Pattern-Based Tool Design for Shared Knowledge Construction

Pattern-Based Tool Design for Shared Knowledge Construction

Stephan Lukosch (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-727-0.ch002
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Shared knowledge construction aims at supporting the creation and gathering of new knowledge. It relies on tools for computer-mediated interaction. The design and development of these tools is difficult, as not only the interaction of one user with the tool but also the interaction among the users themselves has to be taken into account. For designing and developing successful tools, it is crucial to involve end-users in the development process and to create shared understanding of the requirements as well as the solutions among the end-users and developers. In this chapter, the author analyzes the problems when developing tools for computer-mediated interaction in general and present a novel pattern-based approach for supporting developers as well as integrating end-users in the development process. The author shows the applicability of this approach by introducing tools for shared knowledge construction and describing their pattern-based design. The author concludes by giving an outlook on future research directions.
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The development of tools for computer-mediated interaction is a challenging task. Apart from the actual task of the application, e.g. editing texts or spreadsheets, developers have to consider various aspects ranging from low-level technical issues up to high-level application usage. Among others, network connections between the collaborating users have to be established to enable communication, parallel input from the collaborating users has to be handled, specific group functions have to be included to provide group awareness, and the data has to be shared and kept consistent to allow users to work on common task at all (Ellis, Gibbs, & Rein, 1991). These issues are often not part of the professional training of software engineers. Instead, software engineers learn the basic principles that empower them to create any kind of software.

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