Online communities of practice often require support for collaboration over extended periods of time, in what are effectively very long meetings. While there are a wide range of support systems for 'foreground' interactions, such as phone calls and video meetings, and a similar range of tools for 'background' interactions, such as email and instant messaging, there is a lack in tools that exclusively cater for extended events without switching to different platforms. The current study presents qualitative and quantitative data from a naturalistic insight into the use of two online synchronous communication tools, FM for videoconference and Hexagon for ambient awareness, to support an extended event in a working online community. A complex mix of planned and opportunistic interactions require a new set of working synchronous tools, managing the trade-off between awareness and disruption. Switching between foreground and background 'meeting activity' remains a very big challenge.
|Title of host publication
|Web-Based Learning Solutions for Communities of Practice
|Subtitle of host publication
|Developing Virtual Environments for Social and Pedagogical Advancement
|Number of pages
|Published - 2009