~ Please note that as this work is unpublished I would appreciate anything seen here not being widely shared ~

Construct-A-Vis is a tablet application designed to support children in creating visualisations of small abstract datasets. One key feature of Construct-A-Vis is that it was designed to be used by teachers to support classroom activities rather than being used as a standalone application. It has been developed in collaboration with primary school teachers.

In the application children can create `marks’ and change their visual properties (e.g. colour or size) in order to encode information. Children are asked to represent a small dataset seen at the bottom left of the screen, and it is possible for the application to give some feedback about their progress. A video of the application is use can be seen here.

Together children can create shared visualizations by dragging tokens from their screen onto a shared screen and arranging them. This encourages children to discuss the way they are mapping data to visual properties and encourages them to discuss and alter their strategies.

A teacher can alter how the application works to suit it to the activity they are running. For example teachers can choose which visual properties children are allowed to change, they can turn the feedback system on or off, and they can turn the collaborative feature on or off.

Construct-A-Vis was coded using JavaScript and is intended to be run in a fullscreen browser on a tablet device (though can also be run in any computer browser). It was created using Meteor.JS to support the collaborative features, Fabric.JS to support the graphics, and Hammer.JS for gesture recognition.

Construct-A-Vis has been tested with children between the ages of 5 and 12 and we have seen some promising results.