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Children's Affective Learning Experience at Home

1 Osmo Coding Awbie: Projects

Background and Goals


  • There's an influx of educational games for young children to learn computational thinking skills. Osmo Coding Awbie is one of the most important players in this market.

  • Given the Covid-19 pandemic, the chances of young children staying and learning at home have been dramatically increasing since 2020. Thus, how the target players interact with such products with parents at home is very important.

  • Educators and parents pay more attention to children's playful learning in the home settings.


Thus, from the theoretical perspectives of UX, child psychology, and affective learning, I aim to explore how children users interact with the tangible tablet-based educational coding game to trigger learning and generate actionable design solutions.

1 Osmo Coding Awbie: Text


  • Heuristic evaluation and game analysis

  • Contextual inquiry design 

  • Participant recruitment

  • Play observations and semi-structured interviews with children in the home setting

  • Affinity Wall and Qualitative Coding

  • Reporting

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1 Osmo Coding Awbie: Text

Crucial Findings

  • First-time child players and parents have problems understanding the animated instructions, the tangible interface, the scanning system of the tangible input at the beginning.

  • Young child players tend to forget the game narratives because they appear only once.

  • Dialogues from parents can mitigate the usability problems and help children construct self-guidance and private speech.

  • The interplay between the game design and children illustrates the two-way causation of affective learning. The challenges and fun design provoke children's curiosity and motivation. Children can deal with challenges with their problem-solving strategies and computational skills, and feel a sense of progress through the interactive feedback and rewards of the game. Thus, the play motivation can intrinsically be boosted.

1 Osmo Coding Awbie: Text
1 Osmo Coding Awbie: Pro Gallery

Research Impact

Strategic Impact

  • Product strategy pivot backed by learning evidence and research insights.

  • This research has constructed strong and comprehensive insights regarding children's play, emotions, and learning for strategy teams to leverage.

Product Design Suggestion

  • Accommodate children with different abilities by adding proactive tutorials for navigation and guidance, giving freedom to players to decide to skip them or not

  • Incorporate storytelling throughout the game to refresh children's recognition of the game design and enhance their learning

  • Add more fun characteristics to game characters to make game narratives more engaging

Research Dissemination

I presented this research project at the ACM Interaction Design and Children 2022 conference in Braga, Portugal. Please find the full research paper here

1 Osmo Coding Awbie: Text

​My Learnings

  • Adapt interviews questions and methods according to children's understanding

  • Make research fun so child participants share more genuine insights

  • Future research directions could consider dialogic learning in product development to improve affective learning experience

1 Osmo Coding Awbie: Text
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