“The CoWeb is implemented in the highly portable open-source freeware language Squeak and supports lightweight collaboration. It essentially looks like a web site, but it allows users to easily add content or modify existing content. CoWebs are unusual collaborative spaces because of their total freedom, ease of access and use and because of their lack of predetermined structure. All users have the same rights on the server, they don’t require accounts or passwords, and everybody can modify any part of the information in the CoWeb and create new links and pages. Contributing to a CoWeb requires only a standard Web browser and knowledge of HTML is not necessary” (Lueg and Fisher 2003, p. 165)

Mark Guzdial has created this system based on Squeak ( At the beggining this system was called Swiki (from Squeak Wiki) and afterwords CoWeb which derives from the Collaborative web. CoWebs are mostly beeing used in higher education and serve almost the same goals as Wikis.

Uses of CoWebs

1)Collaborative artefact creation:Reports, analysis, collaborative adventure games, collaborative creation of glossaries, FAQ lists, any type of collaborative writing.
2)Review activities:
Organization of a conference workshop, organization of a multimedia project
3)Case library creation:
Creation of a space supporting a given course: students in one semester become information sources to later students, class projects, upload students’ past assignments
4)Distributing information:
Distribution of URL lists, images, workshops, scannes sketches, audio archives
5)Other uses:
Creation of an E-Class: Classroom lectures can be captured in multimedia, including slides, audiovisual material, notes.

Users of the CoWeb

-Purpose agents: gratuate students, teachers, managers of a group
-Central users: web site designers, CoWeb developers
-Peripheral users: people who want to visit CoWebs and contribute, edit, leave comments or critiques.

-Lueg, Christopher and Fisher, Danyel Eds. (2003). From Usernet to CoWebs: Interacting with Social Information Spaces. London, Springer
-Guzdial, M. (2000). Catalog of CoWeb uses. GVU Technical Report GIT-GVU-0-19, accessible from:


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