Distributed spatial Sensemaking on the augmented reality sandbox

Yotam Hod, Daniel Twersky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research examines small group collaboration on the Augmented Reality (AR) Sandbox, an interactive, real-time topographical simulator that provides a color layer of augmentation showing depths and height, contour lines, and hydrology vis-a-vis the terrain of sand in a box. Prior research has focused on AR Sandbox activity designs, outcome measures, and user’s perceptions of different usability functions. No research to date has examined the situated processes by which groups engage in CSCL activities on the AR Sandbox as they participate in authentic forms of topographical studies. Taking a dialogic stance to examine CSCL using AR, in this study we draw on previous scholarship about distributed spatial sensemaking to analyze the way groups interact over material, social, and activity contexts. Based on an Interaction Analysis methodology, our findings point to the different resources that are coordinated with the use of the AR Sandbox; the different ways that turn-taking during distributed spatial sensemaking occurs; and the intricacy and speed by which multimodal resources are used to advance spatial thinking. The implications of this research broaden views of distributed spatial sensemaking, provide novel methodological tools to examine this phenomena, and suggest different levels of analysis and expectations for studies on the AR Sandbox.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-141
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc.


  • Augmented reality sandbox
  • distributed spatial sensemaking
  • interaction analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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