DiscussionZone: Intuitive User Interfaces for Real-time Chat in a Multi-tasking e-Learning Environment


As part of my Final Year Project (FYP), I designed a user interface which integrates document-editing and text-based chat systems with the power of inserting mathematical symbols, suitable for students to be used in school. Here’s an abstract of the paper I wrote which was submitted to Interfaces and Human Computer Interaction Conference (IHCI) 2012:

Text-based chat is a predominant form of computer-mediated communication today. This paper investigates and reviews the problems of chatrooms as compared to face-to-face conversation, various solutions offered by the research community, and how the method of displaying conversations has changed over the years. In the classroom learning environment, chat has been used as a computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) tool for the past two decades. This paper presents a review of the research carried out to improve the chat user interface experience for students. In particular, it addresses the challenging problem of including mathematical symbols in chat. With an end-goal of developing a collaborative problem-solving math chat system, we offer a design proposal for DiscussionZone – a chatroom in a collaborative multi-tasking environment.

Download the full paper here.

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