Institute of Visual Informatics

Institute of Visual Informatics (IVI)

Leading Digital Technology Across Industrial Revolution

Visualisation Tool for Evaluation of Collaborative Learning on Multi-Touch Tabletop (Mi Tabletop™)

– Headed by Prof. Dato’ Dr. Halimah Badioze Zaman.

The capability of digital tabletops to support collaborative learning was well demonstrated in previous Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) research. However, the lack of its ability to attribute actions to users due to limitation of the hardware to identifying users, formed an obstacle toward evaluation and analysis of individual work in CSCL.


The problem with current digital multi-touch tabletop-based learning applications, is that long sessions of students’ collaborative learning can only be evaluated and analysed based on groups rather than individuals. Thus, the main objectives of this research was to build an intelligent analysis system for students’ collaborative learning in order to acquire collaborative interaction patterns that are associated with individual students’ achievements; and to develop an interactive visualisation tool to make meaning to these interaction patterns in order to help teachers evaluate individual students’ collaborative learning activities and outcomes. The research was conducted by analysing video recordings and interaction logs of students in groups, solving an open ended problem using a digital tabletop-based educational application. This was done to identify frequent interaction patterns of both high and low achieving students in their learning process. The intelligent analysis system was used to find patterns in the interaction logs of collaborative learning sessions. The interactive visualisation tool, on the other hand, was used to illustrate patterns of achievement of individual student in the collaborative problem solving sessions. The tool was able to assist teachers in understanding what was happening at the long collaborative learning sessions using the multi-touch tabletops, and at the same time evaluate the achievement of each individual student in these sessions. A practical usability test was conducted on the analysis system and the visualisation tool and validated using a triangulation approach.


The results obtained from the analysis system and the visualisation tool was compared with that obtained from the video analysis conducted by educational experts. Findings of the research indicated that the logging collaborative learning interactions is important for the analysis and evaluation of students’ behaviour and their achievements; and that visualisation-based evaluation is significant, specifically in small group learning for both co-located CSCL classroom and post activity CSCL sessions. The research contributions are as follows: i) Development of an intelligent analysis system for students’ collaborative learning assessment; ii)Development of an interactive visualisation tool to depict collaborative learning interaction patterns; iii) A set of frequent interaction patterns of students whilst solving open-ended collaborative learning problems; and iv) Recommendations for collaborative learning application developers to support the analysis of students’ learning in their application designs.


The MiTabletop has since been designed and developed not just to be used in collaborative learning in elementary and secondary schools, but it has also been used in preschools and also in the army to help commandants design or plan war tactics and make decisions in their own group of battalions. This research was a collaborative research conducted between IVI, UKM and Newcastle University Upon-Tyne, UK.