The importance of structuring information and resources within shared workspaces during collaborative design learning

David Nicol, Allison Littlejohn, Hilary Grierson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates how the organization or structure of information and resources in shared workspaces influences team sharing and design learning. Two groupware products, BSCW and TikiWiki, were configured so that teams could structure and share resources. In BSCW the resources were structured hierarchically using folders and subfolders whereas in TikiWiki resources were structured using interlinked wiki pages (like web pages). The results showed that the groupware technology used, the collaborative task set and opportunities to reflect all influenced the way teams structured resources and that well-structured resources facilitated team collaboration and design learning. The discussion focuses on the need to help students develop information literacy skills and on why asking students to structure resources might help develop their design expertise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-49
Number of pages18
JournalOpen Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005


  • design education
  • information literacy
  • shared workspaces
  • team learning

Cite this