SOS: Orchestrating Collaborative Activities Across Digital and Physical Spaces Using Wearable Signaling Devices

Davinia Hernández-Leo, Raul Nieves, Ernesto Arroyo, Andrea Rosales, Javier Melero, Josep Blat.
Information and Communication Technologies Department, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Published in:
Journal of Universal Computer Science.

Carrying out collaborative learning activities (supported by technologies or not)typically involves the  coordination  of multiple  participants, in their dynamic assignment to groups and roles and in the distribution of resources and tools to specific group or individuals. While the mechanisms required to address these  coordination  aspects in digital educational spaces have been largely studied, less research has been conducted on orchestration support forfacilitating this coordination in (technology-enhanced) physical spaces, such as the classroom or the playground. This paper presents the Signal Orchestration System (SOS), a system that augments the physical environment with digital signals indicating orchestration aspects. The SOS facilitates its integration with digital educational spaces to  allow transitioning activities from digital to physical spaces.  The  paper describes the SOS system and its underlying architecture through a functional prototype that has been developed to show its feasibility and to enable its evaluation in authentic situations. The main components of the prototype include aManager, where orchestration visual  and auditory signals  are configured, changed on the fly and transmitted, and three different designs of Wearable Signaling Devices, which are carried by participants and render the orchestration signals.  The prototype has been used in two different experiments in the context of a real course applying  adaptations of the well-known Jigsaw collaborative learning flow pattern. The results show that the SOS enables a flexible dynamic orchestration of the collaborative activities.

Author’s Version
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D Hernández-Leo, R Nieves, E Arroyo, A Rosales, J Melero, J Blat. SOS: Orchestrating Collaborative Activities Across Digital  and Physical Spaces Using Wearable Signaling Devices. Journal of Universal Computer Science (accepted  for  publication).