APOSDLE Glossary: Workplace, Work Environment

Workplace is the physical location where a knowledge worker performs her work. This may be on-site (e.g. in an office) or off-site (e.g. at a customer or at home). The work environment is the set of all tools, artefacts, people, communication channels, etc. which are available to the knowledge worker in her workplace. In the context of APOSDLE it is important to differentiate between computational (i.e. computer tools are available) and non-computational work environments. Computer support may be provided through a desktop computer or through a mobile device. Thus, a knowledge worker using a desktop computer on the one hand works within her computational work environment in order to e.g. write a report but at the same time might use aspects of her non-computational work environment (e.g. read a book from her bookcase) as well.

Example: In the context of the first APOSDLE prototypes within the domain Requirements Engineering the workplace will be the office of the requirements engineer. Her desktop computer and all the available (and possibly specialized) software tools (such as MS Word, or RequisitePro) constitute her computational work environment. Her non-computational work environment includes the books in her office, the telephone, the people around her, etc.

It is the goal of APOSDLE to design methods and tools which can be integrated into the computational work environment and allow for virtual informal learning and knowledge transfer. This is why, within APOSDLE we focus exclusively on the possibilities of enhancing the computational work environment. Activities taking place in a non-computational work environment will be considered as far as they can be related to or reflected in the computational environment. For example, it might be the case that minutes of a meeting are made available in the IT environment, or a reference to a book or an event may be stored in the IT environment. However, if the IT environment does not reflect an event or activity in any way APOSDLE will not be able to process it.

Considering that what is a non-computational work environment today maybe a computational work environment in the future (e.g. through the use of mobile devices), the analysis of requirements for the APOSDLE system and the analysis of the status quo of workplace learning activities takes into account aspects of non-computational work environments as well. However, this is always done with the goal of enhancing the computational work environment in order to arrive at a rich environment which allows people to transfer knowledge and learn from each other virtually.

The underlying assumption is that in distributed organizations it is essential to provide knowledge transfer and learning support virtually so that all people can benefit from it.

This definition is taken from the APOSDLE Project Glossary. At time of publication the latest version appeared in Deliverable D6.02 Use Scenarios & Application Requirements (First prototype; domain RE) available from APOSDLE Results. In this document, all mentioned external and cross references can be found.

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