Tech Report

Facilitated Hypertext for Collective Sensemaking: 15 Years on from gIBIS

Hypertext research in the mid-1980s on representing argumentation for design rationale (DR) foreshadowed what are now dominant concerns in knowledge management: representing, codifying and manipulating semiformal concepts, the use of formalisms to mediate collective sensemaking, and the construction of group memory. With the benefit of 15 years' hindsight, we can see the failure of so many hypertext DR systems to be adopted as symptomatic of the more general problem of fostering 'hypertext literacy' in real working environments. Pursuing Englebart's goal of "augmenting human intellect", we describe the Compendium approach to collective sensemaking, which demonstrates the impact that a hypertext facilitator can have on the learning and adoption problems that plagued earlier hypertext systems. We also describe how conventional documents and modelling notations can be morphed into and out of Compendium's 'native hypertext' in order to support other modes of working across diverse communities of practice.

Keywords: facilitation, collaborative hypertext, formalism,

sensemaking, knowledge management, argumentation, IBIS

ID: kmi-01-15

Date: 2001

Author(s): Jeff Conklin, Albert Selvin, Simon Buckingham Shum and Maarten Sierhuis

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