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1 Collaborative Virtual Environments + Computer Supported Collaborative Work

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  • *Collaborative Virtual Environments +Computer Supported Collaborative Work

  • *CSCW & CVEs Definitions: CSCW, CVE Communication & Virtual Communication Collaboration & Task Delegation Peripheral Awareness In Tasks Community CVEs vs. Videoconferencing/ Teleconferencing

  • *Computer Supported Co-operative Work (CSCW)Groupware is the technology designed to facilitate the work of groupsCSCW is the field of study that relates to groupwareCSCW typically studies face-to-face collaborative work and assesses how to create the same useful phenomena in softwareGroupware is typically categorised along two dimensions:Synchronous vs. AsynchronousColocated vs. non-Colocated


    Non-co-llocatedSynchronous AsynchronousVotingPowerpointNoticeboardPhone,ChatroomEmail

  • *Groupware ApplicationsWe are still quite far from a grand groupware system encompassing every type of communicationPossibilities are constantly evolving, social interactions changing (esp. the last 10-12 yrs: remote working, mobile working)Asynchronous groupware (Time Lapse):EmailNewsgroups/mailing listsWorkflow systemsHypertextGroup calendarsCollaborative writing systems

  • *Groupware ApplicationsSynchronous groupware (Same Time):Shared whiteboardsVideo communicationsChat systemsDecision support systemsMulti-player gamesCollaborative virtual environments

  • *CSCW: People Before TechnologyIn the next fifty years, the increasing importance of designing spaces for human communication and interaction will lead to expansion in those aspects of computing that are focused on people, rather than machinery

    much of the most exciting new research and development will not be in traditional areas of hardware and software but will be aimed at enhancing our ability to understand, analyze, and create interaction spaces.

    Terry Winograd, Stanford University, 1997

  • *Collaborative Virtual EnvironmentsDistributed virtual spaces/places in which people meet and interact with others, agents, & virtual objects. Vary greatly in their representational richness and media supportMost significantly, they represent a shift in interacting with computers in that they provide a space that contains/encompasses data representations and work tools and users

    Main application areas to date: military & industrial team training, collaborative design & engineering, and multiplayer games

  • *TechnologiesHigh-end systems:Augmented Reality projection systemsTele-immersion rooms(Full body) motion captureLess intrusive input interfaces:Facial expression/pose estimation (with or without high contrast feature markers)Hand gesture (data glove vs. pure image processing)Speech recognitionIntuitive?Voice over IP (VOIP)Haptic Interfaces

  • *CommunicationVerbal: SpeechNon-Verbal:GazeFacial expressionGestureOther body languageHow important are the non-verbal channels for communication?How important are they for task co-ordination (i.e. collaboration?)

  • *Virtual Communication in CVEsNon-Verbal Communicationimportant for conversation & negotiation, particularly during complex collaborative workbody language (posture, arm movements)conversational phenomena (e.g. turn taking)confusion/understanding & other facial expressionsgaze/glancingPhysical/Social Presenceawareness of others activitiessocial norms: facing, orientation of avatar, commitment to conversation partner richer representations of self assists getting to know one another

  • *Virtual Communication in CVEsHow to drive inputs for these mechanisms?conscious control doesnt work (analogy of driving a car)scriptable gesture primitivessemi or fully automatic (AI) production of gaze, body language etc. e.g. linguistic and contextual analysis of typed text, or very high level user control onlymotion capture, image processing possibilities: the issue of two worlds may be a problem

  • *CollaborationCommunication vs. CollaborationWork artifact collaborationin real world domains, collaborative work involves the interleaving of singular and group activitiesthis requires considerable explicit and implicit communication. Collaborators must know what is currently being done and what has been done in context of task goals. What You See Is What I See (WYSIWIS)Conversational and action analysis studies of traditional collaborative work have shown the importance of being able to understand the viewpoints, focuses of attention and of action of collaborators. E.g.: video-link for bicycle repair Chance MeetingsThe meeting at the photocopier principle should be supported without the requirement for explicit action by the user Peripheral awareness / loose collaborationincreasingly seen as an important concept in collaborative work

  • *Virtual Work Objects (examples)Shared whiteboardsShared info. navigation

  • *Space, Place and CommunityA place has inherent within it a notion of the activities that occur (take place) thereA place contains within it not only the definition of a shared purpose, but also the evolution of social policies and appropriate virtual objects to support that shared purpose Virtual Communities may provide a solution to the problems of isolation that occur with teleworking they cannot develop without a sense of place, and they must be explicitly fostered in an online contextAnalytical studies of communication in a MUD-based work community (Evard et. al. 2001):social discussion accounted for over twice the amount of communication as work related discussion The patterns of interaction showed that this social communication provided foundations for the communityThis in turn supported the development of effective collaborative work-related problem-solving

  • *Advantages of Place..Persistent, shared virtual place fosters community, sense of ownership and belonging. This is important to combat the isolation and related problems often suffered by remote workers.Persistence of work artifacts also provides a strong sense of situatedness, which has much to do with memory recall and effective work.

  • *CSCW/CVE Workspace Design In designing a virtual collaboration space it is important not to slavishly replicate real life as this would be resource heavy

    Features To Optimize (4)

    Shared contextAwareness & PresenceNegotiation & communicationFlexible Viewpoints

  • *CSCW/CVE Workspace DesignShared Context

    In geographically distributed teams a sense of shared environment or context is a crucial element in supporting productive collaboration.A shared context exists in a collaborative team when all members have access to the same information, share the same tools, share the same work processes and also work cultures understandings of collaborative tasks

  • *CSCW/CVE Workspace DesignShared Context

    Just like in the everyday world familiar places will in turn lead to shared understandings. Shared context can also be described as a shared understanding and knowledge of current activities, past activities and the activities of others. Knowledge of the activities of other can help provide context for your own activity

  • *CSCW/CVE Workspace DesignAwareness + Presence

    Awareness encompasses the idea of knowing about the environment in which you exist; about your surroundings, and also the activities and presence of others (Rowan and Mynatt 2005). Dourish and Belloti (1992) regard awareness as having an understanding of the activities of others which provides you with a context for your own activity.

  • *CSCW/CVE Workspace DesignAwareness + Presence

    Churchill and Snowdon (2001) suggest that awareness should not only refer to the intentional awareness of the activities of participants but also of the peripheral activities outside of the current task context

  • *CSCW/CVE Workspace DesignAwareness + Presence

    Presence has been described as the psychological sensation of being there - having a sense of being in the place specified by the virtual environment rather than just seeing images depicting that placePresence can be used as an accurate measure of how effective a virtual environment is.

  • *CSCW/CVE Workspace DesignAwareness + Presence

    In CVEs presence can be categorised as either personal presence or co-presence. Personal presence is regarded as feeling present oneself whereas co-presence is used to describe the feeling of being in the same place as other participants, and also that these participants are real people (Casanueva and Blake 2000).

  • *CSCW/CVE Workspace DesignNegotiation + Communication

    Negotiation can be described as the art of persuading others to listen to your views and arguments, persuading them to consider your argumentsIn order to negotiate strategies, allocation of tasks and task structure in collaborative work there needs to be a seamless exchange of information between participants in order to cater for group decision making within the team in question.

  • *CSCW/CVE Workspace DesignNegotiation + Communication

    In CSCW, negotiation of what will serve as mutually acceptable shared knowledge is generally challenging to achieve. Synchronous remote interaction between geographically dispersed individuals can be difficultRole of communication (Verbal + Non verbal) in negotiating approaches to problems

  • *CSCW/CVE Workspace DesignFlexible Viewpoints

    Important in role based collaborationWhen supporting various different roles in a shared virtual space, flexible and dynamic viewpoints need to be supported for any collaborator, in order to aid the completion of his task.

  • *CSCW/CVE Workspace DesignFlexible Viewpoints

    WYSIWIS What you see is what I seeThis approach may not be useful for r