Modellingspace: interaction design and architecture of a collaborative modelling environment
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This paper describes the architecture of the ModelllingSpace open problem-solving environment. Modelling- Space is a new learning environment supporting synchronous and asynchronous collaborative problem solving by students at a distance. We describe here the key design decisions of the ModellingSpace software and in particular issues related with support for students with heterogeneous sets of primitive entities, control of interaction and dialogue, representation of the entities and models in a format that permits exchange of primitive material, as well as architectural considerations of the distributed application relating to network bandwidth limitations. The paper provides also an outline of server-side tools designed for supporting a community of students, users of the ModellingSpace environment.