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Title: The contextual evaluation framework : a prototype evaluation technique for e-Research
Author: Eden, Grace
ISNI:       0000 0004 2716 4603
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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The contextual evaluation framework (CEF) is a requirements engineering technique that incorporates a particular sociological orientation, Ethnomethodology, in the development of a rigorous and systematic approach for requirements elicitation. This qualitative approach examines how well a system may be aligned with the endogenous organisation of work within a community of practice. Assessing how well a system supports the knowledge, skills and practices that already exist within a community is equally as important as developing solutions that will eventually reconfigure those practices, create new ones and extend modes of collaboration. The aim of this thesis is to address the absence of a systematic approach to quasi-naturalistic prototype evaluation which may be useful to a broader community such as requirements engineers, computer scientists and others not familiar with the details of sociological approaches. Such an aim is in line with the ways in which prototype evaluation approaches, particularly in HCI, have successfully been disseminated throughout the computer science research community - with the provision of guidelines. Likewise, the CEF is conceived of to be implemented in a similar manner. Its focus is on the analysis of a prototype’s relevance as a tool that is in some manner familiar to those who might use it. Specifically, professionals within a discipline share complex skills and knowledge where they learn to use similar tools, instruments and processes necessary for their work. Implicit in these social practices, practitioners gradually acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to become full members of a community of practice. In this way, the processes, objects and artefacts of practice come to possess specific meaning and significance. The CEF examines how this complex architecture of meaning is supported, constrained or transformed when using a prototype and makes possible an assessment of the ways in which participants interpret its usefulness and usability.
Supervisor: Marina, Jirotka Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Software engineering ; requirements engineering ; workplace studies ; ethnomethodology