Publication: Support for Workspace Awareness in Educational Groupware

Real-time educational groupware systems allow physically separated learners to work together in a shared virtual workspace at the same time. These systems do not yet approach the interaction richness of a face-to-face learning situation. In particular, one element poorly supported is workspace awareness: the up-to-the-minute knowledge a student requires about other students' interactions with the shared workspace. This awareness is essential if students are to learn and work together effectively. We present a framework of several types of awareness required by students in a collaborative learning situation, including their social, task, concept and workspace awareness. We then concentrate on workspace awareness, and describe how particular awareness requirements of students in group learning situations depend on the closeness of their tasks, and whether they are sharing the same view or have separate views into the workspace. From these requirements, we have prototyped several awareness widgets for educational groupware. These widgets help learners maintain awareness of other learners' locations when their views are separated, of other learners' activities in shared and separate view situations, and of other learners' past activities.




Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan
Gwen Stark
Saul Greenberg
University of Calgary


Gutwin, C., Stark, G., Greenberg, S. 1995. Support for Workspace Awareness in Educational Groupware. In Proceedings of ACM Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, 147-156.


@inproceedings {137-support-for-workspace-awareness-in-educational-groupware,
author= {Carl Gutwin and Gwen Stark and Saul Greenberg},
title= {Support for Workspace Awareness in Educational Groupware},
booktitle= {Proceedings of ACM Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning},
year= {1995},
pages= {147-156}