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Authors: Gutwin, Carl
Greenberg, Saul
Keywords: Computer Science
Issue Date: 1-Mar-1995
Abstract: Real-time desktop conferencing systems are multi-user computer applications that allow physically distant people to work together in a shared virtual space at the same time. These systems do not yet provide the rich communication and awareness that are possible in a face-to-face interaction. One of the elements lacking in desktop conferencing is \fIgroup awareness\fR- the up-to-the-minute knowledge of other people's activities that is required for an individual to coordinate and complete their part of a group task. This paper describes our initial investigations into computer support for group awareness. We present a framework for thinking about the concept that divides awareness into physical, task, and social environments, and then uses a proximity space to categorise group situations in terms of group awareness. From the framework, we have designed and built several \fIawareness widgets\fR for use in a groupware toolkit. These widgets assist conference participants in staying aware of others' locations when their views are separated, of others' task activities in shared and separate view situations, and of their past activities in semi-synchronous situations.
Appears in Collections:Greenberg, Saul

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