Communication and information technologies are rapidly becoming integral to daily life around the globe, enabling new forms of social systems and extending the scope of existing ones across time and space. These socio-technical systems range from informal networks of people to virtual organizations. To more effectively support virtual organizations with emerging technologies, new analytic tools are needed to understand how technological designs encourage transformative interactions between people.
The Traces project is developing a three-layered solution, the Traces framework, which consists of a theoretical foundation for analysis, a data model, and software tools to trace out the movements, confluences, and transformations of people and ideas in online social networks. This project is focusing on online social networks that support the professional development of students and educators. Thus, the results of this research will enhance the infrastructure for virtual learning organizations. We are presently analyzing historical activity in SRI’s Tapped In network of educators.
This project is supported by the National Science Foundation’s VOSS program (Virtual Organizations as Sociotechnical Systems, Office of Cyberinfrastructure), via a grant awarded to Dan Suthers (Principal Investigator, Dept. of ICS) and Devan Rosen (Co-Principal Investigator, Dept. of Speech) under the title “Traces–Understanding Distributed Socio-Technical Systems”. The grant began on November 1, 2009 and runs for a period of three years. The National Science Foundation’s award information for this grant may be found at
- Rosen, D., & Suthers, D. D. (2011).
- Stigmergy and collaboration: Tracing the contingencies of mediated interaction. Proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on the System Sciences (HICSS-44), January 4-7, 2011, Kauai, Hawai‘i (CD-ROM). New Brunswick: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE).
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- Suthers, D. D. (2011).
- Interaction, mediation, and ties: An analytic hierarchy for socio-technical systems. Proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on the System Sciences (HICSS-44), January 4-7, 2011, Kauai, Hawai‘i (CD-ROM) (pp. CD-Rom). New Brunswick: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE).
- Suthers, D. D., & Chu, K.-H. (2010).
- Identifying mediators of socio-technical capital in a networked learning environment. In L. Dirckinck-Holmfeld, V. Hodgson, C. Jones, M. de Laat, D. McConnell & T. Ryberg (Eds.), Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Networked Learning (pp. 387-395). Aalborg, Denmark.
- Suthers, D. D., Dwyer, N., Medina, R., & Vatrapu, R. (2010).
- A framework for conceptualizing, representing, and analyzing distributed interaction. International Journal of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, 5(1), 5-42.
- Suthers, D. D., & Rosen, D. (2011).
- A unified framework for multi-level analysis of distributed learning. Proceedings of the First International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge, Banff, Alberta, February 27-March 1, 2011.