The Ontologies of Collaboration

I had written earlier about collaboration as native collaboration – the basic thesis being that we should perhaps be able to bring a new level of structured collaboration for learning that can assess learning defined as connectedness of an individual. I had looked at tools like IMINDI and sites like MindQuarry. The five aspects of native collaboration that I proposed were:

  • technology
  • network
  • collaboration skills
  • content domain
  • context

Gregory Todd Jones (@coopscience) pointed to an interesting article – Guidelines for Group Collaboration and Emergence – by Venessa Miemis. And then I came across two really interesting concepts – online debates and SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization System). While the first link talks about various tools developed for online debates, the latter talks about a bridge between knowledge organization systems and the linked data community.

Which brings me to think – can we define ontologies for debates (and for collaboration in general)?

Venessa’s article and others like Mark Elliot on Stigmergic Collaboration describe “group”/network characteristics and behavior including some not so easy to represent or capture concepts like trust and relationship building in a “group”/network. Given that some or all of these operate in a collaborative exercise, are there ways to understand and represent them in terms of tools and analytics?

As Morendil states for one debate tool:

bCisive supports different types of statements, distinguished by the icons on their boxes: questions; arguments pro or con; evidence; options; “fixes”, and so on. At present it doesn’t appear to *do* anything valuable with these distinctions, but they proved to be an effective scheme for organizing my thoughts.

I know UML, for example, provides a way to model ontologies. Maybe we could use it to develop some for collaboration and derive some techniques of assessment as well for these ontologies.

Two other interesting links – On Social Learning Sensemaking Capacity and Collective Intelligence (don’t miss the argument map) and the following image from Memetic Cartography:

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