In the digital age, characterized by increasingly distributed and interactive creation of value, effective collaboration is a key factor for being successful on the market. Collaboration Engineering is a systemic approach for designing collaboration processes that can be applied by practitioners to complete recurring and important tasks at a high level of quality. The core aim of Collaboration Engineering is to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of collaboration by maximizing the joint effort of all participants towards accomplishing a joint goal. Thus, Collaboration Engineering increases the quality of the generated results as well as the satisfaction among the involved participants. In Collaboration Engineering the use of IT has shown to offer new tools for structuring collaboration activities. The use of such tools has already led to important changes in human collaboration in private and work settings, and is supposed to led to further changes in the future.
Purposes and Objectives The aim of the course is to teach the necessary theoretical foundations of Collaboration Engineering to the students, and to deepen and strengthen this knowledge by using Collaboration Engineering to structure a given or chosen collaboration process. The core contents of the course are: (1) Theories and models of group collaboration (2) Computer-supported collaborative work (3) Methods and tools for designing group collaboration (4) Applying Collaboration Engineering to solve a real-world problem We recommend dividing the course in two parts. We usually have a session of 3 full days in the beginning of the semester to build up the necessary theoretical foundations. After this session, depending on the size of the course, individual or group assignments are given that need to be completed during the semester. Usually, 2 weeks after the initial session, the students have to give an individual/group presentation on the status of their projects (focus here: collaboration goals and group products). The week after, they write an exam covering the theoretical foundations of Collaboration Engineering. Another three weeks later, the students give another individual/group presentation that resembles the design validation of their assignments (see course structure). 4-5 weeks later, the individuals/groups submit their final solution to their assignments. Between the sessions, the students attend a CE workshop (~1 day) designed by us. Depending on the number of students we either have one workshop, or we split the group (e.g. 10/10), and show, e.g., that comparable results can be achieved by means of an IT-supported and non-IT CE workshop. Ideally, this workshop takes place before the exam, since it helps the students to further understand what CE is, how it works, and what the benefits are. Furthermore, we try to have at least one session (3-4h) focusing on issues, such as moderation skills or pitfalls in workshops settings and how to avoid them or how to come back to a productive workshop setting.