Successful cooperative work requires that the involved workers develop a common understanding of their interaction. Common understanding emerges from continuously and unconsciously conducted activities for alignment of individual understanding – „Articulation Work“. Comprehand aims at supporting „Articulation Work“ by explicitly considering the perceptions and needs of individuals.
The theory of mental models is used to develop effective support for „Articulation Work“. The cooperative creation of diagrammatic models as representations of mental models can aid the development of a common understanding. Suitable methods for building representations of mental models include structure elaboration techniques and concept mapping.
In this work, both approaches are integrated to form a method that is appropriate for the alignment of cooperative work.
The method is implemented on a tabletop interface for cooperation support. Tangible tokens are used to build models on the interaction surface. Token identification is based on visual markers that are tracked by a camera. Model information is displayed by back- projecting it onto the table-surface from underneath.
Different modeling approaches, such as concept mapping or business process modeling, are supported and allow to focus on different aspects of the situation to be aligned.