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In a study conducted in 2004 we found that our students recognized the need to collaborate but that, due to inadequate communication skills, limited time and lack of experience and training in group work, the extent to which they collaborated was far less than they believed to be ideal. Since the advent of Web 2.0 we were interested to see if these increasingly tech-savvy digital natives were choosing to both collaborate more and to use technology to do so. In particular, we consider how 29 groups in a second year software analysis and design unit utilized a collaboration and project management tool known as TRAC. We suggest that different patterns of usage were observed due to different perceived affordances of the technology driven by students' interests and needs. We characterize the affordances and conclude that while we are seeing an increase in collaboration mediated by technology, more intended intervention is needed to assist students to discover a wider range of affordances.
Date of Conference: 22-24 April 2009