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Academic viewpoints and concerns on CSCW education and training in Latin America

by   Francisco J. Gutierrez, et al.

Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, or simply CSCW, is the research area that studies the design and use of socio-technical technology for supporting group work. CSCW has a long tradition in interdisciplinary work exploring technical, social, and theoretical challenges for the design of technologies to support cooperative and collaborative work and life activities. However, most of the research tradition, methods, and theories in the field follow a strong trend grounded in social and cultural aspects from North America and Western Europe. Therefore, it is inevitable that some of the underlying, and established, knowledge in the field will not be directly transferrable or applicable to other populations. This paper presents the results of an interview study conducted with Latin American faculty on the feasability, viability, and prospect of a curriculum proposal for CSCW Education in Latin America: To this end, we conducted nine interviews with faculty currently based in six countries of the region, aiming to understand how a CSCW course targeted to undergraduate and/or graduate students in Latin America might be deployed. Our findings suggest that there are specific traits that need to be addressed in such a course, such as: tailoring foundational CSCW concepts to the diversity of local cultures, motivating the involvement of students by tackling relevant problems to their local communities, and revitalizing CSCW research and practice in the continent.


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