Twidale, Takazawa speak on social and collaborative information seeking

Professor Michael Twidale
Michael Twidale, Professor and Interim PhD Program Director

Professor Michael Twidale and doctoral candidate Aiko Takazawa spoke on May 14 at the Workshop on Social and Collaborative Information Seeking hosted by the Center for Discrete Mathematics & Theoretical Computer Science at Rutgers University. The workshop brought together multidisciplinary scholars, including innovators in social and collaborative information seeking, with the goal of defining research challenges in the field.

Twidale presented a talk titled, “Searching for Help: How Learning Technologies Involves Collaborative Search.”

Abstract: As computational and informational resources become ever more abundant, we see changes in the way people learn how to use them, adopt, adapt, appropriate, tinker, tailor, combine. and modify them. Examples include software developers who search as they code, and data scientists going online to get ideas for how best to clean, combine, and manipulate datasets. However, such activities are not restricted to the computational elites. Across all levels, tech learning is often both a search and also a social activity, synchronous and asynchronous, colocated and remote, with colleagues and strangers.

Doing this kind of searching as part of technology learning and problem solving accentuates particular difficulties in the search process. Various strategies and tactics can dramatically improve efficiency, and equally a lack of certain skills the possession of certain misconceptions can degrade people's ability to learn and cope, and even lead them to self-define as “not techie.” This raises important implications for design, policy, and education.  

Takazawa delivered a presentation titled, “Searching to Help: Collaborative Information Seeking in a Disaster Relief Context.”

From the abstract: Seven Japanese women living in Finland became leaders of a self-organized humanitarian aid group in response to the 2011 Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami disaster in Japan. The way this group managed to send bulks of baby formula from Finland to Japan is a fascinating case to study for holistic understanding of how people collaboratively search, use, and seek information in the use of available technologies. Since this group emerged in a natural setting mediated by social media without being guided through an established affiliation among participants or managed by an outside source, its emerging process of becoming and being a group provides deep insights into the substantive context for intertwined, various kinds of both individual and collaborative information activities. I claim that such messiness in the present case represents the reality of ordinary people living in this present ICT-mediated environment, although what the group ended up doing transcended the ordinary. From a broad perspective, this case demonstrates the potential for expanding existing concepts relevant to social and collaborative information seeking research by looking at its gradually constructed information needs, resulting from browsing in social context, serendipitous searching, and collaborative learning.

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Hoiem and Schwebel present research at ChLA 2021

Assistant Professor Elizabeth Hoiem and Sara L. Schwebel, professor and director of The Center for Children's Books, participated in the Children's Literature Association (ChLA) annual conference, which was held virtually on June 10-12. This year's conference explored the idea of the arcade, broadly understood, in children's and young adult literature, media, and culture.

Model helps predict, analyze decision-making on adopting Type 2 diabetes medical guidelines

Health care workers often don't adopt new guidelines for best practices in medical care until well after those guidelines are established. A team of researchers led by Eunice E. Santos, the dean of the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, has developed a new computational modeling and simulation framework to analyze decision-making and identify effective dissemination strategies for medical guidelines.

Eunice Santos

Black contributes expertise in public library design to Shelf-Life project

With the recent publication of three studies on early-twentieth century Carnegie public library design, Professor Emeritus Alistair Black has completed his work for Cardiff University's Shelf-Life project. Directed by Professor Oriel Prizeman at the University's Welsh School of Architecture and funded by the United Kingdom's Arts and Humanities Research Council, Shelf-Life asks if the procurement of over 2,600 public library buildings across Britain and America a century ago, through the philanthropy of the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, could benefit from “systematic thinking regarding their revitalization” in light of today’s climate change and need for sustainability and recycling in construction.

Alistair Black

Koh selected as director of research for CU Community Fab Lab

With her focus on the maker movement in libraries and community engagement, Associate Professor Kyungwon Koh is a natural for her new role as director of research for the CU Community Fab Lab. Short for "fabrication laboratory," the Fab Lab encourages individuals to develop new ideas, solve problems, and make things. Free and open to anyone who is interested, the Fab Lab promotes personal growth, economic development, and cross-cultural understanding.

Kyungwon Koh

Naiman receives NASA grant to digitize astrophysical literature

Teaching Assistant Professor Jill Naiman has received a $506,912 grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to digitize predigital scientific literature. Her project, "The Reading Time Machine: Transforming Astrophysical Literature into Actionable Data," is a collaboration with Harvard University and the Astrophysics Data System (ADS), a digital library portal operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) under a NASA grant. With over 15 million records, ADS is one of the most important archives in the scientific field of astronomy.

Jill Naiman