The conceptual framing, design and evaluation of device ecologies for collaborative activities

Coughlan, Tim and Collins, Trevor D. and Adams, Anne and Rogers, Yvonne and Haya, Pablo A. and Martin, Estefania (2012) The conceptual framing, design and evaluation of device ecologies for collaborative activities. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 70 (10). pp. 765-779. ISSN 1071-5819

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Abstract

A variety of computing technologies, in addition to the personal computer, are now commonly used in many settings. As networking infrastructures mature, it is increasingly feasible and affordable to consider closer integration and use of these heterogeneous devices in tandem. However, little is known about how best to design or evaluate such ‘device ecologies’; in particular, how best to combine devices to achieve a desired type of collaborative user experience. A central concern is how users switch their attention between devices, to utilize the various elements to best effect. We describe here the development of an ecology of devices for groups of students to use when engaged in collaborative inquiry-learning activities. This included a multi-touch tabletop, laptops, projections, video streams and telephone. In situ studies of students and tutors using it in three different settings showed how individuals and groups switched their foci between the multiple devices. We present our findings, using a novel method for analysing users’ transitions between foci, identifying patterns and emergent characteristics. We then discuss the importance of designing for transitions that enable groups to appropriately utilise an ecology of devices, using the concepts of seams, bridges, niches and focal character.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 70(10)(2012)765-779. DOI 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2012.05.008
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Science > School of Computer Science
Depositing User: Coughlan, Dr Tim
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2013 10:15
Last Modified: 16 May 2016 00:32
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/1954

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