CSCW Time and Place Dimensions
The CSCW discipline can be placed on a grid with the time dimension running on the X-axis and
the place dimesion running along the Y-axis. Four major divisions are noticed: same place same time,
different time same place, same time different place, and different time different place. They are discussed:
- Same Place Same Time Business requires cooperative tools for supporting face to face meetings. On the low
end of the technology spectrum are tools like computer projection screens that project computer images onto a white
screen. On the high end are situations where each person within the meeting room has their own computer, with appropriate
software for assisting in interacting and working together.
- Different Time Same Place There is a need for computers to enhance exisiting administrative, filing, and filtering
needs. It is important to make smooth transitions with shift workers at places like hospitals and factories. CSCW attempts
to do this by facilitating group memory and charting progression so that there is a quick and smooth transition from one
shift to the next.
- Same Time Different Place This is a popular corner of study within CSCW, since it looks at how to assist in
the business need of cross-distance meetings. Shared workspaces use the concept of WYSIWIS to allow people in geographically
distributed locations to work together at the same time and see what other participants are doing. Video teleconferences allow
participants to see and hear each other accross great distances and give the user more of a feeling of being in the same
meeting room as the other participants.
- Different Time Different Place The business need for this corner of study is on-going coordination between team
members. Group voice mail and hypermedia allow users to communicate at different times in geographically distributed
Last updated on March 8, 1995