The use of design activity for research into Computer Supported Co-operative Working (CSCW)
2006-03-21T15:26:26Z (GMT) by
This paper describes current research at Loughborough University in the field of Computer Supported Co-operative Working (CSCW). The project, which is funded by the Information Engineering Directorate (IED) within the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC), is titled 'Establishing the Communicational Requirements of Information Technology (IT) Systems that Support Humans Co-operating Remotely'. The research group have adopted a less cumbersome acronym for the project - ROCOCO which is derived from REmote COoperation and COmmunication. Design activity has been proposed as offering a suitable context for a study of co-operation and at the time of writing the first phase of the experiments - involving face to face or proximal co-operation - has been undertaken and the analysis begun. The ROCOCO project is about to embark on phase two involving remote co-operation. This paper presents, in some detail, the construction and operation of a pilot study that allowed project members to assess and adjust the experimental design prior to the start of Phase One. A selection of initial findings illustrate the nature of the investigation to be undertaken. The paper also seeks to highlight the importance of CSCW research for the design community. The substance of the paper is concerned with a presentation of issues involved in an analysis of co-operation, involving as it does, verbal and non-verbal communication.