Integrating awareness mechanisms in web-based argumentative collaboration support environments

Integrating awareness mechanisms in web-based argumentative collaboration support environments

Manolis Tzagarakis, Nikos Karousos, Nikos Karacapilidis
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-938-0.ch021
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Much research has been performed on how computer-based technologies might facilitate awareness among cooperating actors. However, existing approaches in providing awareness services prove to be inadequate in data-intensive instances of argumentative collaboration. Moreover, they fail to address the needs of dynamic, web-based communities. In this context, this chapter presents a list of awareness mechanisms that have been integrated in an innovative web-based collaboration support tool, namely CoPe_it!, the ultimate aim being to satisfy the requirements associated to the above remarks. The proposed mechanisms are described and elaborated with respect to various awareness types reported in the literature.
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2. Awareness In Argumentative Collaboration Support Environments

While awareness is critical in CSCW, it is a rather unexplored domain in the context of argumentative collaboration environments. Although many tools exist to support online discussion and deliberation, which range from simple discussion forums found on the Web to sophisticated and formal argumentation and decision support systems (Karacapilidis & Papadias, 2001), these do not consider awareness mechanisms as a focal point. Such mechanisms are usually considered as a complementary (i.e. not a core) functionality of solutions addressing collaboration needs. The majority of these tools provide only simple awareness mechanisms that include user presence indicators and information related to the source of individual resources (i.e. who admitted a resource and when).

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