A tale of two online communities: Fostering collaboration and creativity in scientists and children

Cecilia R. Aragon, Sarah S. Poon, Andrés Monroy-Hernández, Diana Aragon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

There has been much recent interest in the development of tools to foster remote collaboration and shared creative work. An open question is: what are the guidelines for this process? What are the key socio-technical preconditions required for a geographically distributed group to collaborate effectively on creative work, and are they different from the conditions of a decade or two ago? In an attempt to answer these questions, we conducted empirical studies of two seemingly very different online communities, both requiring effective collaboration and creative work: an international collaboration of astrophysicists studying supernovae to learn more about the expansion rate of the universe, and a group of children, ages 8-15, from different parts of the world, creating and sharing animated stories and video games on the Scratch online community developed at MIT. Both groups produced creative technical work jointly and were considered successful in their communities. Data included the analysis of thousands of lines from chat and comment logs over a period of several months, and interviews with community members. We discovered some surprising commonalities and some intriguing possibilities, and suggest guidelines for successful creative collaborations. Specifically, systems that support social creativity must facilitate sharing and play, and their design must consider the effects of repurposing, augmentation and behavior adaptation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationC and C 2009 - Proceedings of the 2009 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Creativity and Cognition
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages9-18
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781605584034
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 26 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event7th ACM SIGCHI Conference on Creativity and Cognition, C and C 2009 - Berkeley, United States
Duration: Oct 27 2009Oct 30 2009

Publication series

NameC and C 2009 - Proceedings of the 2009 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Creativity and Cognition

Conference

Conference7th ACM SIGCHI Conference on Creativity and Cognition, C and C 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBerkeley
Period10/27/0910/30/09

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications

Keywords

  • Collective creativity
  • Computer-mediated communication
  • Computer-supported cooperative work
  • Social creativity

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