Susan Finger
Dan Siewiorek
Asim Smailagic

Current Students
Kenneth Chan
Jesse Mwaura
Matt Snider

Former Students
Jonathan Brodsky
Marta DePaul
Dana Gelman
Rachel Glaves
Hoda Moustapha
Kyle Overton
Stephanie Rosenthal
Michael Szczerban
Kiley Williams
Karen Wong
Jasmine Han
The Kiva

The Kiva is a collaboration tool that facilitates group communication and helps organize project work. The Kiva is based on the idea that groups communicate through posts; that is, the Kiva feels like a chat session in which group members send and receive messages to one another. The Kiva has benefits over email and chat, because all the group meeting notes, files, images, links, and discussions are stored in one place, so that everyone in the group always has access to them. The Kiva is asynchronous so that group members can chat without being logged on at the same time.

The structure of the Kiva is flexible and allows Kiva members to organize and view work in ways that make sense to them. It is designed to make it easy to set up meetings, exchange ideas both within and across groups, plan activities, and reduce the time spent handling logistics.

Two of the key benefits of the Kiva are:

  • Kiva members have a shared repository for documents. Members can annotate the documents so everyone in the group knows what is in each document and why it was created.

  • Kiva members have a common calendar so that everyone in a group knows when and where the meetings are and what the agenda will be. In addition, the Kiva makes it easy to post meeting notes so that everyone knows what was covered and what was decided at the meeting.

The Kiva has been used in over 50 classes and 30 research projects at Carnegie Mellon.
Related Projects
The Barn

  • Susan Finger, Dana Gelman, Anne Fay and Michael Szczerban, Asim Smailagic and Daniel P. Siewiorek,"Supporting Collaborative Learning in Engineering Design," Expert Systems with Applications, Volume 31, Issue 4 , November 2006, Pages 734-741.

  • Susan Finger, Dana Gelman, Anne Fay and Michael Szczerban, "Assessing Collaborative Learning in Engineering Design," International Journal of Engineering Education, v22, no 3, 2006, pp 636- 644.

  • Stephanie Rosenthal and Susan Finger, "Design Collaboration in a Distributed Environment," 2006 Frontiers in Education, San Diego, CA, October 28-31, 2006.

  • Jacqueline Flor and Susan Finger, "The Effect of Individual and Group Characteristics on Remote Collaboration," 2006 Frontiers in Education, San Diego, CA, October 28-31, 2006.

  • Jacqueline M. Flor and Susan Finger, "Computer-Supported Collaborative Design: A Case Study of Multi-Cultural, Multi-Disciplinary Engineering Teams," 2006 International Conference on Engineering Education, San Juan, Puerto Rico, July 23-28, 2006.

  • Susan Finger, Dana Gelman, Anne Fay and Michael Szczerban, "A design collaboratory for engineering students," Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED'05, Melbourne Australia, 15-18 August 2005.

  • Daniel P. Siewiorek, Susan Finger and Asim Smailagic, "Team-Based Design: Collaborative Learning Across Time and Space," Computer-Supported Collaborative Work in Design, Keynote Address, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 25-27, 2002.

We gratefully acknowledge support from the National Science Foundation, the CMU Office for Technology in Education, and the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance.