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(also computer-supported cooperative work)

CSCW definition

CSCW (also known as computer-supported cooperative work) has several definitions. When we refer to CSCW, we mean software tools and technology designed to support a group of people collaborating on projects. This group may consist of a few individuals, a team, or an online community spanning the globe. The technologies that enable CSCW include video and audio conferencing, a group calendar, email, and instant messaging apps (like Teams or Slack).

Some define CSCW as a behavioral study of how people use technology to collaborate on work and how computer systems can support such collaboration and coordination.

Benefits of CSCW

  • Teams can collaborate and contribute to projects when they want, from anywhere in the world.
  • Companies can employ people with specific expertise, regardless of geographic constraints.
  • Organizations can save money by implementing virtual teams (e.g., travel costs, rented office space, parking, or electricity).
  • Multiple communication threads encourage more team participation and foster a less egalitarian communication structure.

Technologies that enable CSCW

  • Connectivity
  • Networks
  • Naming and namespaces (i.e., a set of signs used to identify and refer to objects)
  • Mail and other communication tools and protocols
  • Multimedia technologies
  • Video conferencing technologies
  • Cross-platform development tools

Further reading

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