Facilitated hypertext for collective sensemaking: 15 years on from gIBIS

Conklin, Jeff; Selvin, Albert; Buckingham Shum, Simon and Sierhuis, Maarten (2003). Facilitated hypertext for collective sensemaking: 15 years on from gIBIS. In: LAP'03: 8th International Working Conference on the Language Action Perspective on Communication Modelling, 1-2 Jul 2003, Tilburg, The Netherlands.


Hypertext research in the mid-1980s on representing argumentation for design rationale (DR) foreshadowed what are now dominant concerns in knowledge management: representing, codifying and manipulating semiformal concepts, the use of formalisms to mediate collective sensemaking, and the construction of group memory. With the benefit of 15 years' hindsight, we can see the failure of so many DR systems to be adopted as symptomatic of the more general problem of fostering new kinds of 'literacy' in real working environments. Pursuing Engelbart's goal of "augmenting human intellect", we describe the Compendium approach to collective sensemaking, which demonstrates the impact that a facilitator can have on the learning and adoption problems that plagued earlier DR systems. We also describe how conventional documents and modelling notations can be morphed into and out of Compendium's 'native hypertext' in order to support other modes of working across diverse communities of practice.

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