Activating Research Collaboratories with Collaboration Patterns


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This presentation explains how collaborative communities require evolving socio-technical systems. Collaboration patterns are important to design these systems and capture lessons learnt. The role of librarians as collaboration pattern stewards and collaborative working system architects is outlined.

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  • - communities for e-collaboration
  • Activating Research Collaboratories with Collaboration Patterns

    1. 1. Activating Research Collaboratories with Collaboration Patterns Ticer Summer Course 2009 Aldo de Moor CommunitySense the Netherlands WWW.COMMUNITYSENSE.NL
    2. 2. Seeing the system for the tools?
    3. 3. (Online) communities <ul><li>Communities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong, lasting interactions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bonds between members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Common space </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sense of community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Great variation of social, professional, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>and collaborative communities </li></ul></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Collaborative communities <ul><li>Collaborative communities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Common goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effective/efficient communication </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>Common space = Internet + face-to-face </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ecosystems of people and technologies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Prime example: research collaboratories </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboratories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>network-based facility and organizational entity that spans distance, supports rich and recurring human interaction oriented to a common research area, fosters contact between researchers who are both known and unknown to each other, and provides access to data sources, artifacts and tools required to accomplish research tasks ( </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>evolving socio-technical systems of people and tools aimed at providing environments for effective and efficient collaboration (De Moor 2004) </li></ul></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Research collaboratories as socio-technical systems Tool system Academic Libraries Faculties Social system “ virtual research support centre” University researchers External Knowledge Management Community ? Librarians “ 1.0” “ 2.0” + Library/ICT resources
    6. 6. Tool systems <ul><li>Tool system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the system of integrated and customized information and communication tools tailored to the specific information , communication , and coordination requirements of a collaborative community </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No standard solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Socio-technical systems design </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaborative communities need to evaluate the functionalities in their unique context of use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand the purpose of the technologies in this context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adopt a process view </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Example: co-authoring a call for papers </li></ul>
    7. 7. Co-authoring tool system v1 Author 1 Author 2 Version Author 2 Version Author 1 Version Author 3 Author 3
    8. 8. Co-authoring tool system v2 Author 1 Author 2 Version Author 2 Version Author 1 Version Author 3 Author 3 Conference
    9. 9. Co-authoring tool system v3 Author 3 / Editor Author 1 Author 2 Conference Agreed lines (Modified) paragraphs Chat Version Author 1 Version Author 1 Version Author 1 Version-in Progress
    10. 10. Towards socio-technical solutions <ul><ul><li>Research problem online collaborative communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Limited participation </li></ul></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>R&D 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><ul><ul><ul><li>Harvest, steward, disseminate these solutions: librarians to the rescue </li></ul></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Socio-technical system view Communication Purposes <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 Authoritative Definitions Ministry of Education Wikipedia “ Best encyclopedia” “ Better laws” Discuss Comprehensive Definitions
    12. 12. Socio-technical system development <ul><li>Do not focus on the tools, focus on the context of use </li></ul><ul><li>Pay attention to collaborative requirements, e.g. sociability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The purpose of an online community, its participants, and governing structure all influence how individuals interact and determine the character of the community” (Preece, 2000) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>System development 2.0 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Analysis: involve community in definitions of goals, processes, and roles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Design : trial-and-error is okay! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implementation : configuration, scripting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation : community “doing” Web 2.0 </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Modeling pragmatic communication processes <ul><li>From potential functionalities to actual use </li></ul><ul><li>Theories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Language/Action Perspective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Language as coordination mechanism, focusing on communicative interactions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pragmatic Web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Moving the research focus from semantics to pragmatics, from representing to using meaning (De Moor, 2005) </li></ul></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. 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 (online) communication processes to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of collaboration </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Digital class case </li></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><ul><ul><ul><li>Applications </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Case: a digital class 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 on 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 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Face-to-face lectures, parallel digital class </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tool system </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blackboard (Learning Management System) </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>
    16. 16. The GRASS authoring tool
    17. 17. Group report authoring workflow Wk1 Wk 2 Wk3 Wk4 Wk5 Wk6 Theory interpretation (blogs) Case information collection (blog) Report authoring (GRASS) Wk7 Wk8
    18. 18. 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 study class better than face-to-face study class </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><li>Fragmentation of discussion considered a major problem </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-> ‘ blog monitor’ helped to reduce sense of fragmentation and to increase participation </li></ul></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Activation lessons learnt <ul><li>Incentives for individual students to participate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimum score required to qualify for exam </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overview of current scores per student visible to all </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vouchers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Improving the awareness 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 awareness of activities across tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Blog monitor” </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. A conceptual model of online collaborative communities (1) <ul><li>Tool system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the system of integrated and customized information and communication tools tailored to the specific information , communication , and coordination requirements of a collaborative 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>
    21. 21. 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>“ WikiChampion”, “WikiZenMaster” </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>
    22. 22. 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>
    23. 23. Goal patterns <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>
    24. 24. Communication patterns <ul><ul><li>Communicative workflow and norm definitions describing acceptable and desired communicative interactions (focus on (1) initiation, evaluation stages of communicative workflows, (2) roles played by members) </li></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>
    25. 25. The case: an enabled communication pattern (before)
    26. 26. The case: an enabled communication pattern (after)
    27. 27. Collaboration pattern sources <ul><li>SLA Innovation Laboratory </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Science of Collaboratories </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>WikiPatterns site </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Public Sphere project </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Community Informatics Research Network </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
    28. 28. Collaboration pattern testbeds
    29. 29. Librarians 2.0 <ul><ul><li>Stephen Abram (Ticer, 2008) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>From content to context </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Teach students (researchers) the processes to let them get the facts when they need them </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Work with information ecologies and communities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Librarians are accessible individuals with unique skills who interact intensively with their student (researcher) community, supported by Web 2.0 technologies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Librarians are key socio-technical system experts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>From focus on basic information technologies, resources, and individual information retrieval support </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To focus on collaboration and communication processes and systems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Librarians are THE scouts, scribes, and supporters </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration pattern stewards </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Collaborative working system architects </li></ul></ul></ul>
    30. 30. Library 2.0 – From tools to systems Users Collaboration patterns + Content and technologies Collaborative working systems elicitation specification analysis Librarians Developers + Library/ICT resources Web 2.0 tools/ services
    31. 31. Library 2.0 - Tasks <ul><ul><li>Maintain collaboration pattern knowledge bases with reusable best practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Informal : wikis </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Formal : Semantic/Pragmatic Web pattern bases </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specify customized collaborative working systems using these patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide activation support for socio-technical systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Configurations/scripts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Workflow enactment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Wizards for complex research process design/support across tool boundaries </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grow best-practice research, education, and knowledge communities with local and global members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support the whole lifecycle of communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Act as the linking pins between communities </li></ul></ul>