Collaborative systems research: establishing ecological approaches through the living laboratory

Michael D. McNeese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Today's work may very well encompass team work through direct contact with other workers. However, an evolution in the way we work together is taking place. The INTERNET, groupware, video teleconferencing, and distance learning are just some of the examples of collaborative technologies being inserted in the marketplace. Real world environments still include face-to-face transactions but now increasingly encompass distributed electronic transactions facilitated through computing/video media. Human factors - as an interdisciplinary science - may not have been sufficiently developed to move toward a macro-view of collaborative technology. As a result, human factors analysis of 'team error' may have been nearsighted and shallow. Also such analyses - if completed at all - tend to emanate from a traditional cognitive psychology bias. In turn, the paper develops an alternative perspective utilizing ecological psychology to study and interpret human interaction within collaborative systems. From that perspective, the creation of a 'Living Laboratory' is explored whereupon three paradigms to study collaborative processes are presented. Associated assessment tools (e.g., concept mapping and protocol analysis) are discussed as catalysts to synergize this perspective. Implications highlight the 'Living Laboratory' as a vehicle to inform the development of a prototype ecological group interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)767-771
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Volume2
StatePublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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