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Foss, E., Guha, M., Franklin, L., Clegg, T., Findlater, L., Yip, J. (April 2014)
Designing Technology with Students with Learning Differences: Implementing Modified Cooperative Inquiry

Cooperative Inquiry provides a framework for involving children in the design process of technologies intended for use by children. Traditionally, the Cooperative Inquiry approach has been applied in laboratory settings with typically developing children. To extend Cooperative Inquiry to better suit diverse populations, the authors build on previous work conducted in a classroom with students with learning differences. Four implications for modifying Cooperative Inquiry when working with children with learning differences, drawn from the authors' previous research, were implemented in the current study. The recommendations of (1) informal social time, (2) high adult-to-child ratios, (3) verbal as well as written instructions, and (4) planning for high levels of engagement were used to engage ten boys ages eleven and twelve with diagnoses of learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, autism spectrum disorders, and anxiety disorders. These students and researchers, working as a team, developed an adventure-based computer game while following the modified form of Cooperative Inquiry. The first three recommendations were upheld during the current study, with the fourth not observed as strongly as during the initial work.

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