Mohammad Aliannejadi, Theo Huibers, Monica Landoni, Emiliana Murgia, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2022. “The Effect of Prolonged Exposure to Online Education on a Classroom Search Companion”. In International Conference of the Cross-Language Evaluation Forum for European Languages (CLEF 2022). Online. DOI:10.1007/978-3-031-13643-6_5
Exposure to technology impacts children’s perception and conceptualisation of the way devices they regularly use work. This prompts us to study if almost two years of online teaching, enabled by a broad range of technologies, have influenced the way children imagine a search companion would look and behave when helping them perform school-related search tasks. We conducted a 2-stage study during which children ages 9 to 11 drew and described their imaginary search companion; they also chose a few desirable and non-necessary traits. By following the protocol of a study conducted pre-pandemic, we contextualise salient altered expectations that we attribute to exposure to technology prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We highlight and discuss emerging trends observed from the analysis of data gathered before and after the extensive online experience and how these will guide the design of functionality of a search companion for the classroom.