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Activating Online  Collaborative Communities Aldo de Moor   CommunitySense ALOIS 2008
Collaborative communities <ul><li>Communities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong, lasting interactions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><l...
Communication support failure Communication Purposes <ul><li>Productive </li></ul><ul><li>Focused </li></ul><ul><li>Sustai...
The problem <ul><ul><li>No longer custom-designed communication support systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instead,  syste...
Towards collaborative community activation <ul><ul><li>Collaborative community activation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>s...
Case: a digital tutorial community <ul><ul><li>Who </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>19 Information Management students </li>...
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 infor...
Workflow meets tool system <ul><li>Collect info </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss </li></ul>Substantiate claims <ul><li>Define que...
Results <ul><ul><li>63-page report created in 8 weeks by 18 authors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most students scored much h...
Activation lessons learnt <ul><li>Incentives for individual students to participate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimum score re...
Modeling pragmatic communication processes <ul><li>Theories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Language/Action Perspective </li></ul></...
Modeling “interactability” <ul><li>Actability  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The ability to act and to support human action </li><...
A conceptual model of online collaborative communities (1) <ul><li>Tool system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>System of integrated ...
A conceptual model of online collaborative communities (2) <ul><li>Usage context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Goals </li></ul></u...
Collaboration patterns <ul><ul><li>Patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Define relatively stable solutions to recurring...
Collaboration pattern typology (1) <ul><ul><li>Goal patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Capture community and individu...
Collaboration pattern typology (2) <ul><ul><li>Communication patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Communicative workflo...
Collaboration pattern typology (3) <ul><ul><li>Task patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Capture which information patt...
The case: an information pattern
The case: an enabled communication pattern (before)
The case: an enabled communication pattern (after)
Quo vadis? <ul><ul><li>Activation of online collaborative communities not trivial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The concept o...
Communicating across virtual worlds
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Activating Online Collaborative Communities

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

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Transcript of "Activating Online Collaborative Communities"

  1. 1. Activating Online Collaborative Communities Aldo de Moor CommunitySense ALOIS 2008
  2. 2. Collaborative communities <ul><li>Communities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong, lasting interactions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Binding community members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Common space </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Collaborative communities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Common goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effective/efficient communication essential </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Perform/coordinate work </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Community governance structures/processes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sense of community </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Communication support failure Communication Purposes <ul><li>Productive </li></ul><ul><li>Focused </li></ul><ul><li>Sustained </li></ul><ul><li>Evolving </li></ul>Communication Forms <ul><li>Discussing </li></ul><ul><li>Debating </li></ul><ul><li>Questioning </li></ul><ul><li>Consoling </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul>Community Context <ul><li>Domains </li></ul><ul><li>Purposes </li></ul><ul><li>Activities </li></ul>Communication Support ? Social System Technical System
  4. 4. The problem <ul><ul><li>No longer custom-designed communication support systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instead, systems of tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Actual and intended use differ strongly </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interaction complexities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>R&D problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not lack of motivation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Many self and other-oriented motives to get critical mass, e.g. in Wikipedia </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of activation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fragmentation of communicative acts across tool system functionalities </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Frame these activation problems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Model socio-technical design solutions </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Towards collaborative community activation <ul><ul><li>Collaborative community activation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>supporting the initiation, execution, and evaluation of goal-oriented computer-mediated communication processes to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of collaboration </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Digital tutorial case </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Theoretical grounding </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Language/Action Perspective </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pragmatic Web </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Actability / Interactivity </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conceptual model of online collaborative communities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration patterns </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Case: a digital tutorial community <ul><ul><li>Who </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>19 Information Management students </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>create group report with design of parliamentary research information system </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>8 weeks + evaluation session (2004) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Face-to-face lectures, parallel digital tutorial </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tool system </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blackboard </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Set of blogs </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>GRASS (Group Report Authoring Support System) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Scoring tool </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Authoring with GRASS
  8. 8. Authoring with GRASS (2)
  9. 9. 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)
  10. 10. Workflow meets tool system <ul><li>Collect info </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss </li></ul>Substantiate claims <ul><li>Define questions </li></ul><ul><li>Define/take positions </li></ul><ul><li>Define arguments pro/con </li></ul><ul><li>Edit report </li></ul>Evaluate contributions GRASS Theory Blogs Case Blog Scoring
  11. 11. Results <ul><ul><li>63-page report created in 8 weeks by 18 authors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most students scored much higher than the minimum required </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Survey among students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Digital tutorial better than face-to-face tutorial </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Overall design of tool system plus workflow adequate </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blog posting/commenting plus GRASS position definition/taking and argument creation functionalities easy to learn </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blog creation easy, however, following what was happening too difficult </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Indented instead of sequential commenting preferred </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fragmentation of discussion consided a major problem </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-> ‘ blog monitor’ helped to reduce sense of fragmentation and to increase participation </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Activation lessons learnt <ul><li>Incentives for individual students to participate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimum score required </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overview of current scores per student </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vouchers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Improving the overview of activities within individual tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Indented instead of linear comments in blog </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Creating “meta-tools” to keep overview of activities across tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Blog monitor” </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Modeling pragmatic communication processes <ul><li>Theories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Language/Action Perspective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on communicative inter-actions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pragmatic Web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Applying appropriate web technologies to help improve the quality and legitimacy of collaborative, goal-oriented discourses in communities (Schoop et al 2006) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Build a socio-technical infrastructure that supports the negotiation of meaning and the coordination of action (Aakhus 2007) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Research question </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How to model activation in collaborative communities using distributed tool systems? </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Modeling “interactability” <ul><li>Actability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The ability to act and to support human action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promoting appropriate social behaviour, mediated by rules and norms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many dimensions, such as “action potentiality” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The set of communicative actions the system affords and supports (Agerfalk 2004) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Interactivity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The degree to which two or more communicating parties can act on each other, the communication medium, and on the synchronization of these influences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dimensions: active control, two-way communication, synchronicity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Active control problematic: gap between structural and experienced aspects </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. A conceptual model of online collaborative communities (1) <ul><li>Tool system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>System of integrated and customized tools tailored to the specific information, communication, and coordination requirements of a collaborative community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Co-evolves with usage context, specific to each community </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tool system levels </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Systems : “group report writing system” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tools : “blogs”, “courseware”, “authoring support tool” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Modules : “position definition/taking”, “argument creation” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Functions : “add argument pro”, “add argument con” </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. A conceptual model of online collaborative communities (2) <ul><li>Usage context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Activities : operationalized goals, with deliverable </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ writing a group report” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Aspects : abstract goals, across processes and structures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ legitimacy”, “efficiency” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Actors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Detailed role ontologies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Administrator”, “Facilitator”, “Member” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Position Defender”, “Argument Summarizer”, “Report Conclusion Editor” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Domains </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Professional culture, work practices, … </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Collaboration patterns <ul><ul><li>Patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Define relatively stable solutions to recurring problems at the right level of abstraction </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Capture socio-technical lessons learnt in optimizing the effectiveness and efficiency of collaboration processes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Typology of collaboration patterns (De Moor 2006) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Goal patterns </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Communication patterns </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Information patterns </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Task patterns </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Meta-patterns </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Collaboration pattern typology (1) <ul><ul><li>Goal patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Capture community and individual objectives </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ finished group report within two weeks”, “produce 3 arguments contra position X” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Collaboration pattern typology (2) <ul><ul><li>Communication patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Communicative workflow and norm definitions describing acceptable and desired communicative interactions (initiation, evaluation stages of comm. workflows) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ 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.” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conceptualizations of the content knowledge obtained from knowledge production activities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Each blog post and comment can be marked up with a category from a predefined list describing the topic of the discussion” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Collaboration pattern typology (3) <ul><ul><li>Task patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>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) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Each new blog post and comment is categorized by students playing the Discussion Summarizer role at the end of each day.” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meta-patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conceptual patterns necessary to interpret, validate, link, and assess the quality of other collaboration patterns </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ 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.” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. The case: an information pattern
  22. 22. The case: an enabled communication pattern (before)
  23. 23. The case: an enabled communication pattern (after)
  24. 24. Quo vadis? <ul><ul><li>Activation of online collaborative communities not trivial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The concept of activation needs to be better understood </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>LAP, PragWeb , actability, interactivity… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Socio-technical design patterns in their infancy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pr agmatic argumentation structures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Norm-driven activation mechanisms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Other fields: community informatics, coordination theory, CSCW, interoperability research, empirically grounded pattern languages, conceptual graphs… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The cybersky is the limit… </li></ul></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Communicating across virtual worlds
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