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Mind the Gap: Activity Theory and Design

This paper describes the application of the Activity Theory framework to the analysis of work practices in an organisation, to inform the design of a computer system for supporting collaborative learning in the workplace. A study involving the analysis of an organisation and using Engestrsm's expanded triangle model of human activity [5] is described. A methodology developed during the study for breaking down the extended triangle and applying it is given, together with practical examples. The paper concludes by highlighting strengths and weaknesses of the model, and suggests a number of refinements for its practical application.

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Submitted to CSCW'2000, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, December 2 - 6, 2000.

ID: kmi-00-11

Date: 2000

Author(s): Daisy Mwanza

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