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Pp iscar2011
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Pp iscar2011

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  • 1. Challenges of tool mediation in avirtual project management course in a higher education Kari Kosonen, Sami Paavola, Seppo Toikka, Hanni Muukkonen Käyttäytymis-tieteellinen tiedekunta / Henkilön nimi / Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 1
  • 2. The context of the studyo The second iteration of a research case in the Knowledge Practice Laboratory –projecto The study explored how the shared artifacts of the virtual environment used in the investigated educational setting helped the student to organize and rehearse knowledge practices of virtual project management.Käyttäytymistieteiden laitos / Henkilön nimi /Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 2
  • 3. Investigated educational settingo A course with title “Advanced Themes on Project Management”o The course was optional and was taken by 4th year students from several different programmes including Educational Science, Economics, Information and Service Management, Cognitive Science and Psychology.o The students (approximately 30) from three training programs students were asked to develop new working and research projects for the representatives of the Finnish Tax Administrationo The course a practical way of learning virtual project management practices (managing subcontracting network, team building, dividing responsibilities , using collaboration technology) Käyttäytymistieteiden laitos / Henkilön nimi / Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 3
  • 4. Virtual environmento A virtual collaboration tool Knowledge Practice Environment (KPE) developed in Knowledge Practice Laboratory Project served as the virtual environment of the courseo KPE has been designed to support collaborative knowledge creation in flexible ways.o It provides various tools and functionalities for reflective and "object-centered" knowledge practices, such as planning epistemic processes, producing texts and notes, organizing collaboration of groups of people around knowledge objectso Three views of shared working space can be used in organizing work on knowledge objects Process view Content view Community view Käyttäytymistieteiden laitos / Henkilön nimi / Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 4
  • 5. The main course space was structured aroundthe tasks named according to the four phasesof the project work Content view The course instructors uploaded into the space two content specific guiding templates, a research plan template and a template with so called SCRUM-questions meant for reflecting activities in Project Manager’s DiaryKäyttäytymistieteiden laitos / Henkilön nimi /Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 5
  • 6. Theoretical framework of the studyThe phenomenon of tool mediation is approached from theperspective of its four types distinguished by Rabardel• EpistemicEnabling actors to create, transform and organize sharedknowledge objects• PragmaticEnabling actors to plan and monitor their activities• SocialEnabling actors to maintain contacts and mutual awareness• Reflective Enabling actors to reflect on and evaluate undertakenactivitiesKäyttäytymistieteiden laitos / Henkilön nimi /Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 6
  • 7. Purpose of the studyResearch questions:_ How did a group of students participating in a project based course setting utilized the functionalities of the virtual environment and how did the use mediate the epistemic practices characterizing project based working settings ? What kind of strengths and weaknesses of tool mediation did the participants experience?Käyttäytymistieteiden laitos / Henkilön nimi /Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 7
  • 8. Method Participants: • Five students, four Economist trainees and one Psychologist trainee working in one team. • The team worked on the development of a survey method for collecting data about initial attitudes towards tax-paying and related interventional approaches for transforming these attitudes. Collected data: the participants answers to reflective questions, the content items created by the team members, a team interview Data analysis: Functional classification of the used artifacts, qualitative analysis of the content of the interviews Käyttäytymistieteiden laitos / Henkilön nimi / Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 8
  • 9. Collected data  The content-items created by the team- members in the shared space of the team  Interviews of two team- members (M 1, M 3) based on the use of stimulated recall-method In the interviews the team-members were asked to tell about the items and their purposes. In addition they were asked separately about the a)purpose of the most frequently used item the chat- room b) the other available tools (besides KPE) they would have used for various purposes if they had been given a choiceKäyttäytymistieteiden laitos / Henkilön nimi /Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 9
  • 10. Data-analysis: a)Creation of analyticalcateogories on the basis of the preliminaryexploration of the created itemsCreated seven categories for classifying the functions of theartifacts:1. Brainstorming/scetching; Criterion: An item was used jointly mainly in creating ideas or in scetching preliminary content2. Sharing/reviewing literature Criterion: An item was used in sharing or reviewing literature3. Creating intermediate content Criterion: An item was created as intermediate elaboration or an element used as a part of final content4. Revising final content Criterion: An item was the version of the final contentKäyttäytymistieteiden laitos / Henkilön nimi /Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 10
  • 11. Data-analysis a)Analytical categories 5-75. Defining tasks and responsibilities Criterion: An item was used mainly in defining or allocating tasks6. Negotiating/sharing operative information Criterion: An item was used mainly in informing others and sharing operative information7. Reflecting on activities Criterion: An item was used mainly in reflecting on undertaken and planned activitiesKäyttäytymistieteiden laitos / Henkilön nimi /Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 11
  • 12. Data-analysis b) Analyticalprocedure The content items of the investigated team-space were classified according to the analytical categories. The interview data was split into n sequences the duration of which ranged from 20 to 90 seconds. The sequences were scored into the analytical categories according to the main content of the interviewees’ descriptions References to alternative tools were scored separatelyKäyttäytymistieteiden laitos / Henkilön nimi /Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 12
  • 13. Results: Overview of findingsCategory Scored items from the Scored team space sequences from the interviews1.Brainstorming 2 notes -/scetching2.Sharing/reviewing literature 2 notes, 7 files 23. Creating intermediate content 12 files 24. Revising final content 7 files 4 (2 alternative tools referred to)5. Defining tasks and 7 task items, 4 notes, 2 7responsibilities files7. Negotiating/ 1 chat item 7 (2 alternativesharing operative information tools referred to)6.Reflecting on activities 4 notes 2 Käyttäytymistieteiden laitos / Henkilön nimi / Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 13
  • 14. 1. Brainstorming /scetching M1 M2 M3 M4 M4Käyttäytymistieteiden laitos / Henkilön nimi /Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 14
  • 15. 2. Representing and reviewing literature and other knowledge resources Uploadedresearch papers The interviewees described how the team members shared research papers in the content view and reviewed their content bearing Käyttäytymistieteiden laitos / the project of the team. relavancy to Henkilön nimi / Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 15
  • 16. 3. Creating intermediate content According to M 3 the content items scored as intermediate content were created by the members individually as their contributions for the researh plan. M 1 commented positively on the visibility of the relation between the documents and tasks.Käyttäytymistieteiden laitos / Henkilön nimi /Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 16
  • 17. 4. Revising final content Jointly created scetch of the research plan Consecutive versions (7 word files)) of the final research planBoth interviewees regarded the versioning in separate uploaded files as problematicand said that would have liked to have an opportunity to edit texts inside the items.Google docs and WIKI were referred to as alternative tools. However M 3 statedthat a shift to the Googledocs would have been cumbersome because the team hadalready scetched the reseach plan with the template (provided by the instructorsand copypastedKäyttäytymistieteiden laitosin a note/ with which it started to scetch the research by the team / Henkilön nimiplan). Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 17
  • 18. 5. Defining tasks and responsibilities Process view Created task- item Content view Dividing responsibilities to the team members M5 M4M 1 described how the team tried at the beginning to outline tasks with Chantchart in the process view but ended up with dividing responsibilities in thenotes in the content view . M 3 described the relation between the createdtasks and phases of project outlined by the instructors. Both intervieweesregarded KPE as a tool suitable /to be used in managing the joint tasks, but Käyttäytymistieteiden laitos / Henkilön nimi Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 18M 3 would have liked the phases to be more clearly pre-structured.
  • 19. 6. Negotiating and sharing operative information (chat-item) M1 M3Chat –item was used in sharing instant messages (M 3)and in negotiating (M 1).M 3 stated that checked regularly the chat item in logging into KPE to seeothers’ possible messages. M 1 stated that big decisions (like researchquestions) were made very quickly in chatting and longer discussions wouldhave been necessary. M 1 suggested the use of virtual meeting tools to others.M 3 mentioned Facebook as an nimi / Käyttäytymistieteiden laitos / Henkilön Esityksen nimi alternative tool for the purpose. www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 19
  • 20. 7. Reflecting on activities M5 M1 According to M 1 the team used Scrum-questions weekly to gather answers from each member for accumulating the content of the project managers’ diariesKäyttäytymistieteiden laitos / Henkilön nimi /Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 20
  • 21. Discussiono The findings indicate that the tool mediation was realized by means of both technical and cultural tools that the investigated team was provided witho Such cultural tools as the templates and the phase structure of project work provided by the instructor functioned as action templates (Stetsenko ) that higlihted some content specific practices and related use of technologyKäyttäytymistieteiden laitos / Henkilön nimi /Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 21
  • 22. Discussion: Usage of thefunctionalities and tool mediationo Epistemic mediation was realized through using the note editor and project plan template in brainstorming initial ideas of the project and in schetching the project plan reviewing literature with note editor and sharing research papers in the content view sharing the intermediate content created by the team members with Power point and Word in the content view sharing the subsequent versions of the research plan created by team members with Word in the content viewKäyttäytymistieteiden laitos / Henkilön nimi /Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 22
  • 23. Discussion: Usage of the functionalities andtool mediationo Pragmatic mediation was realized through creating task items partially according to the process model provided by the instructors deviding responsibilities to team-members in task allocation notes linking the content items (for instance created intermediate content and research papers) to the tasks that they were related too Social mediation was realized through Using regularly the chatting itemo Reflective mediation was realized through answering to the reflective Scrum-questions to accumulate the weekly content of the project management diaryKäyttäytymistieteiden laitos / Henkilön nimi /Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 23
  • 24. Discussion: Perceived strengthsand weaknesses of tool mediation The opportunity to visually explicate the relation between the tasks and documents (epistemic and pragmatic mediation by means of the technical tool) was regarded as useful feature The KPE was viewed to support particularly the task management (pragmatic mediation by means of technical tool)Käyttäytymistieteiden laitos / Henkilön nimi /Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 24
  • 25. Discussion: Perceived strengthsand weaknesses of tool mediation The technical tools (notes and separate word-files used in the development of research plan) did not provide sufficient mediatory continuity for the process through which the initially brainstormed ideas were converted into the research plan. (Epistemic mediation by means of technical tool) The process model of project work should have been more clearly pre-stuctured in the environment (Pragmatic mediation by means of cultural tools ) Chatting tool did not sufficiently afford the team members engagement on dicussions on the encountered problems and challenged that required thorough reflections (Social mediation by means of technical tool)Käyttäytymistieteiden laitos / Henkilön nimi /Esityksen nimi www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto 19.12.2011 25

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