Involving Users and Creating Symbols for Tangible Programming: a Case Study with TaPrEC
Published date: 01/06/2020
INTRODUCTION: Participatory Design is an approach that is characterized by the active participation of users as part of the design team, thus reflecting their perspectives and needs in the product design. BrainDraw is a participatory technique for use in the design phase of product creation. This article investigates the use of participatory practices with elementary school teachers, aiming at the redesign of the programming blocks of TaPrEC, a tangible programming environment for children. OBJECTIVE: This work aimed at the redesign of symbols for the repetition blocks of TaPrEC involving the main stakeholders. METHOD: A Case Study in an educational space that offers activities during out-of-school hours to children was carried out using the BrainDraw technique with a group of elementary school teachers to redesign the symbols of the repetition blocks of the TaPrEC. The experimentation and evaluation of the created symbols were carried out by the same teachers and a group of elementary school children. We also applied the Self-Assessment Manikin form to assess the participants' affective responses during participatory activities. RESULTS: The results of the workshops highlight that the symbols created by the teachers have been better accepted by teachers and children. This positive acceptance may result from the fact that the participatory solutions proposed by the teachers suggest associations with everyday elements such as traffic signs and the symbol of multiplication. CONCLUSION: Participatory Design is a process that involves researchers and end-users in creating products for their use. Using this approach, we studied different symbol proposals for representing and understanding the repetition blocks of TaPrEC, a tangible programming environment, to promote a solution that had the participation of stakeholders and reached a solution that made sense to them.