Please visit the Cyprus Interaction Lab Google Scholar profile to view a complete list of the publications of the Cyprus Interaction Lab team. Please browse below for indicative videos of our work within our research themes.

Theme 1: EMBODIED PLAY AND LEARNING USING TECHNOLOGY – How can technologically-mediated ‘play-like’ activity enrich the learning experience and support the development of knowledge and skills, based on the assumption that we Learn as we Play while engaging our (physical or digital) bodies and brains?

Computational Thinking Skills via Educational Robotics

Computational Thinking Skills via Educational Robotics: Computer programming is perceived as an important competence for the development of Computational Thinking (CT). What is the effect of educational robotics courses i.e., programming a robot, on students’ development of CT skills? Quantitative data analysis showed statistically significant gains in CT skills for the experimental group. Qualitative data analysis revealed the progressive development of skills related to CT, such as modelling and logic.


Embodied Play and Learning using Interactive Floors

Embodied learning is kinesthetic, collaborative and multimodal and requires the involvement of the human body as a whole for the transport of messages. We study the effectiveness and acceptability of an interactive floor which is based on multi-sensor technology and mediates interactive math games. Results from 1st grade students in the public schools of Cyprus provided evidence that embodied learning methods are acceptable by both students and teachers, can be successfully used in formal educational settings, can enrich teaching and learning and children’s engagement, and can help researchers to advance their views of the mechanisms of cognitive processing.

[e.g., Ioannou, M., & Ioannou, A. (2018). Playing with fractions on an interactive floor: An exploratory case study in the math classroom. Proceedings of the International Conference of the Learning Sciences (in press).]

Movement-based Learning using Kinect-based Games

Embodied learning considers that the active human body can alter the function of the brain and therefore the cognitive process. From this perspective, the exploration of learning environments that promote bodily activity in relation to cognitive tasks are gaining the attention of the research community in the resent days. One such case is the use of multimodal, motion-based games mediated by sensors like a Kinect camera to enable learning through active and embodied interaction with learning content. This paper presents findings from an empirical investigation of using embodied touchless interactive games in special education.

[e.g., Kosmas P., Ioannou A., Retalis S. (2017) Using Embodied Learning Technology to Advance Motor Performance of Children with Special Educational Needs and Motor Impairments. In: Lavoué É., Drachsler H., Verbert K., Broisin J., Pérez-Sanagustín M. (eds) Data Driven Approaches in Digital Education. EC-TEL 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 10474. Springer.]

Expanding the Curricular Space with Educational Robotics 

Educational robotics is an innovative and progressive technology that can be integrated in school contexts to support the curriculum and expand it. Through educational robotics, young students can practice new skills such problem solving and teamwork, while they simultaneously improve their knowledge in specific domains. In this work, we present one such example of expanding the curricular space, providing inspiration for the integration of educational robotics in current school subjects. While the overcrowded curriculum might leave little time for dedicated educational robotics courses, creative infusion of the technology in the existing curriculum holds benefits for the students.


Don’t Read My Lips: Supporting Auditory Skills through Play with a Humanoid Robot

This study investigates the potential of using the humanoid robot, NAO, as a playful tool for assessing the listening and speaking skills of seven hearing-impaired students who use cochlear implant(s) and sign language as their main communication modality. NAO does not have a human mouth and therefore, students cannot do lip-reading; we considered this to be a unique characteristic of the technology that can help make the assessment of listening and speaking skills efficient and accurate.

[e.g., Polycarpou, P., Andreeva, A., Ioannou, A., & Zaphiris, P. (2016, July). Don’t Read My Lips: Assessing Listening and Speaking Skills Through Play with a Humanoid Robot. In International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (pp. 255-260). Springer International Publishing.]

Preschoolers’ Interest and Caring Behaviour around a Humanoid Robot

The study involved NAO and four children in pre-primary school aged 3-5 years. NAO was placed in a playground together with other toys and children were encouraged to interact with NAO and play as they wished. The results of the study showed that children can easily interact with this humanoid robot. They showed particular interest to NAO when he danced and when he was in need of help (for example when he fell down) demonstrating caring behavior such as kisses, hugs and cuddling.

[e.g., Ioannou, A., Andreou, E., Christofi, M. (2015). Preschoolers’ interest and caring behaviour around a humanoid robot. TechTrends, 59 (2), 23-26.]

Theme 2: INTERACTION DESIGN AND CREATIVE COLLABORATIVE SPACES – How can we use technology to nourish spaces such as classrooms and museums, mediating relationships between people and people, people and products, people and environment.

A Distributed Cognition Perspective for Collaboration and Coordination

This study focused on the understanding of the interactions evident in an artifact ecology around a design task. The researchers delved into the physical and digital space of several collaborating groups to obtain a rich understanding of their collaborative design tasks. Through the rich data set – interviews, focus groups, reflective diaries, online interactions, and video recordings for face-to-face sessions – we constructed a summative description of the group work based on the methodological framework of Distributed Cognition for Teamwork.

[e.g., Vasiliou, C., Ioannou, A., Stylianou-Georgiou, A., & Zaphiris, P. (2017). A Glance into Social and Evolutionary Aspects of an Artifact Ecology for Collaborative Learning through the Lens of Distributed Cognition. International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction, 33(8), 642-654.] 

Problem-Based Learning in Multimodal Information Spaces

In this study, we enhanced a Problem Based Learning (PBL) environment with affordable, everyday technologies that can be found in most university classrooms (e.g., projectors, tablets, owned smartphones, traditional paper-pencil, and Facebook). The study was conducted over a three-year period, with 60 post-graduate learners in HCI courses, following a PBL approach. First, this manuscript contributed a detailed description of how PBL can be enacted in a multimodal, technology-rich classroom. Second, the study presented evaluation data on learners’ technology adoption experience while engaging in PBL.

[e.g., Ioannou, A., Vasiliou, C., Zaphiris, P., Arh. T., Klobučar, T., & Pipan, M. (2015). Creative multimodal learning environments and blended interaction during problem-based activity in HCI education. TechTrends, 59 (2), 47-56.]

Multitouch Interactive Tabletops for Collaboration and Peacemaking

In his work, a tabletop application was used to mediate dialog and collaborative construction of a taxonomy of ideas based on the participants’ consensus. The scenarios for discussion concerned the promotion of global peace and the social integration of immigrants in the society.The study contributes a systematically developed coding scheme capturing the cognitive and physical elements of problem-based group collaboration around the interactive tabletop. Also, the consistent themes and ideas contributed across the participating groups highlight a number of areas where research could focus in terms of using technology for peace.

[e.g., Ioannou, A., Zaphiris, P., Loizides, F., & Vasiliou, C. (2013).  Let’s talk about Technology for Peace: A systematic assessment of problem-based group collaboration around an interactive tabletop. Interacting with Computers, doi: 10.1093/iwc/iwt061.]

Collaborative Learning around an Interactive Tabletop in a Museum Space 

This work is concerned with the exploration of an educational tabletop application designed to facilitate collaboration amongst young learners while they learn about the “Plants of Cyprus”. The application was used by third-graders during a scheduled visit at the Cyprus Center of Environmental Research and Education. We report empirical findings concerning the participants’ interactions around the table as well as their attitudes regarding the activity. Findings demonstrated that the students collaborated intensively in completing the task and they were overwhelmingly positive about the experience.

[e.g., Ioannou, A., Christofi, M., & Vasiliou, C. (2013). A Case Study of Interactive Tabletops in Education: Attitudes, Issues of Orientation and Asymmetric Collaboration. In Scaling up Learning for Sustained Impact (pp. 466-471). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.]

Theme 3: INCLUSIVE DESIGN AND SOCIAL CHANGE USING TECHNOLOGY – How can computing and emerging technology enact the inclusion of the disabled or underrepresented in societal activities and experiences?

Embracing Collaboration and Social Perspective Taking using Interactive Tabletops 

In the contemporary multicultural classroom of the 21st century in which students from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds learn together, it becomes necessary to embrace collaboration, social perspective-taking and understanding of the ‘other’ to help students comprehend their classmates’ values and perspectives. The study presents a case of practical utility and impact of tabletop research in this arena. We present evidence of perceived collaboration and learning around the tabletop, as well as gains in social perspective-taking propensity, demonstrating the promise of the use of interactive tabletops in the multicultural classroom.

[e.g., Ioannou, A., Constantinou, V. (2018). Embracing Collaboration and Social Perspective Taking using Interactive Tabletops. Techtrends: ]

Technology Enhanced Peacemaking in School Contexts

In this work, a peacemaking intervention using tabletops required students in conflict-laden groups to collaborate on various game-like learning activities over the span of three weeks. Results provided evidence that tabletops can become a means for communication and collaboration giving the chance for students in conflict to share a common space, shifting attitudes and improving their relationships. The study elaborates on the affordances of tabletops as they become apparent in the context of peacemaking, unpacking the still widely unexplored potential of multitouch interactive technology in peace education.

[e.g., Ioannou, A., & Antoniou, C (2016). Tabletops for Peace: Technology Enhanced Peacemaking in School Contexts. Educational Technology & Society, 19 (2), 164-176.]

Inclusive access to emergency services: focused on hearing impaired citizens

In this work, we describe the development and evaluation of a system aiming to meet the communication needs of hearing impaired citizens in cases of emergency. The system consists of (i) a mobile application that records and sends the details of an emergency event, and (ii) a central management system that handles these calls from the operation center at the emergency services. The system was completed in four cycles of design, development and evaluation with the involvement of 74 hearing impaired users and three officers from the Cyprus Police (Emergency Response Unit).

[e.g., Constantinou, V., Ioannou, A., & Diaz, P. (2016). Inclusive access to emergency services: an action research project focused on hearing-impaired citizens. Universal Access in the Information Society, 1-9.]

Usability and user experience user interface design heuristics for Deaf users

The aim of the project is to develop a novel usability inspection method that can be applied to measure the usability and user experience of websites that are designed for Deaf users. The usability inspection method will be in the form of a heuristic evaluation that can be used by HCI experts and developers alike. It will be required to understand the unique characteristics of Deaf user interactions with websites and to examine existing web design guidelines and principles for Deaf users. In addition, a process must be applied for developing new heuristics for specific application domains.

[e.g., Yeratziotis, A., & Zaphiris, P. (2017). A Heuristic Evaluation for Deaf Web User Experience (HE4DWUX). International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction, (just-accepted).]