Within the Special Priority Program, researchers with a psychological, educational or computer science background work closely together. This cooperation enables multiple perspectives on the research topic and allows for the equal consideration of both technical features, as well as human abilities, for a comprehensive analysis of net-based knowledge communication. Regularly scheduled meetings and a shared virtual workspace (BSCW) provide the researchers with the opportunity to discuss methods, theories and experimental results, and to pursue common projects.
The goal of our collaborative endeavor is to set an interdisciplinary research agenda that helps to generate new research hypotheses and to pave the way for future development in this field of research. The overall objective is to establish net-based knowledge communication as a research field in its own right.
The Special Priority Program’s aim is to investigate the generic qualities of networked computers as media for knowledge communication. It does not aim to superficially compare certain technical solutions or to globally contrast those settings using media with those using none. Instead, our research focuses on the basic underlying mechanisms of human interaction with technology.
The results of our research will help to generate theoretical concepts that bridge the gap between the ‘mainstream’ theories of the participating disciplines and research on CSCL (computer supported collaborative learning).
It goes without saying that the basic approach of the research program does not stand in the way of conclusions being drawn for a better application and implementation of communication technologies. On the contrary: Recommendations on how to design tools better adapted to human demands and limitations can be made on a more solid basis.
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