Activity Summary

At this session, we explored directing virtual robots with an interactive remote control that our participants could use on their iPad. Additional cues, such as audio labels and animated icons were added to the control to facilitate participants' selections. A link to the interactive remote control is provided here: 

Interactive Remote Control

At this session, we started introducing the concept of directions, moving up/down and right/left. 

Direction Dance: To begin, a video was played to help student(s) to understand directions of up, down, right and left. Students were encouraged to follow along with physical movement (

Main Activity (Underwater Mission): Our main activity reinforced the use of one-action instructions to direct a robot (submarine) within a virtual environment (under the sea) to a specific location (sunken treasure). One facilitator played the role of a robot on screen. Each student used the iPad with the loaded prototype as a control panel with a menu of interactive device actions (arrows) on it. Students were tasked to give their robot an instruction by choosing an action on the prototype. The facilitator would move the robot accordingly. A backdrop was set up to create an undersea setting that included the starting point (water’s surface), and destination (treasure). A barrier (shark) was introduced upon return to encourage use of horizontal actions (left, right) in the created sequence. 

Submarine Mission


  • Learn about student’s familiarity and interests with virtual environments
  • Introduce students to the different forms of robots
  • Reinforce understanding for building a basic one-direction, one-action sequence
  • Gauge student’s ability to distinguish right and left actions

Notes from the session

  • Student(s) responded well in moving/dancing engaging components of activity
  • Student(s) responded to “sound” associated with the direction buttons, but required verbal cues to look at the screen to view progress of inputs
  • Student’s struggled to understand when new actions (directions of left and right) were needed. Verbal suggestions from parents provided cues.
  • Hand-over-hand was used to help select actions for the mission
  • Attention wanes near the end of the second mission for treasure (at approximately 15 minutes)

Notes for C2LC design

  • It might help to have a control of touch sensitivity for selecting actions. This adaptability may be helpful when one action is selected repetitively. (e.g. up, up, up) 
  • Audio labels were helpful in choosing the right action
  • Themes of animals and trucks motivated engagement with prototype
  • No labels