, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 189-201

Getting used with groupware: a first class experience

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This article reports on an empirical investigation of long-term use of a groupware system in a spatially and massively distributed network of educators. It is a case study based investigation aimed at understanding the impacts of collaboration technology in supporting social interaction. The paradigm of social constructivism and the perspective of structuration are proposed as frameworks for understanding the impacts of technology on mediating social interaction. Utilizing these perspectives in an empirical investigation, the case study findings demonstrate how collaboration technology can serve as a change agent in transforming the culture and structure of social interaction. This is enacted in two ways: through the various meanings which people construct when interacting with technology and in benefiting from the structural properties of a system through its technical affordances.