Building examples: Media and learning affordances

Mitchel Resnick, Tiffany Tseng


Children engage in both structured and unstructured design activities with construction kits; for example, a child can choose to build predefined models with accompanying instructions or build their own models from scratch. This study explores the differences in children's play experience in both activities and looks specifically at how children respond to different instructional media. An exploratory study with six children between the ages of six and nine is described in which children used a paper-based, virtual, or physical model as a basis for creating a LEGO model. Children then had the opportunity to create a model of their own design. Through the study, the authors provide suggestions for enhanced virtual instruction guides and recommendations for combining the benefits of structured and unstructured play to create new design experiences for children.

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