Course: CS 7460 Collaborative Computing
Term: Spring 2015
Location: College of Computing 101
Time: Tuesday & Thursday 3:05 - 4:25pm
Office Hours: Friday 11:00am (TSRB 231), or by appointment
Teaching Assistant: Paul Lazarus


In this course, you will learn about how people collaborate on the web. We will cover theories of collaboration and leadership, and apply those to several issues in social computing. We’ll start with some classic Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) research on how white-collar office workers can collaborate over distance. Next, we will expand our view of “work” and consider how various kinds of workplaces present opportunities and challenges for people working together.

Theoretical frameworks include:
o Trust
o Communities of practice
o Distributed cognition
o Social capital
o Leadership
o Social movement theory

Application domains include:
o Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW)
o Social movements
o Geowikis
o Recommender systems
o Reputation systems
o Volunteering
o Collaborative health
o Disaster response
o Open-source software
o Games with a purpose

The course will be taught seminar style, which means there will be weekly readings on a variety of topics (see topics and schedule below), and students will be required to participate in a group term project. There will be no exams, however there are going to be three different assignments, in the form of written reports/papers. Students will also be required to participate in discussions on the pre-assigned class readings on the Piazza, in order to demonstrate their understanding of the material, and to raise interesting questions and points for class discussion. Each student is also required to spearhead discussion on the readings in one class throughout the semester, in a group of two-three.

Students may audit the course, but all students who attend must perform the weekly blog posts about the reading, to facilitate discussion.

Academic Integrity: All assigned work is expected to be individual, except where explicitly indicated otherwise. You are encouraged to discuss the assignments with your classmates; however, what you hand in should be your own work. For more information, please review the Georgia Tech Honor Code.

Course Requirements and Grading

Reflections on Class Readings (on Piazza) - 20%
Lead Class Discussion - 5%
Assignment I: "Analysis of an Online Collaborative System" - 10%
Assignment II: "Does Distance Still Matter?" - 10%
Assignment III: "Online Collaboration: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" - 10%
Term Project Proposal - 5%
Term Project Midterm Deliverable - 5%
Term Project Final Report/Code - 25%
Class Participation - 10%

Late Policy

Reading reflections are due by 11:59pm on Piazza, the day before class, i.e., Monday nights for Tuesday's class, and Wednesday nights for Thursday's class. Reflections submitted late will not be graded. Further, term projects and their deliverables may not be late. The three assignments have individual due dates, and are due by 11:59pm on the assigned date. Assignments submitted late will be penalized by 10% for each extra 24 hours past the due date. Those submitted after 5 days of the due date will not be graded. Assignments and term project deliverables will need to be submitted via TSquare.

Weekly Schedule *

Week 1 (Jan 6) Overview
Week 1 (Jan 8) Background: Collaborative Technologies
Week 2 (Jan 13) Guest Lecture
Week 2 (Jan 15) The Social and the Technical
Week 3 (Jan 20) Distance Matters
Week 3 (Jan 22) Groupware
Week 4 (Jan 27)Open Source Software
Week 4 (Jan 29)Wikipedia [Part 1]
Week 5 (Feb 3) Wikipedia [Part 2]
Week 5 (Feb 5) Recommender Systems
Week 6 (Feb 10) Reputation Systems
Week 6 (Feb 12) Collaborative Search and Q&A Systems
Week 7 (Feb 17) Geographic Information Systems
Week 7 (Feb 19) The Modern Workplace
Week 8 (Feb 24) Distributed Cognition
Week 8 (Feb 26) Project Proposal Presentations
Week 9 (Mar 3) Trust in Collaborative Systems
Week 9 (Mar 5) Identity Construction and Social Participation
Week 10 (Mar 10) Communities of Practice
Week 10 (Mar 12) Volunteering
Week 11 (Mar 17) Spring Break
Week 11 (Mar 19) Spring Break
Week 12 (Mar 24) Socio-Technical Capital [Part 1]
Week 12 (Mar 26) Guest Lecture
Week 13 (Mar 31) Socio-Technical Capital [Part 2]
Week 13 (Apr 2) Crowdsourcing and Collaboration
Week 14 (Apr 7) Collaborative Health
Week 14 (Apr 9) Peer Learning/MOOCs
Week 15 (Apr 14) Political Change
Week 15 (Apr 16) Disaster Response
Week 16 (Apr 21) Term Project Presentations Part I
Week 16 (Apr 23) Term Project Presentations Part II

Weekly Readings *

Week 1 (Jan 8): Background - Collaborative Technologies
Collaborative Technologies, Handbook of human-computer interaction (J.J. Jacko & A.Sears (Eds.))
Beyond Being There [pdf]

Week 2 (Jan 13): Guest Lecture: Law, Norms, and Creative Collaboration (Casey Fiesler)
Understanding Copyright Law in Online Creative Communities [pdf]
An archive of one's own: Subcultural creativity and the politics of conservation [pdf]

Week 2 (Jan 15): The Social and The Technical
The Intellectual Challenge of CSCW: The Gap Between Social Requirements and Technical Feasibility [pdf]

Week 3 (Jan 20): Distance Matters
Distance Matters [pdf]

Week 3 (Jan 22): Groupware
Single display groupware: a model for co-present collaboration [pdf]
The many forms of e-collaboration: Blogs, wikis, portals, groupware, discussion boards, and instant messaging [pdf]

Week 4 (Jan 27): Open Source Software
The Cathedral and the Bazaar [pdf]
Free/Libre open-source software development: What we know and what we do not know [pdf]

Week 4 (Jan 29): Wikipedia [Part 1: Participation and Quality]
Becoming Wikipedian: Transformation of Participation in a Collaborative Online Encyclopedia [pdf]
Creating, Destroying, and Restoring Value in Wikipedia [pdf]

Week 5 (Feb 3): Wikipedia [Part 2: Coordination]
He says, she says: Conflict and Coordination in Wikipedia [pdf]
Talk before you type: Coordination in Wikipedia [pdf]

Week 5 (Feb 5): Recommender Systems
Recommender systems: from algorithms to user experience [pdf]

Week 6 (Feb 10): Reputation Systems
Reputation Systems [pdf]
Slash(dot) and Burn: Distributed Moderation in a Large Online Conversation Space [pdf]

Week 6 (Feb 12): Collaborative Search and Q&A Systems
A survey of collaborative web search practices [pdf]
What do people ask their social networks, and why?: a survey study of status message q&a behavior [pdf]

Week 7 (Feb 17): Geographic Information Systems
The Computational Geowiki: What, Why, and How [pdf]
Eliciting and Focusing Geographic Volunteer Work [pdf]

Week 7 (Feb 19): The Modern Workplace
When Social Networks Cross Boundaries: A Case Study of Workplace Use of Facebook and LinkedIn [pdf]
Diversity Among Enterprise Online Communities: Collaborating, Teaming, and Innovating Through Social Media [pdf]

Week 8 (Feb 24): Distributed Cognition
How a Cockpit Remembers Its Speeds [pdf]
Collaboration Surrounding Beacon Use During Companion Avalanche Rescue [pdf]

Week 9 (Mar 3): Trust in Collaborative Systems
Trust breaks down in electronic contexts but can be repaired by some initial face-to-face contact [pdf]
Trust without touch: Jumpstarting long-distance trust with initial social activities [pdf]

Week 9 (Mar 5): Anonymity and Social Participation
Self-disclosure in computer-mediated communication: The role of self-awareness and visual anonymity [pdf]
Anonymity and self-disclosure on weblogs [pdf]

Week 10 (Mar 10): Communities of Practice
Why people participate and help others in electronic communities of practice [pdf]
Understanding the benefit and costs of communities of practice [pdf]

Week 10 (Mar 12): Volunteering
Volunteering [pdf]
Bridging between organizations and the public: volunteer coordinators' uneasy relationship with social computing [pdf]

Week 12 (Mar 24): Socio-Technical Capital [Part 1]
Structural Holes and Good Ideas [pdf]

Week 13 (Mar 31): Socio-Technical Capital [Part 2]
Beyond Bowling Together: SocioTechnical Capital [pdf]
Bowling Online: Social networking and social capital within the organization [pdf]

Week 13 (Apr 2): Crowdsourcing and Collaboration
Crowdsourcing subjective fashion advice using VizWiz: challenges and opportunities [pdf]
Soylent: a word processor with a crowd inside [pdf]

Week 14 (Apr 7): Collaborative Health
Social uses of personal health information within PatientsLikeMe, an online patient community [pdf]
Collaborative Help in Chronic Disease Management: Supporting Individualized Problems [pdf]

Week 14 (Apr 9): Peer Learning/MOOCs
Design of Collaborative Learning Environments [pdf]
Talkabout: Making Distance Matter with Small Groups in Massive Classes [pdf]

Week 15 (Apr 14): Political Change
Social Media and the Decision to Participate in Political Protest: Obs from Tahrir Square [pdf]
Networked Politics from Tahrir to Taksim: Is there a Social Media-fueled Protest Style? [pdf]

Week 15 (Apr 16): Disaster Response
Harnessing the crowdsourcing power of social media for disaster relief [pdf]
Citizen Communications in Crisis: Anticipating a Future of ICT-Supported Public Participation [pdf]
Twitter Under Crisis: Can we trust what we RT? [pdf]

Recommended Readings

Not required, but the following books are good references for the class:

Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation, by Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger
Writing for Social Scientists, by Howard Becker

* Topics to be covered and the corresponding readings are subject to change. Please always check the online schedule.