Awareness Approaches of E-Collaboration Technology

Awareness Approaches of E-Collaboration Technology

Adriana S. Vivacqua (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Jano M. de Souza (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Jean-Paul Barthès (UTC – Université de Technologie de Compiègne, France)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-000-4.ch006
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Early field studies in collaborative work have shown that actors are capable of aligning and integrating their activities with those of others in an apparently seamless way (e.g., Heath & Luff, 1991). This is accomplished through the use of information gathered by overhearing others’ conversations or surreptitiously monitoring their ongoing activities. To represent these practices of paying attention to what is going on in the environment, the term awareness was subsequently adopted (Schmidt, 2002). Researchers have dedicated much time to the study of how e-collaboration technologies might create some level of awareness between workers. Systems have been designed to enhance collaboration through the provision of information to create or maintain awareness of the working group. Even though different approaches have been introduced to address awareness, its creation and maintenance, researchers agree that most collaboration demands knowledge of others’ activities (Dourish & Bellotti, 1992), and many have argued extensively that awareness is crucial for groups when performing their joint activities (Gutwin & Greenberg, 2004).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Workspace Awareness: Understanding of other participants’ interactions with the shared workspace.

Interaction Analysis: A method for the investigation of the interactions of human beings with each other and with the objects in their environments.

Nimbus: Information given out by elements in space, which can be perceived by other people.

Awareness Information: Information to create or maintain a state of individual awareness.

Intentional Communication: Communication intended by the sender, such as conversation and gestures.

Awareness: An understanding of others’ activities, which contextualizes one’s own actions.

Focus: elements at which an individual directs his or her attention.

Feedthrough: Mechanism of determining a person’s actions through cues given by the artifacts they interact with in the environment, such as position, orientation or movement.

Situation Awareness: The process of perceiving and interpreting environmental cues, and projecting their future status in order to make decisions.

Consequential Communication: Information transfer that happens as a consequence of an individual’s activity within the environment. It is obtained by observing others’ actions or body positions.

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