16 Matching Annotations
  1. Jan 2019
    1. n particular, we note how recent extensions to Activity Theory have addressed theoretical shortcomings similar to our five challenges and suggest directions for bridging the gap between everyday practice and systems support

      theoretical base for the case study.

      Tie this back to HCC readings/critiques by Halverson and Hutchins on distributed cognition.

    2. These extensions increase the complexity of the Activity Theory model but also help to explain tensions present in real-world systems such as when one agent plays different roles in two systems that have divergent goals. Furthermore, this approach provides Activity Theory with a similar degree of agility in representing complex, distributed cognition as competing theoretical approaches, such as Distributed Cognition (Hutchins, 1995).

      flexibility of Activity Theory over DCog

  2. Aug 2018
    1. mporal features. We have then to consider how organizational participants are affected by situations containing temporal features, but also how these actors shape, by their behavior and beliefs, local context according to their needs.

      This provides a good framework for the SBTF study that social coordination practices can sometimes be at odds with the "structures that bear significant temporal features."

      Could this mean data as well as events?

      Is this passage invoking activity theory, if it were an HCI study?

    1. While Activity Theory provides a useful lens for understanding users’ work practices and a language for communicating models of users’ behavior, there are some aspects of work practice that have been shown to be critical for knowledge work but are not captured in the Activity Theory framework. For example, knowledge workers have been shown to rely on the organization of information used in ongoing activities to accomplish their work, particularly when the value or role of that information has not yet been fully determined (Kidd, 1994; Malone, 1983; Mynatt, 1999). Activity Theory alludes to the fact that tools reflect the history of their use, but does not place a strong emphasis on this critical component of knowledge work.

      limit of activity theory

    2. s a means for coordinating action among groups of users (e.g., Bardram, 2005, this volume)

      social coordination and activity theory

      get this paper

      Bardram, J.E. (2005, September). Activity-based computing: Support for mobility and collaboration in ubiquitous computing. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 9(5), 312–322.

    3. The hierarchical structure of the Boer et al. adaptation of the Activity Theory model can help to reconcile the differences in granularity and the difficulties of supporting collaboration identified in our work; future activity-centered user interfaces might take advantage of the zoomable user interface paradigm or feature control over the level of detail (LOD) represented in the interface to more accurately reflect the depth at which a given user conceptualizes their own tasks or the tasks of their colleagues.

      Boer extension attends to some of the challenges which began this paper

    4. Activity Theory casts a wide but well-defined net around the multifaceted nature of activity, suggesting that the user’s colleagues and the object of the activity are of the utmost importance, but that the tools, social rules, and roles of collaborators within the community must also be reflected back to the user as critical components of that activity. The idea that components of activity reflect their history of use through time suggest several ways for activity-centered systems to support a dynamic working landscape; for example, they might capture past activities in an archive for quick—and potentially automated—reference during related tasks in the future, and that the tools used in previous and ongoing activities (e.g., documents and information resources) both be available at all times and tagged with meta-information about how they have been used in the past

      Further description of how activity theory could incorporate temporality through history (past), dynamic (tempo), automated references (future), and toolsets (past, previous).

    5. Engeström (1987) provides a classic visualization summarizing the structure of an activity (figure 3). This model is based around three mutual relationships: that between the actor (subject) and the community (other actors involved), that between subject and the object (in the sense of objective) of the activity, and that between the object and the community. These mutual relationships are mediated by the other components of activity.

      Engeström definition of Activity Theory

    6. Activity Theory is described both as a guiding framework for analyzing observations of work practice and a language for communicating those findings within the community of practitioners (Halverson, 2001).

      description of Activity Theory

    7. Nardi (1996) argues that one of the inherent strengths of Activity Theory is in its ability to capture the idea of context in user models for HCI, a notion that is gaining momentum particularly with respect to the ubiquitous computing paradigm and as its own design movement, so-called activity-centered design (Gay & Hembrooke, 2003). The world that Gay and Hembrooke envision relies upon design that is not user-centered (which is currently the dominant view in the HCI community) but activity-centered, since Activity Theory provides the right “orientation” for future classes of interactions mediated by ubiquitous computing devices.

      activity-based design -- a companion to user-centered design

    8. Besides the fact that an activity is situated in a network of influencing activity systems, it is also situated in time....In order to understand the activity system under investigation, one therefore has to reveal its temporal interconnectedness....Rather than analyzing an activity system as a static picture of reality, the developments and tensions within the activity system need to be

      extension of Activity Theory with a temporal dimension

      Boer et al quote continues on next page but not picked up in annotation.

      Cites Giddens' structuration theory

    9. However, Gay and Hembrooke point out a weakness in the original formulation of Activity Theory: “The model of activity theory...has traditionally been understood as a synchronic, point-in-time depiction of an activity. It does not depict the transformational and developmental processes that provide the focus of much recent activity theory research” (Gay & Hembrooke, 2003).

      criticism of Activity Theory -- as point-in-time and missing transformational/developmental processes.

      Not discussed here but those deveopmental processes have temporal qualities and attributes

    10. In their well-known “activity checklist,” Kaptelinin, Nardi, and Macaulay (1999) identified five basic principles of Activity Theory: 1.Hierarchical structure of activity In Activity Theory, the unit of analysis is an activity which is directed at an objectthat motivates the activity. Activities are composed of conscious, goal-directed actions; different actions may be taken to complete any given goal. Actions are implemented through automatic operations, which do not have goals of their own. This hierarchical structure is dynamic and can change throughout the life of an activity. 2.Object-orientedness Activity Theory holds that humans exist in an broadly-defined objective reality, that is, the things around us have properties that are objective both to the natural sciences and society and culture. 3.Internalization/externalization Activity Theory considers both internal and external actions and holds that the two are tightly interrelated. Internalization is the process of transforming an external process into an internal one for the purposes of planning or simulating an action without affecting the world. Externalization transforms internal actions into external ones and is often used to resolve failures of internal actions and to coordinate actions among independent agents. 4.Mediation A central tenet of Activity Theory is that activity is mediated by tools, and that these tools are created and transformed over the course of the activity so that the culture and history of the activity becomes embedded in the tools. Vygotsky’s definition of tool is very broad; one of the tools he was most interested in was language. 5.Development Activity Theory relies upon development as one of its primary research methodologies; that is, “experiments” often include consist of a subject’s participation in an activity and observation of developmental changes in the subject over the course of the activity. Ethnographic methods that identify the cultural and historical roots of activity are also frequently used.

      Nardi definition of Activity Theory

      Also: INFO 6101 paper


    11. Activity Theory places a strong focus on the mediating role of tools and social practices in the service of accomplishing goals

      activity theory focus

  3. Dec 2016
    1. The acceptance of doing something different has to do with the understanding of a former experience in which there were subjects that were discussed.

      Very important construct in change - central to Cultural Historical Activity Theory - Engstrom.

  4. Oct 2016
    1. the elements—tools and community—seemed to mediate stu-dents’ active participation and motivation in the process of achieving their (subject) learning objectives (object). Tool mediation, which is a key principle of Activity Theory, highlights that human activity is mediated by various tools