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Augmented Group Awareness Tools for Collaborative Learning

Knowledge Exchange Lab


Open-ended project


Budget resources of KMRC


Group awareness tools were developed for the field of computer-supported cooperative work. These tools collect behavioural information about the group members (e.g. spatial location, current activities) and feed this information back to the work team. Based on the idea that groups benefit when members are informed about the status of their groups, we have developed so-called augmented group awareness tools. These tools collect cognitive variables (e.g. attitudes, preferences, degree of knowledge) from the group, aggregate these data, and feed them back to collaborative learning groups. The project seeks to demonstrate and explain the efficiency of such tools through experimental studies.

It was investigated how certain types of group awareness tools trigger psychological mechanisms that positively affect controversial group discussions, and how tools must be designed in order to improve decision quality of collaborative learning groups.

Additionally, results from several awareness-related studies at KMRC were conceptually integrated into frameworks about psychological mechanisms and design principles.


  • Buder, J. (2007). Net-based knowledge communication in groups: Searching for added value. Zeitschrift für Psychologie / Journal of Psychology, 215(4), 209-217.
  • Buder, J. & Bodemer, D. (2008). Supporting controversial CSCL discussions with augmented group awareness tools. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning. DOI: 10.1007/s11412-008-9037-5.
  • Buder, J., Bodemer, D., Dehler, J., & Engelmann, T. (2009). SCAN tools for collaborative learning. In C. O' Malley, D. Suthers, P. Reimann, & A. Dimitracopoulou (Eds.), Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Practices: CSCL 2009 Conference Proceedings, Vol. 1 (pp. 606-615). International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS).
  • Engelmann, T., Dehler, J., Bodemer, D., & Buder, J. (2009). Knowledge awareness in CSCL: a psychological perspective. Computers in Human Behavior, 25 (4), 949-960.