Activating Online Collaborative Communities

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Information about Activating Online Collaborative Communities

Published on January 18, 2009

Author: ademoor

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Presentation given at ALOIS 2008 conference, Venice, Italy, May 5-6, 2008.

Activating Online Collaborative Communities Aldo de Moor CommunitySense ALOIS 2008

Collaborative communities Communities Strong, lasting interactions Binding community members Common space Collaborative communities Common goals Effective/efficient communication essential Perform/coordinate work Community governance structures/processes Sense of community

Communities

Strong, lasting interactions

Binding community members

Common space

Collaborative communities

Common goals

Effective/efficient communication essential

Perform/coordinate work

Community governance structures/processes

Sense of community

Communication support failure Communication Purposes Productive Focused Sustained Evolving Communication Forms Discussing Debating Questioning Consoling … Community Context Domains Purposes Activities Communication Support ? Social System Technical System

Productive

Focused

Sustained

Evolving

Discussing

Debating

Questioning

Consoling



Domains

Purposes

Activities

The problem No longer custom-designed communication support systems Instead, systems of tools Actual and intended use differ strongly Interaction complexities R&D problem Not lack of motivation Many self and other-oriented motives to get critical mass, e.g. in Wikipedia Lack of activation Fragmentation of communicative acts across tool system functionalities Objectives Frame these activation problems Model socio-technical design solutions

No longer custom-designed communication support systems

Instead, systems of tools

Actual and intended use differ strongly

Interaction complexities

R&D problem

Not lack of motivation

Many self and other-oriented motives to get critical mass, e.g. in Wikipedia

Lack of activation

Fragmentation of communicative acts across tool system functionalities

Objectives

Frame these activation problems

Model socio-technical design solutions

Towards collaborative community activation Collaborative community activation supporting the initiation, execution, and evaluation of goal-oriented computer-mediated communication processes to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of collaboration Approach Digital tutorial case Theoretical grounding Language/Action Perspective Pragmatic Web Actability / Interactivity Conceptual model of online collaborative communities Collaboration patterns

Collaborative community activation

supporting the initiation, execution, and evaluation of goal-oriented computer-mediated communication processes to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of collaboration

Approach

Digital tutorial case

Theoretical grounding

Language/Action Perspective

Pragmatic Web

Actability / Interactivity

Conceptual model of online collaborative communities

Collaboration patterns

Case: a digital tutorial community Who 19 Information Management students What create group report with design of parliamentary research information system When 8 weeks + evaluation session (2004) How Face-to-face lectures, parallel digital tutorial Tool system Blackboard Set of blogs GRASS (Group Report Authoring Support System) Scoring tool

Who

19 Information Management students

What

create group report with design of parliamentary research information system

When

8 weeks + evaluation session (2004)

How

Face-to-face lectures, parallel digital tutorial

Tool system

Blackboard

Set of blogs

GRASS (Group Report Authoring Support System)

Scoring tool

Authoring with GRASS

Authoring with GRASS (2)

Digital tutorial workflow Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Theory interpretation (blogs) Case information collection (blog) Report authoring (GRASS)

Workflow meets tool system Collect info Discuss Substantiate claims Define questions Define/take positions Define arguments pro/con Edit report Evaluate contributions GRASS Theory Blogs Case Blog Scoring

Collect info

Discuss

Define questions

Define/take positions

Define arguments pro/con

Edit report

Results 63-page report created in 8 weeks by 18 authors Most students scored much higher than the minimum required Survey among students Digital tutorial better than face-to-face tutorial Overall design of tool system plus workflow adequate Blog posting/commenting plus GRASS position definition/taking and argument creation functionalities easy to learn Problems Blog creation easy, however, following what was happening too difficult Indented instead of sequential commenting preferred Fragmentation of discussion consided a major problem -> ‘ blog monitor’ helped to reduce sense of fragmentation and to increase participation

63-page report created in 8 weeks by 18 authors

Most students scored much higher than the minimum required

Survey among students

Digital tutorial better than face-to-face tutorial

Overall design of tool system plus workflow adequate

Blog posting/commenting plus GRASS position definition/taking and argument creation functionalities easy to learn

Problems

Blog creation easy, however, following what was happening too difficult

Indented instead of sequential commenting preferred

Fragmentation of discussion consided a major problem

-> ‘ blog monitor’ helped to reduce sense of fragmentation and to increase participation

Activation lessons learnt Incentives for individual students to participate Minimum score required Overview of current scores per student Vouchers Improving the overview of activities within individual tools Indented instead of linear comments in blog Creating “meta-tools” to keep overview of activities across tools “ Blog monitor”

Incentives for individual students to participate

Minimum score required

Overview of current scores per student

Vouchers

Improving the overview of activities within individual tools

Indented instead of linear comments in blog

Creating “meta-tools” to keep overview of activities across tools

“ Blog monitor”

Modeling pragmatic communication processes Theories Language/Action Perspective Focus on communicative inter-actions Pragmatic Web Applying appropriate web technologies to help improve the quality and legitimacy of collaborative, goal-oriented discourses in communities (Schoop et al 2006) Build a socio-technical infrastructure that supports the negotiation of meaning and the coordination of action (Aakhus 2007) Research question How to model activation in collaborative communities using distributed tool systems?

Theories

Language/Action Perspective

Focus on communicative inter-actions

Pragmatic Web

Applying appropriate web technologies to help improve the quality and legitimacy of collaborative, goal-oriented discourses in communities (Schoop et al 2006)

Build a socio-technical infrastructure that supports the negotiation of meaning and the coordination of action (Aakhus 2007)

Research question

How to model activation in collaborative communities using distributed tool systems?

Modeling “interactability” Actability The ability to act and to support human action Promoting appropriate social behaviour, mediated by rules and norms Many dimensions, such as “action potentiality” The set of communicative actions the system affords and supports (Agerfalk 2004) Interactivity The degree to which two or more communicating parties can act on each other, the communication medium, and on the synchronization of these influences Dimensions: active control, two-way communication, synchronicity Active control problematic: gap between structural and experienced aspects

Actability

The ability to act and to support human action

Promoting appropriate social behaviour, mediated by rules and norms

Many dimensions, such as “action potentiality”

The set of communicative actions the system affords and supports (Agerfalk 2004)

Interactivity

The degree to which two or more communicating parties can act on each other, the communication medium, and on the synchronization of these influences

Dimensions: active control, two-way communication, synchronicity

Active control problematic: gap between structural and experienced aspects

A conceptual model of online collaborative communities (1) Tool system System of integrated and customized tools tailored to the specific information, communication, and coordination requirements of a collaborative community Co-evolves with usage context, specific to each community Tool system levels Systems : “group report writing system” Tools : “blogs”, “courseware”, “authoring support tool” Modules : “position definition/taking”, “argument creation” Functions : “add argument pro”, “add argument con”

Tool system

System of integrated and customized tools tailored to the specific information, communication, and coordination requirements of a collaborative community

Co-evolves with usage context, specific to each community

Tool system levels

Systems : “group report writing system”

Tools : “blogs”, “courseware”, “authoring support tool”

Modules : “position definition/taking”, “argument creation”

Functions : “add argument pro”, “add argument con”

A conceptual model of online collaborative communities (2) Usage context Goals Activities : operationalized goals, with deliverable “ writing a group report” Aspects : abstract goals, across processes and structures “ legitimacy”, “efficiency” Actors Detailed role ontologies “ Administrator”, “Facilitator”, “Member” “ Position Defender”, “Argument Summarizer”, “Report Conclusion Editor” Domains Professional culture, work practices, …

Usage context

Goals

Activities : operationalized goals, with deliverable

“ writing a group report”

Aspects : abstract goals, across processes and structures

“ legitimacy”, “efficiency”

Actors

Detailed role ontologies

“ Administrator”, “Facilitator”, “Member”

“ Position Defender”, “Argument Summarizer”, “Report Conclusion Editor”

Domains

Professional culture, work practices, …

Collaboration patterns Patterns Define relatively stable solutions to recurring problems at the right level of abstraction Collaboration patterns Capture socio-technical lessons learnt in optimizing the effectiveness and efficiency of collaboration processes Typology of collaboration patterns (De Moor 2006) Goal patterns Communication patterns Information patterns Task patterns Meta-patterns

Patterns

Define relatively stable solutions to recurring problems at the right level of abstraction

Collaboration patterns

Capture socio-technical lessons learnt in optimizing the effectiveness and efficiency of collaboration processes

Typology of collaboration patterns (De Moor 2006)

Goal patterns

Communication patterns

Information patterns

Task patterns

Meta-patterns

Collaboration pattern typology (1) Goal patterns Capture community and individual objectives “ finished group report within two weeks”, “produce 3 arguments contra position X”

Goal patterns

Capture community and individual objectives

“ finished group report within two weeks”, “produce 3 arguments contra position X”

Collaboration pattern typology (2) Communication patterns Communicative workflow and norm definitions describing acceptable and desired communicative interactions (initiation, evaluation stages of comm. workflows) “ Each student must define positions and pro-arguments for an assigned report section. All students may comment on these positions, but assigned students must define arguments pro or con. At the end of this stage, all students must take the defined positions.” Information patterns Conceptualizations of the content knowledge obtained from knowledge production activities “ Each blog post and comment can be marked up with a category from a predefined list describing the topic of the discussion”

Communication patterns

Communicative workflow and norm definitions describing acceptable and desired communicative interactions (initiation, evaluation stages of comm. workflows)

“ Each student must define positions and pro-arguments for an assigned report section. All students may comment on these positions, but assigned students must define arguments pro or con. At the end of this stage, all students must take the defined positions.”

Information patterns

Conceptualizations of the content knowledge obtained from knowledge production activities

“ Each blog post and comment can be marked up with a category from a predefined list describing the topic of the discussion”

Collaboration pattern typology (3) Task patterns Capture which information patterns are to be created in particular steps in a communication process, describing the role of content (execution stage of comm. workflows) “ Each new blog post and comment is categorized by students playing the Discussion Summarizer role at the end of each day.” Meta-patterns Conceptual patterns necessary to interpret, validate, link, and assess the quality of other collaboration patterns “ Any goal pattern representing the topic of the report must have been discussed in a consensus-building communication pattern applying to all members of the digital tutorial community.”

Task patterns

Capture which information patterns are to be created in particular steps in a communication process, describing the role of content (execution stage of comm. workflows)

“ Each new blog post and comment is categorized by students playing the Discussion Summarizer role at the end of each day.”

Meta-patterns

Conceptual patterns necessary to interpret, validate, link, and assess the quality of other collaboration patterns

“ Any goal pattern representing the topic of the report must have been discussed in a consensus-building communication pattern applying to all members of the digital tutorial community.”

The case: an information pattern

The case: an enabled communication pattern (before)

The case: an enabled communication pattern (after)

Quo vadis? Activation of online collaborative communities not trivial The concept of activation needs to be better understood LAP, PragWeb , actability, interactivity… Socio-technical design patterns in their infancy Pr agmatic argumentation structures Norm-driven activation mechanisms Other fields: community informatics, coordination theory, CSCW, interoperability research, empirically grounded pattern languages, conceptual graphs… The cybersky is the limit…

Activation of online collaborative communities not trivial

The concept of activation needs to be better understood

LAP, PragWeb , actability, interactivity…

Socio-technical design patterns in their infancy

Pr agmatic argumentation structures

Norm-driven activation mechanisms

Other fields: community informatics, coordination theory, CSCW, interoperability research, empirically grounded pattern languages, conceptual graphs…

The cybersky is the limit…

Communicating across virtual worlds

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