Technologies, Tools, and Techniques for Online Design-Based Activities with Children

Guest Editors

• Naska Goagoses, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany
• Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Namibia University of Technology, Namibia
• Erkki Rötkönen, University of Turku, Finland
• Tariq Zaman, ASSET, University of Technology Sarawak, Malaysia

Important dates

  • Deadline: October 30th, 2023 -> December 15th, 2023 (hard deadline)
  • Notification to the authors: January 30th, 2024
  • Camera ready paper: February 28th, 2024
  • Publication of the special issue: May 2024 (tentatively)


In this special issue, we are calling for contributions dealing with distributed online co-design with children and its wider field of design-based learning. We are looking for both theoretical and methodological reflections on the position of participatory design and co-design and empirical cases that advance design practices with children in online environments. A significant contribution of the volume will focus on facilitation tools and techniques connected to the contemporary challenges of distributed online design in formal settings (i.e. K-12) or informal settings with children.
Effective techniques and tools for co-located environments (Antle et al., 2020, Zaman et al.,2022), which foster the genuine participation of children (Kinnula & Iivari, 2021), have been established over the years within the child-computer interaction community. However, technologies, tools, and techniques for distributed online co-design with children are only beginning to emerge, with much room for new developments and the need for adaptations. Co-design with children in online and hybrid environments, encountered constraints in the utilization of existing technologies and tools, and challenges when applying longstanding design facilitation techniques (Itenge et al., 2021; Rötkönen et al., 2021; Rötkönen et al., 2022, Winschiers-Theophilus et al., 2022,). Within online environments, new technological affordances and methods need to be explored, and established facilitation strategies and co-design methods need to be amended (Bertran et al., 2022; McVeigh-Schultz & Isbister, 2021; Walsh et al., 2015; Warren et al., 2022). The move to online environments offers a variety of challenges but also new opportunities (Fails et al. 2022), including the collaborative participation of children that are geographically distributed (Winschiers-Theophilus et al., 2022). Given the challenges, yet also the novel opportunities, a larger collection of theoretical and empirical work about online co-design with children and design-based learning is required.

Topics of Interest

We invite researchers drawing upon design-based research approaches to share their theoretical, methodological, or practical perspectives. We welcome submissions that report on qualitative or quantitative studies, systematic reviews or scoping reviews, as well as theoretical and reflective pieces.
The indicative list of topics of interest for this special issue  includes, but is not limited to:

● Geographically distributed participants
● Ethical considerations and implications
● Special educational needs
● Inclusion, diversity, and heterogeneity
● Social-emotional learning
● Intergenerational engagement and communication
● Facilitation tools and techniques
● Supportive technologies and platforms
● Formal and informal educational contexts
● Design-based learning in K-12

Submission procedure 

All submissions must be original and may not be under review by another publication.
The manuscripts should be submitted anonymized either in .doc or in .pdf format.
All papers will be blindly peer-reviewed by at least two reviewers. Prospective participants are invited to submit a 8-30 pages paper (including authors’ information, abstract, all tables, figures, references, etc.).
The paper should be written according to the IxD&A authors’ guidelines .
Submission page -> link
(when submitting the paper please choose the section: ‘SI: Technologies, Tools, and Techniques for Online Design-Based Activities with Children’)

For scientific advices and for any query please contact the guest-editor:

• naska [dot] goagoses [at] uni-oldenburg [dot] de
• hwinschiers [at] nust [dot] na
• rotkonenerkki [at] utu [dot] fi
• tariqzaman [at] uts [dot] edu [dot] my

marking the subject as: IxD&A special issue on ‘Technologies, Tools, and Techniques for Online Design-Based Activities with Children’.

References and Related Work

• Antle, A., Hourcade, J., Blikstein, P., Fails, J. A., Garzotto, F., Iversen, O., … & Revelle, G. (2020, April). Child-computer interaction SIG: Looking forward after 18 years. In Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1-4).
• Bertran, F., Pometko, A., Gupta, M., Wilcox, L., Banerjee, R., & Isbister, K. (2022). Designerly tele-experiences: A new approach to remote yet still situated co-design. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 29, Article 44.
• Constantin, A., Alexandru, C., Korte, J., Wilson, C., Fails, J. A., Sim, G., … & Eriksson, E. (2021). Distributing participation in design: Addressing challenges of a global pandemic. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, 28, 100255.
• Fails, J., Kumar Ratakonda, D., Koren, N., Elsayed-Ali, S., Bonsignore, E., & Yip, J. (2022). Pushing boundaries of co-design by going online: Lessons learned and reflections from three perspectives. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, 33, 100476.
• Itenge, H., Sedano, C. I., & Winschiers-Theophilus, H. (2021, March). Virtually Escaping Lock Down-co-designing a mixed reality escape room narrative with Namibian learners. In 3rd African Human-Computer Interaction Conference: Inclusiveness and Empowerment (pp. 103-112).
• Goagoses, N., Rötkönen, E., Winschiers-Theophilus, H., Zaman, T., Itenge, H., & Tan, D. (2022, June). Facilitation techniques and tools for online project-based learning with primary school students [Presentation & Paper]. International Conference on Education and New Developments 2022, Madeira, Portugal.
• Goagoses, N., Winschiers-Theophilus, H., Zaman, T., Itenge, H., Rötkönen, E., Tan, D., & Smith, R. (2022, October). Facilitation tools and techniques for distributed online co-design with children [Workshop]. Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (NordiCHI 2022), Aarhus, Denmark.
• Kinnula, M., & Iivari, N. (2021). Manifesto for children’s genuine participation in digital technology design and making. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, 28, 100244.
• Lee, K. J., Roldan, W., Zhu, T. Q., Kaur Saluja, H., Na, S., Chin, B., … & Yip, J. (2021, May). The show must go on: A conceptual model of conducting synchronous participatory design with children online. In Proceedings of the 2021 CHI conference on human factors in computing systems (pp. 1-16).
• McVeigh-Schultz, J., & Isbister, K. (2021, May). The case for “weird social” in VR/XR: a vision of social superpowers beyond meatspace. In Extended abstracts of the 2021 CHI conference on human factors in computing systems (pp. 1-10).
• Rötkönen, E., Winschiers-Theophilus, H., Goagoses, N., Itenge, H., Shinedima, G., & Sutinen, E. (2021, June). Playing on the Globe: Facilitating virtual communications between Namibian and Finnish learners to co-design an interactive map game. In Interaction Design and Children (pp. 160-170).
• Rötkönen, E., Winschiers-Theophilus, H., Zaman, T., Itenge, H., Goagoses, N., Tan, D., & Sutinen, E. (2022). Creating smart connected learning ecosystems: A hybrid model for design-based learning. IxD&A Interaction Design & Architecture(s), 52, 81-100.
• Van Mechelen, M., Laenen, A., Zaman, B., Willems, B., & Abeele, V. V. (2019). Collaborative Design Thinking (CoDeT): A co-design approach for high child-to-adult ratios. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 130, 179-195.
• Walsh, G., Donahue, C., & Rhodes, E. E. (2015, April). KidCraft: Co-design within a game environment. In Proceedings of the 33rd annual ACM conference extended abstracts on human factors in computing systems (pp. 1205-1210).
• Warren, J. L., Antle, A. N., Kitson, A., & Davoodi, A. (2022, June). Lessons learned and future considerations for designing remotely facilitated co-design studies with children focused on socio-emotional experiences. In Interaction Design and Children (pp. 37-49).
• Winschiers-Theophilus, H., Goagoses, N., Rötkönen, E., & Zaman, T. (2022). Pushing political, cultural, and geographical boundaries: Distributed co-design with children from Namibia, Malaysia and Finland. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, 31, 100439.
• Zaman, T., Lim, D., Makosa, I., Goagoses, N., Rötkönen, E., Itenge, H., … & Winschiers-Theophilus, H. (2022, June). A children-created virtual learning space station. In ACM International Conference on Interactive Media Experiences (pp. 241-244).