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Awareness support in cooperative environments has been a research issue in the area of distributed systems for computer-supported cooperative work for more than two decades. Measuring its effectiveness remains a complex task since it is difficult to grasp awareness in situ. Consequently, techniques and tools are required generating results while a user's awareness is still present. The Standardized Coordination Task Assessment (SCTA) and its tool the SCTA Tracer use freeze probes to query participants at specific points in time while working on a common task measuring and recording response times, performance, and errors. The result is visualized in a four quadrant system distinguishing illusive, ineffective, inefficient, and ideal systems. The SCTA Tracer guides awareness support researchers and designers to focus their effort on essential concepts already at early development stages. This paper shows how a smart selection of tools and techniques is integrated for this complex task.
Date of Conference: 15-17 Feb. 2012