Multimedia Tools and Applications

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 161–183 | Cite as

Collaboration in a multi-user game: impacts of an awareness tool on mutual modeling

  • N. Nova
  • T. Wehrle
  • J. Goslin
  • Y. Bourquin
  • P. Dillenbourg


This paper presents an experimental research that focuses on collaboration in a multi-player game. The aim of the project is to study the cognitive impacts of awareness tools, i.e., artifacts that allow users of a collaborative system to be aware of what is going on in the joint virtual environment. The focus is on finding an effect on performance as well as on the representation an individual builds of what his partner knows, plans and intends to do (i.e., mutual modeling). We find that using awareness tools has a significant effect by improving task performance. However, the players who were provided with this tool did not show any improvement of their mutual modeling. Further analysis on contrasted groups revealed that there was an effect of the awareness tool on mutual modeling for players who spent a large amount of time using the tool.


Computer supported cooperative work Awareness Distributed cognition Mutual modeling 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Collazos C, Guerrero L, Pino J, Ochoa S (2002) Introducing knowledge-shared awareness. In Proc. of IASTED international conference: information and knowledge sharing (IKS 2002). St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, USA, pp 13–18Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    David JMN, Borges MRS (2001) Selectivity of Awareness Components in Asynchronous CSCW Environments. In Proc. of the 9th International Workshop on Groupware, CRIWG. Darmstadt, Germany, pp 115–124Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Decortis F, Noirfalise S, Saudelli B (1997) Cognitive ergonomics as a framework for cooperative work. Theoretical approaches for analysing cooperative technologies for complex work settings. Report of Work Package 1, EU-TMR Network COTCOS. University of Sussex, SussexGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dillenbourg P (1999) What do you mean by collaborative learning?. In: Dillenbourg P (ed) Collaborative learning: cognitive and computational approaches. Elsevier, Oxford, pp 1–19Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Dourish P, Bellotti V (1992) Awareness and coordination in shared workspaces. In Proc. of ACM CSCW’92 conference on computer supported cooperative work. Toronto, Canada, pp 107–114Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ellis C, Gibbs S, Rein G (1991) Groupware: some issues and experiences. Commun ACM 34(1):38–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Espinosa A, Cadiz J, Rico-Gutierrez L, Kraut R, Scherlis W, Lautenbacher G (2000) Coming to the wrong decision quickly: why awareness tools must be matched with appropriate tasks. In Proc. of the CHI Conference on Human factors in computing systems. The Hague, The Netherlands, pp 392–399Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fussell SR, Krauss RM (1992) Coordination of knowledge in communication: effects of speakers’ assumptions about what others know. J Pers Soc Psychol 62(3):378–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gaver WW (1991) Sound support for collaboration. In Proc. of ECSCW 91. Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp 293–308Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Greenberg S, Gutwin C, Cockburn A (1996) Awareness through fisheye views in relaxed-WYSIWIS groupware. In Proc. of the graphics interface conference. Toronto, Canada, pp 28–38Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Grudin J (1994) Computer-supported cooperative work: its history and participation. IEEE Computer 27(5):19–26Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gutwin C, Greenberg S (1999) A framework of awareness for small groups in shared-workspace groupware. Technical Report 99–1, Department of Computer Science, University of Saskatchewan, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gutwin C, Greenberg S (1999) The effects of workspace awareness support on the usability of real-time distributed groupware. ACM Trans Comput-Hum Interact 6(3):243–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gutwin C, Roseman M, Greenberg S (1996) A usability study of awareness widgets in a shared workspace groupware system. In Proc. of the ACM conference on computer supported cooperative work. Boston, USA, pp 258–267Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Heath C, Luff P (1992) Collaboration and control: crisis management and multimedia technology in london underground line control rooms. CSCW: The Journal of Collaborative Computing 1(1–2):69–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Heider F (1958) The psychology of interpersonal relations. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Isaacs H, Tang JC, Morris T (1996) Piazza: a desktop environment supporting impromptu and planned interactions. In Proc. of ACM CSCW’96. Boston, USA., pp 315–324Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Isaacs H, Walendowski A, Ranganathan D (2002) Hubbub: a sound-enhanced mobile instant messenger that supports awareness and opportunistic interactions. In Proc. of the Conference Computer–Human Interaction (CHI). Minneapolis, USA, pp 179–186Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Jang CY, Steinfield C, Pfaff B (2002) Virtual team awareness and groupware support: an evaluation of the TeamSCOPE system. Int J Human-Comput Stud 56:109–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Krauss RM, Fussell SR (1991) Perspective-taking in communication: the determination of others’ knowledge and referential language use. Social Cogn 9(1):2–24Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ljungstrand P, Segerstad YH (2000) An analysis of webwho : how does awareness of presence affect written messages? In Proc. of the int. workshop on awareness and the WWW, ACM CSCW’2000 conference. Philadelphia, USA, available on-line at
  22. 22.
    Mastrogiacomo S (2002) Utilisation des zones de travail partagées asynchrones pour améliorer la compréhension mutuelle dans les groupes de projet distribués. Ph.D. Thesis, Université de Lausanne, JuneGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Matusov E (1996) Intersubjectivity without agreement. Mind Cult Act 3(1):25–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Nickerson RS, Baddeley A, Freeman B (1987) Are people estimates of what other people know influenced by what they themselves know?. Acta Psychol 64:245–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ogata H, Yano Y (2000) Combining knowledge awareness and information filtering in an open-ended collaborative learning environment. Int J Artif Intell Educ 11:33–46Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ott D, Dillenbourg P (2002) Proximity and view awareness to reduce referential ambiguity in a shared 3D virtual environment. In Proc. of computer supported collaborative learning 2002. Boulder, Colorado, USA, pp 603–604Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Schmidt K (2002) The problem with “awareness”: introductory remarks on “awareness in CSCW”.CSCW: The Journal of Collaborative Computing 11(3–4):285–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Sohlenkamp M (1999) Supporting group awareness in multi-user environments through perceptualization. Technical Report No. 6, GMD Institute, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Stefik M, Bobrow D, Foster G, Lanning S, Tatar D (1997) ≪ WYSIWIS revised: early experiences with multi-user interfaces ≫. ACM TOIS 5(2):147–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Stefik M, Foster G, Bobrow D, Kahn K, Lanning S, Suchman L (1987) Beyond the chalkboard: computer support for collaboration and problem solving in meetings. Commun ACM 30(1):32–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Wegner DM (1987) Transactive memory: a contemporary analysis of the group mind. In: Mullen B, Goethals GR (eds) Theories of group behavior. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 185–208Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Wertsch JV (1985) Vygotsky and the social formation of mind. Harvard University, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Won M, Pipek V (2004) Sharing knowledge on knowledge—the eXact peripheral expertise awareness system. J UCS 9(12):1388–1397Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Nova
    • 1
  • T. Wehrle
    • 2
  • J. Goslin
    • 3
  • Y. Bourquin
    • 1
  • P. Dillenbourg
    • 1
  1. 1.Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.University of ZürichZürichSwitzerland
  3. 3.University of PlymouthPlymouthUK

Personalised recommendations