CPSC 601.13
Computer Supported Cooperative Work

CPSC 601.13 is a graduate course that gives a detailed introduction to Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW)


Important Links
Course content This course will pursue in detail selected topics in Computer Supported Cooperative Work that is of immediate interest to students and the instructor.
Course structure The course is a combination reading and seminar course. A list of readings, organized by topic, will be provided to students. During class, students will present and discuss the readings and their implications. Students will be expected to take ownership of particular topics, and it will be their responsibility to gather and distribute the readings, and to run the class on that topic.
Prerequisites Students should already be familiar with human computer interaction. This may be through course work (e.g., CPSC 481), through relevant industrial experience, through related cross-disciplinary work (such as human factors). CPSC 681 is recommended. If you are not sure if you are eligible, please contact the instructor.
The Audience [Current participants and their assignments]
This course is oriented towards graduates and professionals who have serious interest in Computer Supported Cooperative Work. Typical students are:
  • computer science graduates whose research work includes some aspect of HCI and CSCW
  • software engineers who are experienced designers of user interfaces
  • psychology and/or educational psychology graduates with a background in human factors who are interested in Human Computer Interaction
  • highly motivated undergraduates wishing to take advanced topics in Human Computer Interaction


  • 50% A major software development project implementing CSCW architectures (for Computer Science students) or
    an alternative non-technical project for non Computer Science students (tailored to fit the student's skills).
  • 20% topic presentation, which includes: researching and gather necessary materials for the class; presenting those materials along with exercises and / or illustrative system as appropriate. This includes a handout summarizing the above presentation as a concise review.
  • 20% take home examination
  • 10% participation in class discussions and group activities.
Possible presentation topics:
  1. Evaluating groupware
  2. Desktop conferencing
  3. Awareness in visual workspaces
  4. Informal Communication and Media Spaces
  5. Spaces and Places
  6. Single Display Groupware
  7. Workflow
  8. Asynchronous communication

See starting points for some literature on several of these topics.

Expectations This course has a workload typical of a graduate course. Students are expected to be up to date with the readings before class, and to participate fully in all class discussions and activities. The minimum standard of all evaluation deliverables are that they be done at a highly professional level. Sloppy or half-hearted work will not be accepted. 

Only students meeting these expectations can expect to pass this course. 

Schedule and Readings The course runs Fall, 2000. The class will meet one day of every week for three hours, from Monday 9-12. 
will be provided at least one week before the class.
The instructor Saul Greenberg is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Calgary.
  • He regularly teaches introductory and advanced courses on human computer interaction at both the undergraduate and graduate level, as well as to industry.
  • He is an active researcher in Human Computer Interaction, and now specializes in Groupware. He is the author and editor of several books, including
    • The Computer User as Toolsmith (Cambridge University Press, 1993),
    • Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Groupware (Academic Press, 1992),
    • Groupware for Real Time Drawing (McGraw Hill, Europe), and
    • Readings in Human Computer Interaction: Towards the Year 2000 (Morgan-Kauffman, 1995).
  • He has served on many academic reviews committees, and is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Human Computer Studies, and Computer Supported Cooperative Work.
  • He regularly publishes in major conferences in both Human Computer Interaction and Computer Supported Cooperative Work.