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Journal Article:

Author(s) :


Sonnenwald, D. H., Maglaughlin K. L., and Whitton, M. C.

Date of Publication :



Article Title :


Designing to support situation awareness across distances: An example from a scientific collaboratory

Journal Title :


Information Processing & Management

Volume ID :



Pages(s) :



Abstract :


When collaborating, individuals rely on situation awareness (the gathering, incorporation and utilization of environmental information) to help them combine their unique knowledge and skills and achieve their goals. When collaborating across distances, situation awareness is mediated by technology. There are few guidelines to help system analysts design systems or applications that support the creation and maintenance of situation awareness for teams or groups. We propose a framework to guide design decisions to enhance computer-mediated situation awareness during scientific research collaboration. The foundation for this framework is previous research in situation awareness and virtual reality, combined with our analysis of interviews with and observations of collaborating scientists. The framework suggests that situation awareness is comprised of contextual, task and process, and socio-emotional information. Research in virtual reality systems suggests control, sensory, distraction and realism attributes of technology contribute to a sense of presence. We suggest that consideration of these attributes with respect to contextual, task and process, and socio-emotional information provides insights to guide design decisions. We used the framework when designing a scientific collaboratory system. Results from a controlled experimental evaluation of the collaboratory system help illustrate the framework's utility.

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