Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Engineering and Sciences

First Advisor

Guy Boy

Second Advisor

Lucas Stephane

Third Advisor

Kastro Hamed

Fourth Advisor

Muzzafar Shaikh


Mark Weiser’s 1988 vision of ubiquitous computing was the source of many research efforts, which contributed to incorporate computers into our current everyday life. One of the research topics is “Tangible User Interface” (TUI) that provides physical representation and control of underlying digital information. This dissertation describes how TUI can support children’s learning and enhance the classroom environment, in which children can interact and engage in language and math exercises using digital augmented physical blocks. This TUI environment enables children to learn, either individually or cooperatively, how to assemble letters and form words, as well as calculate using numbers and simple math operators. The TUI environment prototype was human-centered designed. It was incrementally developed through several iterations that involved formative evaluations in a real classroom context with 5 to 8 years old children. We found out that this TUI environment supported and improved learning through collaboration, as well as children engagement and interaction involving positive modes. In conclusion, the current prototype can serve as an effective learning aid based on a collaborative playful model.


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