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Interpersonal expression in the special educational needs classroom: an experience-centred design case study

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Abigail Durrant
  • Jonathan Hook
  • Roisin McNaney
  • Keir Williams
  • Thomas Smith
  • Tony Stockman
  • Patrick Olivier
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction
Issue number1
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)34-47
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper describes our Experience-Centered Design (ECD) enquiry into the current and potential role of digital photography to support interpersonal expression in a class of children (aged 11-15 years) at a mixed special education needs school. Presented as a case study, we describe five classroom-based creative workshops that engaged pupils with a broad range of complex special needs, and classroom staff. From these workshops, we generated a set of qualitative considerations for the design of digital photographic tools to support interpersonal expression in this setting. Additionally, we present the evaluation of a photo-sorting system we developed in response to our workshop findings and evaluated in the school over a period of 12 months. Our case study demonstrates how an ECD approach can guide a creative interaction design process in a special education needs setting, supporting interaction designers in empathising and responding pragmatically to the complex and dynamic interactions at play between the stakeholders. We further discuss design research approaches to user groups in such settings, and consolidate our insights about conducting research through design for social inclusion.