Inclusive Child Engagement in HCI: Exploring Ocean Health with Schoolchildren

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, King, John orcid iconORCID: 0009-0006-3919-1731, Sim, Gavin Robert orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9713-9388, Allen, Julie, Doumanis, Ioannis orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4898-7209, Graham, Tony Lee orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1414-1544, Xu, Dongjie orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5670-8257 et al (2024) Inclusive Child Engagement in HCI: Exploring Ocean Health with Schoolchildren. In: 23rd Annual ACM Interaction Design and Children Conference, 17-20 June 2024, Delft, Netherlands.

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In a ten-week project with nine school classes across the North West of England we explored ocean health with IT-enabled solutions. We describe the activities carried out under headings of participation, learning, and design. Participation activities, which included recruitment, focused on setting the parameters for children’s inclusion and ensuring they understood how data might be used, and that handing in artefacts to the research team was their choice. Learning happened in an environment of contextual relevance that enabled children to develop data literacy whilst we could explore relevant research questions. Design was a journey from individual to whole-class design, while developing engineering thinking and social cohesion. We reflect on the journey showing that children learned from the activities and acquired a new enthusiasm for their local coastline. We reflect on how our inclusive approach can broaden HCI research to wider communities of children and encourage others to apply our model.

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