Workspace Design Evolution

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

< Workspace Design

Functions of a workspace

  • Discussion connected to the project -
    • Communicate important class info
    • Communicate questions/issues/... between class
  • Library of resources
    • Find assignments/lecture material
    • Find grades
    • Project
  • Content "module" - i.e. place to do work.
    • for class these are assignment pages
    • collab. documents
  • Participant list/profile - who is involved? what areas of expertise do they have?


  • Basic transfer of information between parties such as voice, email, and text. This becomes much more complex when we consider the different ways we communicate, with whom, when, and what we know about them.

  • Networking involves communication and information exchange for mutual benefit (Camarihna-Matos, 2008)


  • Publishing/feedback/information exchange: Exchange of information between parties, such as a blog. Exchange is different than simply publishing information, because one goal is to solicit feedback about the information, and another is to build a network of related information and interested parties.
  • Building community: Formation and management of a collection of participants, generally focused on a shared interest or affiliation. Community building is usually included with other goals, such as information exchange. A common example is generic or specialized social networks such as LinkedIn or Facebook.
  • Managing knowledge: Collection, retrieval, and management of shared community knowledge. Common forms of knowledge management include document management systems and wikis. One key to knowledge management is the easy location and retrieval of information to authorized users. In collaborative environments, this often involves searching over a variety of different information sources and media types.

  • Information exchange and sharing resources for achieving compatible goals (Division of some labor) among participants. (Camarihna-Matos, 2008)
    • Each participant performs their job in quasi-independent fashion but there exists a common plan (where one partner's results are delivered to the next).


  • Idea of farmer's co-op


  • History and tracking: Logging of information exchanges and other events of interest and the generation of reports. This goal is generally combined with other aspects of collaboration. Discussion forums are a good example.
  • Joint contribution to a work product: Bringing groups together to produce a joint work product. One example is this paper, which was written and reviewed by several participants using a shared web-based mashup workspace. Another is an industry standard that may gradually include contributions from individuals for different companies around the world.

  • coordination - align/alter activities so more efficient results achieved.
  • Collaborate - work together, with divergenet insights sees coordination as low level structure
  • Collaborative network sometimes involves periods of just cooperation

Workspace design evolution starts with observing the workspaces already created, categorizing the features the use (form) and describing how those features work (function) - what tools are used (rss reader, page creator, queries, semantic mediawiki...)


  • Create observation table that identifies workspaces, components and other pieces
  • Harvest workspaces, observe what are pieces that emerge as normally present in the workspace

  • Describe what the pieces are and what tools are used to create them in the tools/methods section.
  • build template with the key features