Google Research

Reducing dominance in multiple-mouse learning activities

  • Andrea Moed
  • Owen Otto
  • Joyojeet Pal
  • Udai Pawar Singh
  • Matthew Kam
  • Kentaro Toyama
CSCL'09: Proceedings of the 9th international conference on Computer supported collaborative learning, International Society of the Learning Sciences (2009), pp. 360-364


In resource-constrained classrooms in the developing world, it is common for several students to share each computer. Unfortunately, dominance behavior often naturally emerges in these situations, when one child monopolizes the mouse and keyboard. One way to mitigate this phenomenon is by providing each child with a mouse and a corresponding on-screen cursor so that everyone can interact. Though such multiple-mouse configurations reduce the possibility of total domination by one individual, they do not automatically eliminate dominance behavior completely. We propose the use of a design for small-group learning on shared computers based on enforced turn-taking in a split-screen, multiple-mouse environment. In an evaluation with 104 rural schoolchildren in India, we found that dominance behavior was indeed reduced through these design choices.

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