Use of Virtual Science Park Resource Rooms to Support Group Work in a Learning Environment
Association for Computing Machinery
This paper presents a detailed evaluation on the acceptability of a range of synchronous and asynchronous collaborative tools provided within the Virtual Science Park (VSP) for group work in a learning environment. In this study, the VSP was used to provide a web-based 'Resource Room' adopting the familiar 'folder' metaphor for structuring and linking resources, and a number of different user interfaces for interaction and sharing information. A list of criteria is established for the evaluation. By using scenario testing and structured questionnaires, qualitative feedback was collected from 43 Masters students. The findings reinforce and add to the concerns highlighted in other studies, in particular, the importance for shared awareness, privacy, conventions for interaction and the provision of an effective multimedia environment. More attention will be needed in these areas for effective use of these groupware tools.