Plateforme Halle Numérique

Plateforme de recherche du laboratoire COSTECH hébergée au Centre d'Innovation de l'Université de Technologie de Compiègne

Stacks Image 6

Problematic and research questions

The questions around collaborative work augmented by digital supports mobilize several key concepts developed within the COSTECH laboratory. First, by being the creators of these devices, we are adopting an enactive posture (Stewart et al., 2014) which leads us to recognize that the introduction of new technologies modifies collaborative activity, which in turn modify the technology. Therefore, there is a co-evolution between the technical devices and the user's behavior.

We've also adopted a cognitivist, non computationalist approach, hypothesizing that to collaborate people externalize representations in order to share them. Digital tactile collaborative environments combined with individual devices and specific working methods augment these occasions of confrontation and co-construction. In fact, our first research results have demonstrated that these environments lead to a better distribution of speaking time and perceptual crossing, encouraging collaboration. We have also observed that during collaborative work, in order to progress and coordination their work, teams conceive and manipulate intermediary objects:
  • Intermediate states of product representations: drawings, models, virtual or physical prototypes, concepts, functions, planning, risks, ideas, etc. (Darses, 1997).
  • Intermediate states of representations of the project: concepts, functions, planning, risks, ideas, etc. (Chia et al., 2002, Gidel et al., 2005)
These intermediate states of representation allow team members to share information, harmonize a vision, objectives et serve and a support for decision-making. (Rogers et al. 2006; Tse et al., 2007; Tory & Staub-French, 2008) They contribute to processes of collaborative conception and problem solving. An active international community is carrying out research in the domain known as CSCWD (Computer Supported Collaborative Work in Design) (Collis 1994, Stacey et al. 2004, Restrepo et al. 2005, Tuddenham and Robinson 2006). The CSCW community is the most well-known.

We have formulated three major question categories:
  1. Support collaborative work by augmenting the cognitive capacities of individuals and collectives or by redistributing the cognitive load: How can individual and collective cognitive capacity be augmented? How to improve design, creativity and problem solving in a team? What added value do tactile devices have for collective problem solving? How do we evaluate interactions which occur around this device? We are researching a scientific way to evaluate the possibilities and limits of these systems for learning to collaborate at a personal level to facilitate better professional integration of the individual.
  2. Improving learning how to collaborate through an inductive approach (learning by doing): What influence do these digital devices have on the establishment and process of collaborative working situations? How do they contribute to individual learning? To what extent do these devices constitute resources or constraints vis-à-vis collaboration between participants? We are researching a scientific way to evaluate the possibilities and limits of these systems for efficacious collaboration, for both the individual and the group. We propose to adopt a mixed approach based on collaboration (cognitive approaches) and work on projects (engineering approach).
  3. Change management, adoption and diffusion of these systems for collaborative work: What accompaniment should be put in place to favor the appropriation of these digital devices by participants and animators? What favor learning during collaborative work situations? We are researching models, methods and approaches which facilitate the development of user autonomy and the diffusion of these practices.

Since 2009 researchers at UTC have worked on these questions. Several research projects have been conducted in collaboration with laboratories at UTC (Costech, Heudiasyc), UPJV (Mis), and with the support of the Innovation Center at UTC. Since 2017 with the University of Lille (CIREL).

Thierry Gidel developed this platform, for which he is the scientific leader, coordinating several projects conducted on the platform. He assures the management of maintenance and access to the devices. He is also the chief scientist for several research projects on the platform and contributes to their continued evolution.

Depuis 2009 des chercheurs de l’UTC travaille sur ces questions. Plusieurs projets de recherche ont été réalisés en collaboration avec des laboratoires de l’UTC (Costech, Heudiasyc), de l’UPJV (Mis) et avec le soutien du Centre d’Innovation de l’UTC. Depuis 2017 avec l’université de Lille 3 (CIREL).

Thierry Gidel a développé cette plateforme dont il a la responsabilité scientifique et à ce titre coordonne plusieurs projets qui y sont menés. Il assure la gestion de la maintenance et de l’accès aux dispositifs. Il a aussi la responsabilité scientifique directe de plusieurs projets de recherche réalisés sur la plateforme et qui contribuent à la faire évoluer.