Somewhere over the Rainbow: Exploring the Sense for Relevance in Children

Monica Landoni, Theo Huibers, Emiliana Murgia, Mohammad Aliannejadi, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2021. “Somewhere over the Rainbow: Exploring the Sense for Relevance in Children”. Short paper in Proceedings of the European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics 2021 (ECCE 2021). ACM, 1-5 pp. DOI:10.1145/3452853.3452885.


We explore the facets of relevance that guide children when assessing materials retrieved by search engines when looking for information in the classroom. We involved children in a collaborative exercise and asked them to design innovative icons to point their peers towards useful results. We also asked them to complete a survey meant to capture explicit motivators guiding their design. This resulted in a rich set of metaphors. Analysis of the emerging metaphors is what allowed us to identify and discuss the many interpretations of relevance children naturally assign to resources they find in response to school-related information discovery tasks.