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On Online Collaboration and Construction of Shared Knowledge: Assessing Mediation Capability in Computer Supported Argument Visualization Tools

Iandoli, Luca; Quinto, Ivana; De Liddo, Anna and Buckingham Shum, Simon (2016). On Online Collaboration and Construction of Shared Knowledge: Assessing Mediation Capability in Computer Supported Argument Visualization Tools. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 67(5) pp. 1052–1067.

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Collaborative Computer-Supported Argument Visualization (CCSAV) has often been proposed as an alternative over more conventional, mainstream platforms for online discussion (e.g., online forums and wikis). CCSAV tools require users to contribute to the creation of a joint artifact (argument map) instead of contributing to a conversation. In this paper we assess empirically the effects of this fundamental design choice and show that the absence of conversational affordances and socially salient information in representation-centric tools is detrimental to the users' collaboration experience. We report empirical findings from a study in which subjects using different collaborative platforms (a forum, an argumentation platform, and a socially augmented argumentation tool) were asked to discuss and predict the price of a commodity. By comparing users' experience across several metrics we found evidence that the collaborative performance decreases gradually when we remove conversational interaction and other types of socially salient information. We interpret these findings through theories developed in conversational analysis (common ground theory) and communities of practice and discuss design implications. In particular, we propose balancing the trade-off between knowledge reification and participation in representation-centric tools with the provision of social feedback and functionalities supporting meaning negotiation.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2015 ASIS&T
ISSN: 2330-1643
Keywords: knowledge modeling; knowledge representation; computer mediated communications; Computer Supported Argument Visualisation; Online Deliberation; argument mapping
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Knowledge Media Institute (KMi)
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Computing (CRC)
Item ID: 51115
Depositing User: Anna De Liddo
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2017 13:34
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2019 12:59
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