Ebook: Cooperative Systems Design
The papers included in this book draw from a rich empirical background including studies in healthcare, homecare, software-development, architectural design, marine insurance industry and learning in university settings. They integrate different theoretical foundations and conceptual frameworks to further the understanding of cooperative work, build advanced conceptual frameworks, derive design implications for information systems and present new technological concepts for cooperative systems. This publication brings together researchers who contribute to the design of cooperative systems and their integration into organizational settings. Cooperative systems design requires a deep understanding of the cooperative work of groups and organizations, involving both artifacts and social practices. Contributions discuss topics such as: Analysis of collaborative work situations; Conceptual frameworks for understanding cooperative work; Guidelines for designing cooperative systems; The influence of new technologies (mobile computing, ubiquitous computing, etc.) on cooperation; Expertise sharing and learning in cooperative work; Communities and new forms of organization; Innovative technological solutions and user interfaces; and Methods for participatory design of cooperative systems. Special emphasis is on the issue of the 'seamless integration of artifacts and conversations – enhanced concepts of infrastructure for communication'. The emergence and distribution of cooperative systems has been accompanied by an increased communication workload. This is characterized by increased information exchange, message overflow, numerous interruptions of work, cognitive overload, or a dominance of virtual context. To alleviate and improve the situation, greater integration of conversational acts (e.g. message exchange) and documents is clearly required.
COOP'06 is the 7th International Conference on the Design of Cooperative Systems. The conference aims at bringing together researchers who contribute to the design of cooperative systems and their integration into organizational settings. The challenge of the conference is to advance:
• Understanding and modeling of collaborative work which is mediated by technical artifacts;
• Design methodologies for cooperative work analysis and cooperative systems design;
• New technologies supporting cooperation;
• Concepts and socio-technical solutions for the application of cooperative systems.
The COOP conferences are based on the conviction that cooperative systems design requires a deep understanding of the cooperative work of groups and organizations, involving both artifacts and social practices. This is the reason why contributions from all disciplines contributing to/related to the field of cooperative systems design are considered as relevant, including computer science (CSCW, HCI, Information Systems, Knowledge Engineering, etc.), organizational and management sciences, sociology, psychology, anthropology, ergonomics, linguistics, etc.
Various approaches and methodologies are considered, theoretical contributions as well as empirical studies reports or software development experiences on topics such as:
• Analysis of collaborative work situations;
• Conceptual frameworks for understanding cooperative work;
• Guidelines for designing cooperative systems;
• The influence of new technologies (mobile Computing, ubiquitous computing, etc.) on cooperation;
• Expertise sharing and learning in cooperative work;
• Communities and new forms of organization;
• Innovative technological solutions and user interfaces;
• Methods for participatory design of cooperative systems.
In 2006, COOP puts a special emphasis on the issue of the “seamless integration of artifacts and conversations – enhanced concepts of infrastructure for communication”. The emergence and distribution of cooperative systems has been accompanied by an increased communication workload. This is characterized by increased information exchange, message overflow, numerous interruptions of work, cognitive overload, or a dominance of virtual context. To alleviate and improve the situation, greater integration of conversational acts (e.g. message exchange) and documents is clearly required.
43 long papers were submitted for COOP'06; from these 18 were selected to be presented in the conference and published in this book. An additional set of approx. 20 short papers is also presented at the conference and published in a supplementary booklet. The conference program is completed by a workshop programme and a doctoral consortium.
The papers included in the proceedings draw from a rich empirical background including studies in healthcare, homecare, software-development, architectural design, marine insurance industry, and learning in university settings. They integrate different theoretical foundations and conceptual frameworks to further the understanding of cooperative work, build advanced conceptual frameworks, derive design implications for information systems, and present new technological concepts for cooperative systems.
Michael Buckland is the keynote speaker of COOP'06; and an abstract of his talk is included in this book. Michael Buckland comes from the School of Information Management & Systems which is part of the University of California and located in Berkeley. He has contributed to renew the approach of documents particularly by going back to the foundational work of the French archivists like Suzanne Briet. His famous papers “What is a “document”?” and “Information as Thing” are surprisingly relevant in the context of the CSCW debate about the importance of the materiality of coordinative artefacts.
The papers in this book are presented in alphabetical order. We hope that you will find them interesting to read and that they will inspire further discussions and further research on cooperative system design.
Many persons and institutions helped to make the conference and the publication of this book possible. We would like to thank them for their great efforts. Our special thanks go to the members of the program committee who took the responsibility for selecting the papers to be presented on the conference and to be included in the proceedings; they fulfilled their task with great care and provided helpful comments to the authors. We also want to thank the helpers behind the scenes: Michael Prilla (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) for configuring and maintaining the conference tool in the internet; L'Hedi Zaher (Université de Technologie de Troyes) for designing and maintaining the conference web page in the internet; Alexandra Frerichs (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) for the quality assurance of all camera ready papers.
We are indebted to the CONSEIL GENERAL DES BOUCHES DU RHONE for supporting us at the conference site in Carry-le-Rouet.
Bochum, February 2006
The editors, Parina Hassanaly, Thomas Herrmann, Gabriele Kunau and Manuel Zacklad
The use of communications technologies and artifacts in cooperative systems and the integration of cooperative systems in organization settings can be seen as a special case of the broader use of communications and artifacts in society. The broader system is of interest to those concerned with the documents and documentation. In this talk we will address two themes:
1. Language is cultural and evolves within communities of discourse. Every little community evolves its own dialect through metaphor and negotiation. Collaboration between individuals from different communities necessarily involves some dissonance, both in terms of what words mean (denote) and what they imply (connote) and, therefore, what words will be effective and socially acceptable. These issues extend broadly across the classification, categorization, and naming practices which form an important part of the infrastructure of collaborative activities.
2. Documents have enormous social power. My passport is more powerful than I am: It can cross frontiers without me, but I cannot cross frontiers without it. Analysis of the character and role of documents leads to an expansive functional definition of document which converges with the notion of artefact in the design of cooperative systems. These two related issues will be examined from the perspective of the study of documents and documentation.
Healthcare networks have been created to meet new health requirements. This new mode of organization gives healthcare professionals with different competences overall patient coverage. The aim of this study was to define tools supporting cooperation between these professionals. An ethnographic study on a healthcare network carried out during a period of one year has helped to understand how these networks function and what their requirements are. In this paper, we present the network studied, and describe a theoretical framework which can be used to analyze its activities; we focus in particular on the transactions taking place during face-to-face meetings, and we conclude that in order to cooperate efficiently, professionals need a coordination tool which is more than just an electronic patient file. We end this paper by suggesting guidelines for computer-supported cooperative activities in the field of healthcare networks.
We are observing that the current body of CSCW research is focusing either on stable workplaces with a single cooperative unit or on mobile work, with highly mobile professionals. We are attempting to fill the gap between workplace and mobile with a field study of student work, which we regard as exhibiting a high degree of nomadicity. After comparing student work with centres of coordination and mobility work, we unpack the notion of nomadicity as a work condition, constituted by a complex of discontinuities, leading to work partitioning and re-assembly. We draw design and methodological implications.
The interest of the Electronic Medical Record EMR is from now on obvious. However, Health Professionals still not have at their disposal tools allowing them to support their cooperative practices. In the French DocPatient project, we try to improve practitioners' cooperation when they use the medical documents by implementing a document-based EMR. Our assumption is that a best integration of the way they use these medical documents in the EMR design will improve its utility, its use and its acceptance. In this paper, we show that annotations practices must be transposed in the EMR to reinforce collaboration, coordination and awareness.
Although pair programming is becoming more prevalent in software development, and a number of reports have been written about it  , few have addressed the manner in which pairing actually takes place . Even fewer consider the methods used to manage issues such as role change or the communication of complex issues. This paper highlights the way resources designed for individuals are re-appropriated and augmented by pair programmers to facilitate collaboration. It also illustrates that pair verbalisations can augment the benefits of the collocated team, providing examples from ethnographic studies of pair programmers ‘in the wild’.
This paper introduces the Memetic toolkit for recording the normally ephemeral interactions conducted via internet video conferencing, and making these navigable and manipulable in linear and non-linear ways. We introduce two complementary interaction visualizations: argumentation-based concept maps to elucidate the conceptual structure of the discourse using a visual language, and interactive event timelines generated from the meeting metadata. We discuss in detail the affordances of Memetic's tools, in particular the Compendium hypermedia mapping tool, and the Meeting Replay tool that renders the semantic navigation indices into the videoconference replays. Additionally, with respect to methodology and evaluation, we describe how we are engaging diverse end-user communities in the process of designing and deploying these tools.
The paper discusses the relations between Ubiquitous Computing (UC) and cooperation pointing to two reference scenarios. UC technologies are still in a early stage: however, it is possible to envisage an evolution that makes smart objects pervasive in work settings. Under the hypothesis that these objects are likely to have very a specialized functionality, the smart environment has to possess distributed inferential capabilities to complement them toward an adaptive support to both individual and collaborative behaviors. CASMAS is a model informing an architecture to design collaborative UC environments: it combines inference capabilities with the management of contextual information that is modulated according to the structure of physical and logical spaces.
In this paper we present Torres, a conceptual framework that supports people belonging to different groups to articulate their activities. Our work is based on observations of how healthcare practitioners manage the interactions occurring when the patients' care crosses the borders of a healthcare facility. On the basis of previous works on reconciliation and of our observations, we aim to provide a framework to understand these interactions and to computationally support them so to convey the local knowledge needed both to guarantee the continuity of care and to promote the articulation of the related activities.
This paper presents an analysis of various forms of articulation between graphico-gestural and verbal modalities in parallel interactions between designers in a collaborative design situation. Based on our methodological framework, we illustrate several forms of multimodal articulations, that is, integrated and non-integrated, through extracts from a corpus on an architectural design meeting. These modes reveal alignment or disalignment between designers, with respect to the focus of their activities. They also show different forms of coalition.
This paper introduces the concept of editable chat logs for shared workspace systems. In shared workspaces offering a chat for synchronous communication, editable chat logs allow to keep and archive transcripts of chat conversations as documents in the group memory. As any other document in the shared workspace, the transcript can be subject to future conversations. Moreover, the transcript can be edited to create new documents or to reuse (parts of) the conversation within other documents. In this way, editable chat logs provide for a seamless integration of chat conversations and documents.
This study examines mediated communication behavior in distributed networks of practice (DNoPs) in a multinational enterprise working in the marine insurance industry. The study describes and compares mediated communication behavior in five different distributed networks of practice as a combination of the knowledge activities that take place during communicative action, the media used to support communication, the networks' perceptions of different media, and the contextual factors that influence both communication and media selection. The networks experienced several challenges in the communication process such as technological instabilities that excluded participation, complex and highly equivocal messages, physical and social-psychological distance between participants, and media limitations. Different theoretical perspectives for mediated communication provide a framework for discussion and integration of the empirical findings in this study.
Intelligent automation has been a source of research and debate within the design community for several decades. When adding intelligent automation to single-user systems, two critical issues must be addressed. First, sufficient knowledge must be acquired about the user and her context to make high-level inferences at runtime. Second, the automation must be useful and delivered in a manner that does not impair the user's domain activity. These issues are equally relevant for collaborative systems. However, collaborative systems offer a potential solution to these problems by virtue of their privileged position as mediating artifacts within a collaborative process. Because coordination information must be exchanged through the system, there is an opportunity for the system to gain insights into user activities and context. Because mediating artifacts add structure to the information that passes through them to improve coordination, this information is made more accessible to standard AI algorithms. Thus, within a design solution for coordination problems in groupware, a solution to some of the issues with intelligent automation can also be found. Empirical evidence from a testbed domain is presented that validates this approach, along with a discussion of how the approach can be generalized to other collaborative systems.
This paper presents the design and a first evaluation of the cooperative system KOLUMBUS 2 that integrates synchronous and asynchronous communication support and the joint work on material. The design is theory driven and bases on context-oriented communication theory and media synchronicity theory. The evaluation revealed mixed acceptance. While the design of KOLUMBUS chat with references, clipboard and list of topics was widely accepted problems occurred with the integration. Based on these results ideas for further improvements are shown.
The research work presented in this paper employs the awareness evaluation model developed by Neale, Carrol, and Rosson . The model presents five collaboration levels based on how closely the tasks of different persons are coupled together. These levels are light-weight interaction, information sharing, coordination, collaboration, and cooperation. We applied the model in distributed process industry environment. Our goal was to identify the existing collaboration situations and place them to different categories of the model. In addition, we viewed these different collaboration levels from the standpoint ICT-mediated collaboration support. This meant that we identified both the requirements for ICT-mediated collaboration support and applications capable of fulfilling the requirements set by the interaction situations. As a result we noticed that one of the characteristics of interaction situations classified into these categories is a constant switching of collaboration levels. By this we mean that during interaction situations people are seamlessly shifting from one level to another. When reflecting this finding in ICT support, it seems to indicate that in the same way the support for higher collaboration levels should make possible seamless transitions from one level to another. More detailed results are presented in the paper.
Until recently, desktop clients were sufficient platforms for running groupware. The dramatic increase in the use of mobile devices, user mobility and the growth of sophistication of device resources now requires the exploration of alternative clients running on devices such as PDAs and mobile phones. This paper describes our exploration of a BlackBerry thin client for an open source groupware application called the Collaborative Virtual Workspace (CVW). It outlines our development process and implementation and the challenges that we encountered, and outlines our plans for future work.
In this paper we seek to empirically study the use of location-awareness of others in the context of mobile collaboration. We report on a field experiment carried out using a pervasive game we developed called CatchBob!. Using both quantitative and qualitative data, we show the underwhelming effects of automating location-awareness. Our results indeed shows that automating this process does not necessarily improve the task performance and that it can be detrimental to socio-cognitive processes involved in collaboration such as communication or the modeling of partners' intents. The paper concludes with some potential impacts for location-based application practitioners.
This paper presents and discusses strategies used by homecare workers to establish and maintain awareness in a mobile workplace. It capitalizes on data derived from a longitudinal translocal ethnographic study of homecare and the utilization of mobile technology. The study exposes two distinct dimensions of the work context, denoted the Case and Base dimensions, which are used as vehicles to describe situations of collaborative practice that occur (1) in a coordination meeting, (2) on a homecare visit, and (3) in an on-the-fly ‘illicit’ use of mobile technology. We propose a new conception of collaborative awareness as a ‘practical sense of knowing’. Findings from the ethnographic study are consistent with a well-worn distinction between “knowing that”, declarative knowledge, and “knowing how”, procedural knowledge. Conventional structures of organizational control, encoded both procedurally and as declarations of responsibility, are routinely broken and reformed. This happens as workers devise new strategies in order to maintain the keen sense of their collaborative situation required to sustain an orderly workplace.
The concept of co-ownership well-known from real-life collaboration is a valuable means to support work with documents in groupware systems. In this paper, we present an approach leading to the practical appliance of co-ownership in a groupware system and show how this concept can be used to foster collaboration. Our efforts are supported by a review of related systems and concepts as well as a requirements analysis based on scenarios.
We followed an international research network that holds regular meetings in technology-enhanced working environments. The team is geographically distributed and uses a set of technical artefacts to support their collaborative work, including a videoconferencing system and a media space. We have been studying how mutual understanding is created between the team members and the role that visual representations play in this work. Our approach has been to analyse the initiatives and responses made by the team members. The meeting situation is complex because the team members are participating either in both video and audio, or audio only. In this multi-channel setting it often has to be clarified who is attending, and there is also a risk of team members being forgotten when they are present only on audio. The communication space is limited; when many want to participate in the communicative activity, it becomes harder to make successful initiatives; moreover, the roles of the team members seem to become accentuated in the distributed setting. The media space is restricted in that it only allows one person to be active at the time; this causes problems when several persons want to contribute simultaneously. Some of these limitations in the system are overcome through verbal articulations of actions.