JCSCW Vol. 20 (2011)

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  • Journal Article
    Variations and Commonalities in Processes of Collaboration: The Need for Multi-Site Workplace Studies
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 20, 40634) Randell, Rebecca; Wilson, Stephanie; Woodward, Peter
    Workplace studies have made a major contribution to the field of CSCW, drawing attention to subtle practices that enable effective collaboration. However, workplace studies typically focus on a single setting, making it difficult to assess the generalisability of the findings. Through a multi-site workplace study, we explore a specific collaborative process, that of the handover which occurs when a patient is transferred from one hospital or ward to another. The study demonstrates that the term ‘handover’ captures a variety of collaborative practices that vary in both their form and content, reflecting aspects of the setting in which they occur. Multi-site workplace studies are shown to be essential for CSCW, not only generating findings that have relevance beyond a single setting but also focusing attention on aspects of work practice that may otherwise go unnoticed.
  • Journal Article
    Artefactual Multiplicity: A Study of Emergency-Department Whiteboards
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 20, 40634) Bjørn, Pernille; Hertzum, Morten
    Whiteboards are highly important to the work in emergency departments (EDs). As a collaborative technology ED whiteboards are usually placed in the dynamic centre of the ED, and all ED staff will approach the whiteboard regularly to organize their individual yet interdependent work. Currently, digital whiteboards are replacing the ordinary dry-erase whiteboards in EDs, which bring the design and use of whiteboards in ED to our attention. Previous studies have applied the theoretical lenses of common information spaces, coordination, and awareness to the investigation of whiteboard use and design. Based on an ethnographic study of the work practices involving two differently designed ED whiteboards, we found these concepts insufficient to explain one essential characteristic of these heterogeneous artefacts. In this paper, we suggest an additional theoretical concept describing this characteristic of heterogeneous artefacts; namely artefactual multiplicity. Artefactual multiplicity identifies not only the multiple functions of heterogeneous artefacts but also the intricate relations between these multiple functionalities.
  • Journal Article
    The Concept of ‘Work’ in CSCW
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 20, 2011) Schmidt, Kjeld
    The scope of CSCW, its focus on work , has been a topic of sporadic debate for many years — indeed, from the very beginning in the late 1980s. But in recent years the issue has become one of general concern. Most of this debate has been taking place in closed fora such as program committees, editorial boards, and email discussion groups, but over the last few years the debate has been brought out in the open in a few publications, in particular in a programmatic article from 2005 by three esteemed CSCW researchers: Andy Crabtree, Tom Rodden, and Steve Benford. They argue that CSCW should ‘move its focus away from work’. Other researchers argue along the same lines. Taking this open challenge as a welcome cue, the present article addresses CSCW’s scope: the rationale for its focus on ordinary work. After an initial discussion of the arguments put forward by Crabtree et al. and by others, the article focuses on an analysis of the concept of ‘work’, drawing on the methods and insights of ‘ordinary language philosophy’, and, flowing from this, a critique of the notion of ‘work’ in conversation analysis. After a critical appraisal of prevailing myths about the realities of work in the contemporary world, the article ends in an attempt to position CSCW in the context of technological development more broadly. The underlying premise of the article is that it is time to reconsider CSCW: to rethink what it is and why it might be important.
  • Journal Article
    Technology in Protestant Ministry
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 20, No. 6, 40878) Grinter, Rebecca E.; Wyche, Susan P.; Hayes, Gillian R.; Harvel, Lonnie D.
    As Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) have entered homes and more, so Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) research has expanded to examine new motivations for coordination and communications. Recently this has grown to include a focus on religion. But, yet, while the uses of ICTs by practitioners of a variety of faiths have been examined, far less is known about how officials within religious institutions adopt, use and reject ICTs. In this paper, we report findings from a study of American Protestant Christian ministers’ use of ICTs. We present findings and discuss the use of systems in church management, worship, pastoral care, and outreach, and the challenges in integrating ICTs into religious practice. Despite these difficulties, we found that ministers, chose to experiment with ICTs because of their ability to sustain, reinforce and grow their church (laity and ministry collectively) community.
  • Journal Article
    Investigating the Role of a Large, Shared Display in Multi-Display Environments
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 20, No. 6, 40820) Wallace, James R.; Scott, Stacey D.; Lai, Eugene; Jajalla, Deon
    We conducted an empirical study to investigate the use of personal and shared displays during group work. The collaborative environments under study consisted of personal workspaces, in the form of laptops, and a shared virtual workspace displayed on a nearby wall. Our study compared the use of the large shared display under two different interface content conditions; a status display that provided an overview of the group’s current task performance, and a replicated view of the shared workspace that allowed task work to occur on the shared display. The study results suggest that while participants used their personal displays primarily to perform the task, the shared display facilitated several key teamwork mechanisms. In particular, the provided status display best facilitated monitoring of group progress, whereas the replicated content display best facilitated conversational grounding. Regardless of the shared display content, having a shared, physical reference point also appeared to support synchronization of the group activity via body language and gaze.
  • Journal Article
    Computer Interaction Analysis: Toward an Empirical Approach to Understanding User Practice and Eye Gaze in GUI-Based Interaction
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 20, No. 6, 40807) Moore, Robert J.; Churchill, Elizabeth F.
    Today’s personal computers enable complex forms of user interaction. Unlike older mainframe computers that required batch processing, personal computers enable real-time user control on a one-to-one basis. Such user interaction involves mixed initiative, logic, language and pointing gestures, features reminiscent of interaction with another human. Yet there are also major differences between computer interaction and human interaction, such as computers’ inability to stray from scripts or to adapt to the idiosyncrasies of particular recipients or situations. Given these similarities and differences, can we study computer interaction using methods similar to those for studying human interaction? If so, are the findings from the analysis of human interaction also useful in understanding computer interaction? In this paper, we explore these questions and outline a novel methodological approach for examining human-computer interaction, which we call “computer interaction analysis.” We build on earlier approaches to human interaction with a computer and adapt them to the latest technologies for computer screen capture and eye tracking. In doing so, we propose a new transcription notation scheme that is designed to represent the interweaving streams of input actions, display events and eye movements. Finally we demonstrate the approach with concrete examples involving the phenomena of placeholding, repair and referential practices.
  • Journal Article
    Collocated Social Practices Surrounding Photo Usage in Archaeology
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 20, 40817) Locatelli, Marco P.; Simone, Carla; Ardesia, Viviana
    Archaeology is a domain of work where photographs play a relevant role: here they are used in different phases of the archaeological work for many purposes, some of which are common to other domains or to home usage (e.g., archiving). We focus our attention on one of the initial phases of the archaeological process, namely excavation, since the related activities use photographs in a very particular way and under the constraints of a very demanding physical setting. Moreover, in this phase the use of digitized photographs is recent, and in their adoption they are interestingly combined with photographs printed on paper. This paper presents the results of a study performed at an archaeological site in the south of Italy: it reports the observed collocated collaborative practices surrounding photographs and discusses these practices to identify some functionalities of a supportive technology.
  • Journal Article
    “Remain Faithful to the Earth!”*: Reporting Experiences of Artifact-Centered Design in Healthcare
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 20, 40817) Cabitza, Federico
    In this paper we report about two design experiences in the domain of healthcare information technology that shed light on the advantages of getting rid of complex and abstract representations of hospital work and of concentrating on the artifacts that practitioners habitually use in their daily practice. We ground our approach in the recent literature on the often unintended shortcomings exhibited by healthcare information systems and propose a lightweight method to support the phases of requirement elicitation and functional design. We then discuss the main requirements expressed in our recent research activity and provide examples of how to address them in terms of modular and reusable design solutions.
  • Journal Article
    Accounting and Co-Constructing: The Development of a Standard for Electronic Health Records
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 20, No. 6, 40746) Bossen, Claus
    Patient records are central, constitutive parts of health care and hospitals. Currently, substantial sums are being invested in making patient records electronic, in order to take advantage of IT’s ability to quickly accumulate, compute, and propagate data to multiple sites, to enhance coordination of health care services and cooperation among staff, and make patient records immediately accessible to distributed actors. Investors also aim to increase health care services’ accountability and integration, and improve quality and efficiency. This paper analyses a Danish national standard for electronic health records, on the basis of an application prototype test designed to that standard. The analysis shows that, inscribed in the standard is an ambition to increase the accountability of staff and health care services at the cost of increased work, loss of overview, and fragmentation of patient cases. Significantly, despite the standard having been conceived and developed in a process of co-construction involving clinicians, clinicians did not find it adequate for their work. This analysis argues this was the result of the model of work embedded in the standard coming from a stance external to practice. Subsequently, a flip-over effect occurred, in which the model of work became a model for work. Hence, this paper argues that co-construction processes should not only include users as representatives of a profession, but strive to produce experiences and knowledge intrinsic to practice.
  • Journal Article
    Supporting the Collaborative Appropriation of an Open Software Ecosystem
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 20, 40817) Draxler, Sebastian; Stevens, Gunnar
    Since the beginning of CSCW there was an intense interest for research on workplace design using tailorable applications and sharing customizations. However, in the meantime the forms of production, distribution, configuration and appropriation of software have changed fundamentally. In order to reflect these developments, we enlarge the topic of discussion beyond customizing single applications, but focusing on how people design their workplaces making use of software ecosystems. We contribute to understand the new phenomenon from within the users’ local context. By empirically studying the Eclipse software ecosystem and its appropriation, we show the improved flexibility users achieve at designing their workplaces. Further the uncovered practices demonstrate, why design strategies like mass-customization are a bad guiding principle as they just focus on the individual user. In contrast we outline an alternative design methodology based on existing CSCW approaches, but also envision where the workplace design in the age of software ecosystems has to go beyond.