CS4458 Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 2017

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Alternative URL: http://tinyurl.com/CS4458-2017



  • Lecturer: Dr. Laura Maye
  • Office Hours:
    • Mondays: 2pm - 4pm
    • Tuesdays: 1pm - 3pm



  • 9 am - 11 am Wednesday SG17


  • 11 am - 1 pm on Wednesday in CS305a

Assessment Overview

  • Midterm exam, from the material presented in class and recommended readings- 40% (40/100) - held on 8 March at 11am in CS305a
  • Individual class presentation and poster/summary on selected topic - 25% (25/100) more information
    • You must have these groups formed, topics chosen, and time slot chosen by Friday 3 February 2017, or you will lose 5% of your mark!
  • Group project- role playing, selection and evaluation of collaborative tools - 35% (35/100) more information
    • You must have these groups formed and tasks chosen by Friday 10 February 2017, or you will lose 5% of your mark!

* N.B: In each of the three assessments, you must receive a passing grade of 40% to pass the module * i.e..: You must score at least 16/40 in your midterm exam, 10/25 in your individual class presentation and summary, and 14/35 in your group project to achieve the minimum grade of C3 (40%)!

Mark to grade translation table

               30% D2          56% B3
               35% D1          60% B2
               40% C3          64% B1
               48% C2          72% A2
               52% C1          80% A1

CS4458 Computer Supported Cooperative Work


This course will introduce students to the CSCW and groupware field. It will cover basic concepts in the field and include an examination of software systems designed to support cooperative work - their design, use and evaluation. Issues such as peripheral awareness, ownership of information, common information spaces, media spaces, group support systems, coordination mechanisms and contextual factors in the workplace will be studied. Students will use some groupware technologies, and do a project in the course.


  • Understanding Cooperative Work as a form of work: Communication, collaboration and cooperation at work.
  • Computer support for cooperative work: Groupware systems. The role of technology in supporting /disrupting cooperative work. Strengths and Weaknesses of Audio and Video enhanced systems.
  • The role of the social sciences in CSCW. Field Studies. Ethnographic studies of work.
  • Collaborative Software Systems; Commercial systems - design goals and experiences of their use. Synchronous and asynchronous systems.
  • The problems of evaluation. Methods for evaluation. Issues of organizational context.
  • Hands-on experience with specific groupware systems. Group evaluation.
  • Key unresolved issues in the field, based on current debates and future directions.
  • Incorporating insights from social sciences into system design;
  • Relation of CSCW to Scandinavian tradition of systems development - cooperative design.



Week 1: 25 January 2017

  • No labs

Week 2: 1 February 2017

Week 3: 8 February 2017

Week 4: 15 February 2017

Week 5: 22 February 2017

  • 11am - 12pm: Individual assignment presentations: CSCW at home
    • Tiarna Dermody, Conor Maher, Dylan Moore, and Erin McLoughlin
    • 11:00 - 11:15: Tiarna Dermody - Connecting in the Kitchen: An Empirical Study of Physical Interactions while Cooking Together at Home
    • 11:15 - 11:30: Erin Mcloughlin - Pass the iPad: Collaborative Creating and Sharing in Family Groups
    • 11:30 - 11:45: Dylan Moore - FM Radio: Family Interplay with Sonic Mementos
    • 11:45 - 12:00: Conor Maher - The Family Window: The Design and Evaluation of a Domestic Media Space

Week 6: 1 March 2017

  • 11:00 - 12:30: Individual presentations on topic CSCW and Open Source Applications
    • Patrick O'Connor, Cian O'Donnell, Tadhg Abraham, Sarah Stapleton, and Michael Danford
    • 11:00 - 11:15: Michael Danford - Finding a way to OSM Mapping Practices
    • 11:15 - 11:30: Patrick O'Connor - Social Coding in GitHub: Transparency and Collaboration in an Open Software Repository
    • 11:30 - 11:45: Tadhg Abraham - Newcomer Integration and Learning in Technical Support Communities for Open Source Software
    • 11:45 - 12:00: Sarah Stapleton - Collaborative Development of Data Curation Profiles on a Wiki Platform: Experience from Free and Open Source Software Projects and Communities
    • 12:00 - 12:15: Cian O'Donnell - Articulations of WikiWork: Uncovering Valued Work in Wikipedia through Barnstars
    • 12:15 - 12:30: Lorcan O' Toole - Supporting Traditional Music-Making: Designing for Situated Discretion

Week 7: 8 March 2017

  • Mid term test (11am - 1pm in CS3-05a)

Week 8: 15 March 2017

  • 11:00 - 12:00: Individual presentations on topic CSCW in Museums and Arts
    • Kerry O'Connor, Adriana Janika, and Rebecca Foley
    • 11:00 - 11:15: Kerry O'Connor - Engaging Constable: Revealing Art with New Technology
    • 11:15 - 11:30: Adriana Janicka - Lessons From The Lighthouse: Collaboration In A Shared Mixed Reality System
    • 11:30 - 11:45: Rebecca Foley - Supporting Group Coherence in a Museum Visit
  • 12:00 - 13:00: CSCW lab: Media spaces

Week 9: 22 March 2017

  • 11:00 - 12:00: Individual presentations on topic CSCW and emergency preparedness (e.g. disaster relief)
    • Oisin O'Reilly and Ciaran Cummins
    • 11:00 - 11:15: Ciaran Cummins - Designing for the Deluge: Understanding & Supporting the Distributed, Collaborative Work of Crisis Volunteers
    • 11:15 - 11:30: Oisin O'Reilly - Relief Work after the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Leadership in

an Online Resource Coordination Network

  • 12:00 - 12:30: Individual presentations on topic Media Spaces in CSCW
    • Thomas Wall, Conor O'Sullivan, Colm Henry, and Ronan Gardiner
    • 12:00 - 12:15: Ronan Gardiner - Experiences2Go: Sharing Kids' Activities Outside the Home with Remote Family Members.
    • 12:15 - 12:30: Thomas Wall - Family Portals: Connecting Families Through a Multifamily Media Space.
    • 12:30 - 12:45: Conor O'Sullivan - Asymmetry in Media Spaces
    • 12:45 - 13:00: Student 4 - which paper are you presenting?

Week 10: 29 March 2017

  • 11:00 - 12:00: Individual presentations on topic Hacking, Making and DIY in CSCW
    • Conor Cunningham and Melanie Jones
    • 11:00 - 11:15: Melanie Jones - Making Community: The Wider Role of Makerspaces in Public Life
    • 11:15 - 11:30: Conor Cunningham - The Proper Care and Feeding of Hackerspaces:Care Ethics and Cultures of Making
  • 12:00 - 13:00: Individual presentations on topic Appropriation of Technologies in Organisations and amongst Communities
    • Niall Deegan, Colm O'Driscoll, Kern McCarthy, and Rebecca Carroll
    • 12:00 - 12:15: Rebecca Carroll - “It is Not Because You Have Tools that You Must use Them” - The Difficult Domestication of a Telemedicine Toolkit to Manage Emergencies in Nursing Homes ?
    • 12:15 - 12:30: Kern McCarthy - Cultural Appropriation: Information Technologies as Sites Of Transnational Imagination
    • 12:30 - 12:45: Colm O' Driscoll - Appropriation by Unanticipated Users: Looking Beyond Design Intent and Expected Use.
    • 12:45 - 13:00: Niall Deegan - Making Things Work: Dimensions of Configurability as Appropriation Work

Week 11: 5 April 2017

  • Presentations on progress of group report

Week 12: 19 April 2017

  • To be added

Individual assignments - presentations during the lab

  • Each of you will be assigned a paper to read and present in class.

You will get 10 minutes for the presentation and 5 minutes for discussion. Your presentation should include:

  • The paper title, authors, publication year and venue (conference or journal)
  • Your name, student number, and the date of your presentation
  • An outline of your presentation - 1 slide
  • Introduction: what was your paper about - 1 slide
  • Context, main concepts, definitions - 1 slide
  • Methodology - 1 slide
  • Main points in the paper - a summary - max 3 slides
  • Your conclusions - what are you taking away ? - 1 slide

A week after the presentation (at latest), you will have to upload your slides and an A1 poster (following this template) to Sulis in order to be graded.

Papers for the midterm exam

  • Notes presented on lecture slides
  • Jonathan Grudin and Steve Pollock: Computer Supported Cooperative Work on interaction-design.org
  • All of the following papers will be made available in the CSCW account drive:
  • Kate Starbird and Leysia Palen. 2011. "Voluntweeters": self-organizing by digital volunteers in times of crisis. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '11). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1071-1080.
  • Jakob E. Bardram and Claus Bossen. 2005. A web of coordinative artifacts: collaborative work at a hospital ward. In Proceedings of the 2005 international ACM SIGGROUP conference on Supporting group work (GROUP '05). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 168-176.
  • Rahat Iqbal, Richard Gatward, and Anne James. 2005. A general approach to ethnographic analysis for systems design. In Proceedings of the 23rd annual international conference on Design of communication: documenting & designing for pervasive information (SIGDOC '05). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 34-40.
  • Andreas F. Phelps and Madhu Reddy. 2009. The influence of boundary objects on group collaboration in construction project teams. In Proceedings of the ACM 2009 international conference on Supporting group work (GROUP '09). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 125-128.
  • Andrew Crabtree, Tom Rodden, Peter Tolmie, and Graham Button. 2009. Ethnography considered harmful. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '09). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 879-888


  • Art installations: CSCW and the arts, media, museums, etc.
  • Systems for emergency preparedness and large-scale rapid deployment (e.g. disaster relief)
  • Virtual Environments and CSCW
  • CSCW and interactions/participation in the city and communities
  • Methodologies and tools for design and analysis of collaborative practices
  • Creating media spaces through collaborative work
  • Social and organizational effects of introducing technologies
  • Computer-Supported Cooperative Music
  • CSCW at home: cooperative work in the family
  • Computer Supported Cooperative Care/Health
  • Communities online: Web 2.0, Social Media, Enterprise 2.0, Mashups
  • Computer-Supported Cooperative Learning in the era of Web 2.0
  • The Open Source phenomenon as CSCW application
  • Making, digital art, hacking and other craft in CSCW applications

Course material

  • Greif, I. (ed.) 1988 CSCW: A Book of Readings. San Mateo, CA: Morgan Kaufmann.
  • Selected papers from European CSCW (1989-) and ACM CSCW (1986-) Conferences.
  • Selected material from CSCW Journal (Kluwer) (1992-).

Other topics:

Reading a research paper

Individual assignments: Presentation and Poster (25%)

  • Presentation template: Download
  • Poster template: Template 1 OR Template 2 (template 1 looks nicer!)
  • You must have topics chosen and time slot chosen by Friday 3 February 2017, or you will lose 5% of your mark!
  • While this assignment will be completed and graded individually, it will be done in groups of 3-4
  • Each group will pick a topic of interest from the suggested topic list. You will be sent an invite to participate in a poll to suggest your topic
    • assign your slot with your student ID number
    • Only one person per group needs to choose the topic, but you should include the ID numbers of all students in your group in the poll
    • Only one group per topic is allowed! It is a first come first served basis, so fill in the poll as soon as possible.
  • Each group will pick a time slot to present the papers in their topic (sent via doodle link sent via email)
  • I will then send the group a paper for each person within that group to read
  • In each group, each student should:
    • Read one paper on that selected topic (suggested by Laura)
    • Present that paper during the time slot booked (10 minutes for presenting and 5 minutes for Q&A)

** By one week after the presentation, each student will have to hand in the slides they used for the presentation and a poster on the topic, including potential suggestions from the discussion

  • There will be 15% for presenting and 10% for the poster.
  • In the lab on 1 Feb 2017 (week 2), I will help each group pick a topic and a paper if they have not done yet already

Your presentation should include:

    • The paper title, authors, publication year and venue (conference or journal)
    • Your name, student number, and the date of your presentation
    • An outline of your presentation - 1 slide
    • Introduction: what was your paper about - 1 slide
    • Context, main concepts, definitions - 1 slide
    • Methodology - 1 slide
    • Main points in the paper - a summary - max 3 slides
    • Your conclusions - what are you taking away? - 1 slide - These should be YOUR takeaway of the paper, not the authors!!
  • Submit all material for this assignment on SULIS (https://sulis.ul.ie/) with the following instructions
    • I will set up an assignment page specifically for this and post the link here
    • Save your presentation in PDF format and name it IDNumber_CS4458_Presentation.pdf e.g. 123456789_CS4458_Presentation.pdf
    • Save your poster in PDF format and name it 'IDNumber_CS4458_Poster.pdf e.g. 123456789_CS4458_Poster.pdf

Group assignments (35%)

  • There is a presentation and paper due for this assignment.
  • Further details in PDF format: here

Assignment briefing

  • Students will form groups of 3-4 (these groups can be the same as for the individual assignment)
  • Each group will choose from one of the tasks outlined below (it is OK if more than one group chooses a task)
  • The students will define a scenario and roles for each person to take from this task
  • The group will choose at least one tool from each of the following categories to enact this scenario:
    • 1. Collaborative editing tools (wiki, Google Docs)
    • 2. Communication tools (mailing list, IM, Skype, Twitter,text messages)
    • 3. Coordination& miscellanea (project blog, Sulis forum, Google calendar, To-do lists, virtual room , etc)
    • i.e. at least one collaborative tool, at least one communication tool, and at least on coordination tool)
  • Choose a tool that you think the people you are enacting could learn
  • Try out the tool with your group members, understand its functionalities, how it can be used, for what purposes
  • Each of you has to take responsibility for presenting one of the applications, encourage your teammates to use it and define the rules of usage throughout the project. You will also gather information about significant incidents (successes, failures, communication breakdowns)- collecting evidence like screenshots, chat logs or interviewing the group members about the specific incidents.

Class presentation on Progress

What should be included in the presentations to take place on 5 April 2017?

  • title page
  • outline of the presentation
  • 2-3 slides for each tool
  • examples of situations that occurred to date - both war and success stories
  • reflections and future work
  • conclusion
  • The presentation is due in PDF format by 21 April 2017, 5pm and should be named in the format GROUPX_CS4458_Presentation.pdf, e.g. GROUP1_CS4458_Presentation.pdf and submitted on sulis
  • send a backup of these slides to laura.maye@ul.ie

Final Group Report

What should be included in the report due 21 April 2017?

  • Title page - Pick up a name for your project and add the names of the authors, date and module
  • Table of content
  • Introduction - collaborative work in general, what scenario you picked and who is playing what role, what tools you picked up and what purpose each of them had - even if they are not presented in detail later. If you used mobile phones to coordinate, mention it.
  • Tool 1 - for each mention the category it belongs to, the general use (collaboration aka working together on something, coordination and/or communication), the functionalities you have used the most. Add links to the literature, showing how your own observations prove or disprove the findings in the literature, and presenting examples from your work (500 words)
  • Tool 2 -same
  • Tool 3 -same
  • Discussion/reflection:
    • What worked well in your collaboration and what could be improved?
    • What part of the work was done working apart, and what part working together in the same room?
    • Would it have worked out without meeting in person at all?
    • Were you ever frustrated because of the technology?
    • find 1-2 CSCW (or Information Systems) papers that refer to that specific application or to one of the same category (Laura can help with this task); summarize the problems presented in the paper(s) and show how your own experience confirms or disproves the paper's findings
    • If you'd start again, would you pick up a different tool? What would you do differently?
  • Conclusion: what do you think were the most important 3 things you have learned from this collaboration.
  • References
  • Max 20 pages in total, with screen captures and everything (excluding title page, TOC, references, and appendices).
  • If you wrote a blog, or have chat logs, you can attach them as appendices.
    • The report is due on SULIS in PDF format by 21 April 2017, 5pm and should be named in the format GROUPX_CS4458_FinalReport.pdf, e.g. GROUP1_CS4458_FinalReport.pdf
    • Send a backup of this file to laura.maye@ul.ie
    • One group member will make the submission on behalf of the group

The topics for the group assignment

  • Remember, for each topic, you will have to
    • Each pick a role
    • draw a profile of your users
    • select applications they could master
    • develop and enact a scenario of collaboration
    • enact that scenario with your colleagues.
A. Organise a Family-Fun Day (or another community oriented event) for a Local Community
  • Develop a scenario for volunteers organising a family-fun day (or another event of your choice) for a local community. Think about the roles each person will take when organising this event and what kind of tools would be appropriate to coordinate this event and communicate with the other organisers.
B. Organise a DIY Craft/Hacker course
  • DIY practices and hacking are becoming more common in Ireland. Create a scenario for organising a DIY craft course. Think about who the organisers may be (e.g. hackers, artists, makers etc.) and what tools they may use to coordinate the organisation and promote the course.
C. Organise an Exhibition for a Museum
  • You have to come up with a scenario regarding the collaborative tools that could be used by art curators or historians to prepare and promote an exhibition. Each member of your group should pick a role (e.g. curator, exhibition designer etc.). Motivate your choice of tools to coordinate the organisation and communicate with your fellow organisers. Create a plan for the interaction with the public during the preparation and after the opening of the exhibition.

D. Organise a Tour for your Theatre Company or Band
  • Pick up appropriate collaborative tools to organise a tour for a theatre company/music band. Think about the activities involved, the tools the members and the manager would be comfortable with, and plan for the advertising and sales, as well as the interaction with the public.
E. Teaching an online music or graphic design course
  • Nowadays, teaching of various formal and informal courses can be done in different places. Develop a scenario for preparing an online music or graphic design course. Each group member should take a role (e.g. student, music/graphic design teacher, co-ordinator of lesson plan, etc.). Draw an outline for the course, decide on the format of the content, assignments, student feedback. Each person in the group should take a role. Think of tools they would use to co-ordinate and communicate amongst each other and promote the event to the public.
F. Patient Support Group
  • Develop a scenario for a patient support group for a particular condition (diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis etc.) to allow them to keep in touch amongst themselves and with interested medical personnel.
G. Organise work in an advertising agency
  • You are the members of a distributed team with different skills: graphic design, copy writer, videographer, interaction designer. You live in different locations and you all work from home. What are the tools you need to articulate your work - i.e. divide the work and integrate the components each of you will produce? Plan for project management and time reporting as well.
H. Online Support for a DIY Community
  • Makerspaces have become widespread throughout the world. People interested in making, repairing and altering all kinds of tools, appliances and installations are getting together to work on joint projects in community spaces of all sorts. Select the appropriate technologies that would allow makerspaces in Ireland to stay in touch, share ideas and organise joint events.

Examples of work from previous years

Groups and topics for the assignment

Add names and topics next to each group. Use A, B, C for identifying the topics.

G Group 1: Kerry O'Connor - 14139014, Adriana Janicka - 14141515, Rebecca Foley - 14152479

H Group 2: Niall Deegan - 13119338, Rebecca Carroll - 14145928, Colm O'Driscoll - 14172224, Kern McCarthy - 14167964

A Group 3: Thomas Wall - 14147238, Colm Henry - 12147842, Conor O'Sullivan - 14171988, Ronan Gardiner - 13123629

C Group 4: Melanie Jones - 14183366, Oisin O'Reilly - 14170442, Conor Cunningham - 12170623 , Ciaran Cummins - 14171856

G Group 5: Patrick O’Connor - 14162466, Sarah Stapleton - 14155982, Cian O’Donnell - 14157373

G Group 6: Michael Danford - 14136619, Tadhg Abraham - 14144158, Lorcan O'Toole - 12158666

C Group 7: Tiarna Dermody 14140071, Erin McLoughlin 13155458, Dylan Moore 14175894, Conor Maher 14146304

Group presentation schedule

  • Wednesday 5th April 2017
  • Location: CS3-05a
    • 11:00 - 11:15: Group 4 - Melanie Jones - 14183366, Oisin O'Reilly - 14170442, Conor Cunningham - 12170623, Ciaran Cummins - 14171856
    • 11:15 - 11:30: Group 1: Kerry O'Connor - 14139014, Adriana Janicka - 14141515, Rebecca Foley - 14152479
    • 11:30 - 11:45: Group 7 - Tiarna Dermody 14140071, Erin McLoughlin 13155458, Dylan Moore 14175894, Conor Maher 14146304
    • 11:45 - 12:00: ‘’'Group 5 - Patrick O’Connor - 14162466, Sarah Stapleton - 14155982, Cian O’Donnell - 14157373
    • 12:00 - 12:15: Thomas wall 14147238, ronan gardiner 13123629, colm henry 12147842, conor o sullivan 14171988
    • 12:15 - 12:30: Niall Deegan - 13119338, Rebecca Carroll - 14145928, Colm O'Driscoll - 14172224, Kern McCarthy - 14167964
    • 12:30 - 12:45: Group 6: Michael Danford - 14136619, Tadhg Abraham - 14144158, Lorcan O'Toole - 12158666

A few suggestions for literature resources for tools

Google Calendar, Google Docs
Google Hangouts
  • John C. Tang, Carolyn Wei, and Reena Kawal. 2012. Social telepresence bakeoff: Skype group video calling, google+ hangouts, and microsoft avatar kinect. In Proceedings of the ACM 2012 conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work Companion (CSCW '12). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 37-40. DOI=http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2141512.2141531
  • Stephen MacNeil, Celine Latulipe, and Aman Yadav. 2015. Learning in Distributed Low-Stakes Teams. In Proceedings of the eleventh annual International Conference on International Computing Education Research (ICER '15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 227-236. DOI=http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2787622.2787727
Project Management tools
  • Chen et al(2003) A Collaborative Project Management Architecture, HICSS '03
  • Knotts et al (1998)[www.computer.org/comp/proceedings/hicss/1998/8233/01/82330623.pdf A Project Management Tool for Computer-Supported Cooperative Work During Project Planning]
  • Hilko Donker and Malte Blumberg. 2008. Collaborative process management and virtual teams. In Proceedings of the 2008 international workshop on Cooperative and human aspects of software engineering (CHASE '08). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 41-43. DOI=10.1145/1370114.1370125


  • February - groups and scenarios defined
  • March - each group decides on the applications they want to use, create accounts and decide on weekly online meetings
  • March - 500 words description of the apps ready, papers identified, incidents documented
  • 31 March 2017, 5pm - draft of presentation and draft paper uploaded into Sulis for feedback (optional)
  • 5 April 2017 -: Present your work to date for feedback (slot during lectures and labs)
  • 21 Apr 2017 - group report and slides submitted via sulis and a backup sent via email

Assessment Breakdown

  • presentation 15%
  • group report 20%
  • all group members will receive the same mark

Wiki sandbox

Personal tools