Fiddling, Pointing, Hovering, and Sliding: Embodied Actions with Three Evaluation Tools for Children

Cristina Maria Sylla, University of Minho,
Elena Márquez Segura, Uppsala University,
Akeiylah DeWitt, University of California, Merced,
Ahmed Sabbir Arif, University of California, Merced,
Eva Irene Brooks: Centre for Design, Learning & Innovation

Alberto Mora
Oct 2 · 2 min read

Observing how users handle certain evaluation tools can give researchers invaluable information about the user’s thinking process. Also, specific evaluation tools and their affordances can indeed support reflection and communication with the researcher.

Here, we studied two accepted evaluation tools: The Five Degrees of Happiness, and the Sticky Ladder rating scale; together with the Paper Ladder, a paper version of the latter. Thirty-six preschoolers rated two creative and play activities (“Painting” and “Construction Blocks”) and a game (“Musical Chairs”) in terms of difficulty, enjoyment, and preference.

Drawing from theories of embodied and distributed cognition, we performed a video analysis of the children’s interactions with these tools, focusing on how each tool supported the children’s cognitive processes and communication with the researcher. Here, we first describe children’s embodied behavior and discuss how these were supported by design features and affordances of the tools. Then, we discuss the strengths and shortcomings of each evaluation method. Last, we provide recommendations for their design, appropriation, and usage by researchers developing and evaluating playful solutions and games for children.

Finally, we have made the Paper Ladder freely available for download under the following link:

Contact author: Cristina Maria Sylla

CHI PLAY session:
EmBodied Gaming
Wednesday, 23 October 2019, 11:00–13:30

Please feel free to also write comments or questions for the authors in the space below!


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