E6998-004 — Topics in CSCW:
Media Spaces and Internet Communities

Alison Lee and Catalina Danis
IBM TJ Watson Research Center
Class location:  Engineering Terrace 259
Class hours:  Thursdays, 6:50 pm - 8:40 pm

Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) refers to computer support of group interactions in both work and non-work contexts; we use "work" to refer to both contexts. The goal of this course is to introduce students to the behavioral, social, user interface (UI) design, and computing issues involved in designing and building a CSCW system. The course will emphasize the following:

  1. analyzing and understanding group needs and the "work" environment,
  2. doing critical analyses of CSCW systems to understand the social (e.g., privacy, trust, identity), UI design (e.g., place), and technological (e.g., awareness, shared objects, conversation) issues and requirements, and
  3. understanding the interplay of technology attributes (e.g., bandwidth limitations, affordances), "work" group interaction and UI design in determining the design of a system.
To ground the exploration and discussions, this year the course will focus on two topic areas: Media Spaces for organizational work groups and the Internet and Web for online communities.

The course will be taught from a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) perspective. By this we mean that the course will emphasize understanding individuals, groups and their "work" environments as the foundation for the design and development of systems. The emphasis will be placed on asking "why", "what" and "for whom" rather than "how" a system might be built.

This course is aimed at an interdisciplinary audience, comprised of students in computer science and behavioral science who are interested in exploring the field of CSCW. This will include, but is not limited to, individuals involved in research on work-group interactions and those involved in the development of work-group technologies.

Prerequisite: Any CS W41XX or CS E61XX level course or permission from one of the instructors (Alison Lee, Catalina Danis).

Note: Non-CS graduate students interested in taking this course should speak to one of the instructors (Alison Lee, Catalina Danis). With instructor's permission, non-CS graduate students may register for 3 points of COMS W4901 Section 014 Projects in Computer Science (for graduate students). The course is not open to undergraduates.

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© 1999-2000 Alison Lee and Catalina Danis