Non-formal Learning through Ludic Engagement within Interactive Environments
Sammanfattning: daptive responsive environments that encourage interaction for children with severe disabilities offer a distinct potential for play and learning in rehabilitation. Physical training and therapy for these children is often enduring, tedious, and boring through repetition - and this is often the case for both the child and the facilitator/therapist. Despite this, little is yet known about how the utilization of empowering technology influences the users' communication and learning. The aim of this thesis is twofold: to contribute to the understanding of the role of action and interaction in the learning involved when people with different abilities are using interactive environments, and to make a contribution to the research field by concluding at tentative generalizations on design for non-formal learning in interactive environments. The thesis consists of seven studies which analyze different aspects of action and interaction in interactive environments. The first study investigated different interfaces relative to how they encouraged and supported the children's actions and engagement in activities. The second study investigated the role of the facilitator in creating conditions for participation and its relationship to motivation. The third study tested the potential of utilizing sensor technology to empower control of multimedia feedback across different sample groups of user abilities. The fourth study is a meta-analysis which further investigated the effects of using interactive environments in rehabilitation. The fifth study explored the potentials of interactive environments for people with special needs who were empowered within a volumetric non-invasive interface to actively experience gestural control of sonic events. The sixth study explored how children with severe disabilities used a robotic light system for interactive play. The child's facial expressions, hand, and head movements, which were synchronous to the robotic device control were the basic unit of analysis. The seventh study investigated children's dynamic movements when acting, reacting, and interacting in a gameplaying activity. The seven studies contribute towards an understanding of the encapsulation of learning and design aspects relative to the use of interactive environments in rehabilitation targeting non-formal learning through ludic engagement.
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