Germany currently lacks more than 40.000 employees in the IT-area. But not only IT-experts are in high demand—basically every modern professional field requires knowledge about digital tools and methods. These challenges require us to educate more people in computer science related topics. However, computer science is a highly abstract topic compared to many other scientific areas. Studies have shown that these concepts are perceived as complex and difficult to learn. Therefore, the project TABULA has set the goal to make these concepts more tangible by creating learning systems with tangible interaction. Tangible interaction can improve users mental models, cognitive process, and procedural knowledge. This does not only increase users ability to learn, but also their motivation to learn difficult concepts. These systems will help users to learn abstract concepts in theoretical computer science. In later stages of the project we plan to create a second learning system that helps users to understand the concept of flow based programming. This project is funded by the German Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung and we collaborate on this with LuFGI 9(Prof. Schroeder), Communication Science(Prof. Ziefle), the Elektor Verlag, and the inside Media AG.


  • Prof. Jan Borchers, Christian Cherek, Simon Voelker (Human-Computer Interaction Center, RWTH Aachen University) - project coordination
  • Prof. Ulrik Schroeder, Svenja Noichl, Matthias Ehlenz (Learning Technologies, RWTH Aachen University)
  • Prof. Martina Ziefle, Wiktoria Wilkowska (Human-Computer Interaction Center, RWTH Aachen University)
  • Patrick Blum, Sylvia Kowalewski, Tobias Schierge (inside GmbH)
  • Ferdinand te Walvaart, Alex Politis, Volker Bombien, Jens Nickel, Luc Lemmens (elektor-Verlag GmbH)



Christian Cherek, Anke Brocker, Simon Voelker, and Jan Borchers. Tangible Awareness: How Tangibles on Tabletops Influence Awareness of Each Other’s Actions. In To appear in Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI '18, New York, NY, USA, 2018. ACM. Homepage BibTeX Entry.


We were invited to present TABULA in a radio interview on Deutschlandfunk.


This project is funded by the German Ministry of Science and Education (BMBF) through its Tangible Learning Initiative.

Contact: Christian Cherek

Internal project pages (registered users only)

Created by borchers. Last Modification: Saturday 17 of February, 2018 10:46:28 by voelker.

Media Computing Group at RWTH Aachen