5432, Sim, Gavin Robert orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9713-9388, Dick, Rhona Anne, Mazzone, Emanuela and Forbes, Rachel (2023) Small CCI – Exploring App Evaluation with Preschoolers. In: IDC '23: Proceedings of the 22nd Annual ACM Interaction Design and Children Conference, 19-23 June 2023, Chicago, Illinois, United States.

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Child-Computer Interaction (CCI) is predominantly studied with school aged children. Working with preschool children, generally unable to read or write, involves addressing many challenges around planning, recruitment, and interpretation of findings. There are few examples in the literature of the challenges faced when conducting evaluations of technology with preschool children and very few evaluations conducted for commercial software companies. Our case study paper describes a six-week, twelve session, evaluation study of a commercial app (Lingokids) with children aged three and four in two nursery (preschool / kindergarten) schools. We describe challenges we met and describe how we adapted our plans to fit the context. We show how we were able to explore engagement and learning without gathering any personal data. With our practical tips and reflections, we hope our work will encourage others to work with young children in ways that respect their limited ability to understand assent and participation.

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