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NADA / Kurser / 2D1416

^ Laborations

L1 & L2 | L3 | L4 | L5 | L6

^ Lab 1 & 2: Sharing and commenting on documents with the DHS


This lab is divided into two parts. The purpose of the first part is to involve you in a collaborative task using the WWW as infrastructure. The second part of this lab is to involve you in an asynchronous text-based discussion around a document. Sharing and asynchronous discussion are critical concepts in CSCW; this lab will face you with a simple and practical sharing task.


The lab requires WWW access and basic navigation knowledge, to search on the Web, an email account.


The prototype Col•lecció can be used as a Web browser bookmark with a collaborative focus. It can be used to collect Web-documents. Furthermore, comments can be associated to the collected Web-documents. These comments can form a dialogue about the Web-document within the group.

Most important Newspapers in Sweden present their issue in digital format. Find one to three newspaper article that you consider interesting to discuss with your classroom mates with the following characteristics:

  • It has to be shown on a Web browser without the help of any plug in. That is PDF, MSWord documents, or the like are not suitable for this Lab.
  • Content: It should concern cooperation with or without computers.
  • Length 500-1000 words. It can include graphic
  • Language: English or Swedish

Once you have found your article, you have to "bookmark" it using Col•lecció. You will give a title to it though the same one that it has can be used. The article you add will be associated to your name so think twice before including it. The more interesting your article is, the more attractive it will be for the discussion in Lab 2.

Lab 2 is an asynchronous discussion around the articles collected in Lab 1. After including your articles you have to motivate why you decided to included that article in particular and, if possible, describe your search experience.

You have to read others articles and give your opinion about them. The main idea is to discuss the articles. You have to be active in the discussions. This is important to pass this lab.

Way of reporting

After the lab a Web-survey will be given to the students. You have to reply to this questionnaire. Also you have to make a report describing your sharing and text-based communication experience. One page long (times 12, A4). The report has to be sent to henrry.


Deadline for Lab 1 is 23rd of January 2003 and deadline for Lab 2 is 30th of January 2003.

^ Lab 3 Synchronous writing collaboration with Aspects


The purpose with this laboration is to experience participation in a joint writing task, using a synchronous collaborative writing tool.


Basic familiarity with the Apple Macintosh environment.

Tools: Aspects 1.7, developed by Grouplogic for the Macintosh.


The lab assignment is carried out in groups of 2-4 students.
  • You will be assigned to a specific communication mode, using either text communication only, or both text and telephone communication. There will be no face-to-face meeting between you and your partners.
  • A writing task will be assigned to the group. One and a half hour will be allowed for the task.
  • Write a paper, discussing the given writing task. Print out the text produced every 30 minutes. After the session, print out the final text and the chatting record. All these documents might be useful for you and us to see how the document and discussion have evolved with time.

We meet on the sixth floor in the same block where the lectures take place, room 1642 . Then I will take you to the room where you will work (in the same building). You have to come to NADA because Aspects, the program that we will used, runs in a LAN. Also it has a license.

Conclusions and way of reporting

After the writing session, you will get a questionnaire to fill out about your experiences during the writing session. This will count as your lab report, along with the document produced by your group.

^ Lab 4: Problem solving in synchronous environments


To experience and make observations upon synchronous collaboration


WWW access. Synchronous presence at the respective time is also necessary. Physical co-location is not necessarry, as the tool used can be accessed by the Web

Tools: A Java-enabled web browser


Send an e-mail to cristi to tell what time you prefer to participate in the lab. You can choose between Tuesday 28th of January 16-17, Thursday 30th of January 18-19, Friday 31st of January 10-11, and Monday 3rd of February 10-11. Before picking a time, look at what others have picked, to make sure dates will not get too crowded.

  • The lab will be carried out in  groups of  N<8 people.
  • The groups will use this page as a cyberspace meeting place. The meeting time is specified for each group.
  • At the meeting place, you will find a synchronous communication/collaboration tool, and a problem that you are supposed to solve together.
  • You have 45 minutes to solve the problem.
  • Your conversation (and events like joining and leaving the session) will be logged and you will have the possiblity to analyse the log afterwards.
  • You should not use other synchronous media (face-to-face, back-to-back, phone), nor should you discuss the problem with the groups that didn't perform the lab yet
  • Active participation is required

Conclusions and way of reporting

Do not send a report before you received your lab log!
Reports (in English or Swedish) should be sent by e-mail to cristi before Monday 10th of February. You will get the log of your session by email, which will be of help for your report.
  1. One of the group members will send the solution of the problem
  2. Each group member will send a report (in English or Swedish) with personal observations and considerations (one page; 500 words) regarding the following topics
    • the collaborative process
    • efficiency of the work
    • comparison of the tool with face-to-face communication, phone, and other synchronous tools of your choice
    • problems you had with the tool, suggestions for improvement

^ Laboratory exercise 5 - a shared virtual environment


Elearning has been a hot topic for a number of years now. There are a number of approaches to elearning of which most are web based. These web based applications range from very simple ones with texts and images to full fledged multimedia applications. Few environments, however, make use of 3D technology. Still even fewer make use of multiuser collaborative 3D worlds. The purpose of the lab is to provide for you an example of how such worlds can be used for collaborative exploration and learning.

Prerequisites: Basic familiarity with PC-computers.


You are asked to explore a 3D environment with material about a particular topic. You will use a computer at CID. Work with your friend and try to understand as much as possible of the material.

Starting up

We will introduce you to the 3D environment. You will have some time to practice navigating in the environment before doing the task.

The task

The task is to study the topic presented in the 3D environment together with another student. Together, you will explore the material and interpret it.


After the lab you will be asked to complete a brief survey. You will also be interviewed. Finally you send a brief report to Anders.

Navigation tips

You use the mouse to point your gaze in the environment. You walk with the arrow keys.

^ Lab 6: Individual assignment


In this "lab" you should (individually or in small groups) examine the use of a system that is intended for supporting cooperation and write a paper about it. The system could e.g. be a communication tool, a collaboration tool, a game, etc. You should formulate a question and find some related research for your topic. You should do a user study of the tool you picked and then write about your project in a paper. The lab includes the following steps:

  • Choose system and send us your idea including the method that you will use in your study. Send it through e-mail to kicki
  • Formulate a "research question" that you intend to get some answers to
  • Find and read related research to the question that you have or research about the tool that you are interested in (at least 3 articles)
  • Do a user study/evaluation of the use of the system
  • Write a paper about the system and the study (1 500 words that is about 4 pages /person.)
  • Present your study in class

The paper that you write should include the following:

  • The formulation of the question that lies behind your study. (A research question could e.g. look like this: how does ICQ support awareness? or: how is BSCW used for group work?)
  • A review of related research, (for example: definitions of awareness, other user studies of ICQ from the library or the Internet). You should find at least 3 new articles and also use the ones we read on the course. For research databases see the course pages under "Länkar".
  • A general description of the tool that you have studied, including the main functions.
  • Description of the method that you have used, how you practically went about doing your study (e.g. interviewing). This includes the number of participants, the time you used, how you approached them etc. You should back your method up with references as well. The methods used in CSCW are the same that are used in HCI, basically separated into qualitative (e.g. field studies) and quantitative (e.g. surveys, experiments) studies. For a further overview of methods, see Monk et al. (1995) or Bell (1993). More about interview techniques can be found in Lanz (1993).
  • Description of the results of your user study and commenting on them.
  • Reference list (this should NOT be included in the 1500 words).
  • For further information on how to write a paper, see Sørensen (1994). (This will be handed out.)

Things to consider

  • Most of your references should be published. This usually means that it is reviewed by others in the (research) community and by that is accepted as sound. On how to write references - look at the ones made on this page.
  • It is important to refer to literature by giving such information that others can find it.
  • Be critical in your reading, don't just assume that others have got it right.
  • You should use a method for your study that at least attempts to give you some significant answers. You usually do not study yourself (but your own use may lie behind your question/s for your study).
  • A small study usually generates more tendencies than reliable results. When you discuss them, it may be very interesting if you include reflections about how the way you did your study affected the results and how other ways of doing it could affect the result.


  • Bell, J. (1993). Introduktion till forskningsmetodik, Studentlitteratur. ISBN: 91-44-37022-9
  • Lanz, A. (1993) Intervjumetodik, Studentlitteratur
  • Monk, A.F., N.G. Gilbert and P. Ahrweiler (1995). Perspectives on HCI: Diverse Approaches (Computers and People), Academic press. ISBN: 0125045751
  • Sørensen, C. (1994). This is not an article - just some thoughts on how to write one. In the 17th Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia at Syöte Conference Centre, Finland, Syöte, Finland, Vol I, pp 46-59,

Kristina Groth, Nada, KTH, kicki@nada.kth.se
Uppdaterad: 2004-11-24