EAGER: Activity Awareness in Collaborative Information Analysis

Project: Research project

Project Details


This project will investigate the concept of activity awareness, defined as a team's awareness of its own sustained collaborative activity. It is set in the context of online distributed work, an increasingly typical and chronic work arrangement. Awareness is a critical enabler of collaborative online activity. Collaborators need to know who is present, what partners are doing, and how individual activity coordinates and coheres into group endeavor. Collaborators need to keep track of how their teamwork is organized and managed, including team strategies and practices, and interdependent member responsibilities and roles. They need to keep track of their partners' relevant experiences, distinctive resources and unique knowledge, prior contributions and perspectives, as well as values, expectations, and goals. In continuing or longer-term interactions, addressing shared projects of greater scope and complexity, collaborators must be aware of the status of work along many fronts. Issues that were raised an hour ago, or a week ago, may nonetheless be critical again. It is important for research to examine, understand, and provide effective tools and environments for these longer-term and broader real-world CSCW interactions.

The exploratory project has two primary goals: (1) further developing the concept of activity awareness, and (2) investigating empirical measures of activity awareness. First, developing the concept of activity awareness involves articulating and validating aspects of collaborative work activity that are critical to effective team coordination. The project will investigate how activity awareness is developed in teams, how it is facilitated and enhanced, and how it can be impeded or undermined. Second, the PI's prior research demonstrated several direct approaches to measuring activity awareness in complex laboratory reference tasks. A rich set of variables have been identified and developed in social and organizational psychology, but not investigated specifically as facilitators of or consequences of activity awareness. The project will design and carry out a laboratory study with a prototype tool and measure various facets of activity awareness and a number of contextual variables at both the individual and team levels to capture the complex and interdependent processes that occur throughout the project lifecycle.

Effective start/end date9/1/141/31/17


  • National Science Foundation: $158,000.00


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