Workshop Plan


We will begin the workshop with a short introduction, including an overview of our previous research endeavors that led to the conceptualization of the workshop.

Familiarisation and find your team

To familiarize the participants with each other and the space station in which the workshop will take place, we will send participants on a relay inspired treasure hunt. Participants will move through the different space station rooms, locating objects, trying out features, and solving riddles. Furthermore, participants will need to communicate in order to figure out who their team members are; the organizers will have split the participants into three teams prior to the workshop.

Collecting Challenges

The participants will be asked to share challenges they have encountered in designing with children in online environments; if they have no prior experience with online environments, they can share hypothetical issues that they anticipate. Challenges can cover an array of topics, including facilitation, communication, technical disturbances, individual and group dynamics. An example of a challenge could be that many children talk at the same time. Participant will be asked to post the challenges on a shared Miro board. During the break time, the organisers will cluster and select challenges that participants will engage with in the following activity.

Finding and Sharing Solution

In their assigned teams (three in total), the participants will be asked to find solutions for specified challenges. Specifically, they will need to come up with facilitation techniques and strategies, as well as tools and features that they deem useful. Regarding the challenge of children talking at the same time, solutions might include developing communication guidelines (e.g., if you want to talk, raise your hand), the presence of a virtual talking stick, and the possibility to “whisper” to someone specific without others hearing. Thereafter, the teams will share their solutions with each other in the form of a short presentation. The groups will also discuss their strategy for the upcoming design session.

Design Session

We invite the participants to co-facilitate a design session with children, in order to gain experience with designing in online environments, to encounter novel challenges (to over come), and to potentially try out the proposed solutions (if the planned for challenges manifest during the session). The three teams, now consisting of the workshop participants and the children, will be allocated a room in the space station. Their task is to co-design a robot/virtual teacher with the children. The design could focus on functionality, features, characteristics, look, interactions, communications and feedback of the robot. The design could be realistic or speculative. Decisions are made by the design teams. As noted above, the participants will be encouraged to actively try out the previously proposed solutions, thereby gaining direct feedback about the practicality, feasibility, and potentially the effectiveness of the strategies.


After the design session, we will moderate participants’ reflection thereof. With all participants coming together, we will lead a structured discussion in which each group shares their successes (i.e., what went well), failures (i.e., what did not work), as well as sharing interesting observations, novel challenges, improvised solutions, and new research topics to be pursued.


To conclude the workshop, we will shortly discuss the logistics for creating a global network of researchers who co-design online with children. We will inform the participants about our website, which will be used to share experiences, platforms, tools, techniques, and strategies for distributed online co-design with children.