Postdoctoral Fellowship

University of Aarhus - Aarhus University Research Foundation

The position

The position will be part of an interdisciplinary research group at the Department of Digital Design and Information Studies with the objective of addressing the challenges that children in special education and their teachers and caregivers face in their learning and everyday life through IT. This will inform a fundamental rethinking of the way in which we conceptualise, design, and develop IT for learning in special education. The work of the group will involve an iterative interplay between theoretical and technical design work and participatory design studies in schools. As a foundation for experiments, the work will be based on the 4-in-1 platform, which crystallises several years of theoretical, ethnographic, and participatory design based research into a relatively simple, yet powerful IT platform that makes it possible to experiment with radically new ways of designing learning tools in special education. In the 4-in-1 platform, two to four co-located touch-based tablets create one shared interactive surface.

The position will involve close collaboration with the project leader Eva Eriksson, as well as programmers and the IDAC research group in Sweden. The work will be collocated with the design group at the Department of Digital Design and Information Studies, associated with the AU interdisciplinary Centre for Participatory Information Technology (PIT), and the Centre for Advanced Visualization and Interaction (CAVI). The research will be undertaken within the Digital Creativity Lab (DCL) and the new interdisciplinary Center for Computational Thinking. The successful applicant will also be affiliated with the highly ranked HCI research group at Aarhus University (http://hci.au.dk).

The aim of the position is to identify the factors that influence the design of collaborative applications for children in special education. We will consider the experiences of pupils and teachers with a view to evaluating the usefulness of such applications as tools for training collaboration and preparing for collaborative learning activities.

Research profile

We are looking for a highly motivated researcher interested in child-computer interaction, collaborative applications, learning and special education. The methodology in the project will involve experimental systems development and participatory design in the context of special education from the viewpoints of children, teachers, and caregivers. The overarching objective will be to use insights into state-of-the-art practices and technologies for collaborative work and play, and to develop, deploy, and assess prototypes of novel applications to improve collaboration in special education with the use of the 4-in-1 platform. More explicitly, the postdoc project is expected to:

  • Study and articulate the challenges pupils and teachers face in managing their learning and teaching tools in their everyday practice.
  • Involve users in participatory design and evaluation.
  • Experimentally explore how the working practices of the said users could be improved by using the 4-in-1 platform through the construction of cutting-edge prototypes and applications.
  • Develop the conceptual and theoretical foundation of the 4-in-1 platform.
  • Chart the technical requirements for realising 4-in-1 through the further development of the platform.

Read the full job description and apply online here.

Application deadline: 29/1/2018.

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