Professor Michael Twidale will discuss his research on computer-supported cooperative work at the Columbia Science Review's event, "E-Living: Social Interactions in a Virtual World." E-Living, which will be held virtually on April 15, will include a panel discussion on how people form relationships online and how software can be better designed to support this networking. As described on the event's website, discussions will also focus on how videoconferencing companies like Zoom are evolving to make online interactions easier, "especially considering the fact that numerous companies and schools are moving online even after the coronavirus pandemic ends."
According to Twidale, early research on computer-supported cooperative work demonstrated the importance of audio quality in working synchronously and the power and potential of asynchronous work. It also showed that asynchronous work needs careful coordination to be successful and that working at a distance can build much better on pre-existing face-to-face interactions.
"At the upcoming event, I will share how these practical experiences of using technology have been refined and studied at the iSchool over the last 25 years that our master's degree in library and information science has been offered online," he said. "As a School, we have built a rich set of expertise in online pedagogy, online tech support, and perhaps most important of all, online community building to help our many cohorts of online degree graduate students feel a genuine connection to each other and to the School."
Twidale is an expert in computer-supported cooperative work, collaborative technologies in digital libraries and museums, user interface design and evaluation, information visualization, and museum informatics. He holds joint appointments at Illinois in the Department of Computer Science, Information Trust Institute, and Academy of Entrepreneurial Leadership. Twidale is a frequent speaker at scholarly conferences, and his research has been published in books and academic journals, including the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology and International Journal on Digital Libraries. He holds a PhD in computing from Lancaster University.