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Ergonomic Analysis of the C ornell L ibrary C ollaborative L earning C omputer L aboratory. Project conducted by DEA 470 (Ian Colahan; Iris Dulay; Jessica Elias; Yachen Hwang; Kaori Ito; Jennifer Kim; Erin Lawler; Chiu Wah Jodi Lee; Elizabeth Popolo, Xin Wang)

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ergonomic analysis of the c ornell l ibrary c ollaborative l earning c omputer l aboratory

Ergonomic Analysis of theCornell Library Collaborative Learning Computer Laboratory

Project conducted by DEA 470

(Ian Colahan; Iris Dulay; Jessica Elias; Yachen Hwang; Kaori Ito; Jennifer Kim; Erin Lawler; Chiu Wah Jodi Lee; Elizabeth Popolo, Xin Wang)

Under the supervision of Professor Alan Hedge and Melissa Braun

Spring 2006

overview of presentation
Overview of Presentation:
  • Our three main interests in CL3
    • The physical arrangement and ambient environment as it relates to the intent of CL3
    • The dynamics of collaboration in CL3
    • The preferences of current users in CL3
physical arrangement of cl 3
Physical Arrangement of CL3
  • Dimensions of the station




2.2 ft


Min: 1.3ft

Max: 1.7ft


Desk height: 2.3ft-2.5ft above the floor 

Chair height: 1.3ft - 1.7ft above the floor 

Leg room: 2.5ft wide by 1.6ft deep by 2.25ft high 

Work area top: 2.5ft by 5ft 

Top of monitor casing 2-3 inches above eye level 

physical arrangement of cl 35
Physical Arrangement of CL3
  • Various sitting arrangements

1) Facing forwards and looking at both screens

95% man 5% woman

physical arrangement of cl 36
Physical Arrangement of CL3

2) Sitting to one side and looking forwards

95% man 5% woman

Top view

Front view

physical arrangement of cl 37
Physical Arrangement of CL3

3) Sitting to one side and rotate to look at the screens at an angle

95% man 5% woman Monitors angled at 45 degrees

survey results n 57
Survey Results (n=57)
  • Ability to customize work area by moving chairs, tables, and computers
  • How often do you rearrange the computer tables in CL3?
  • Reasons to move table
    • 31.5% Create better working station
    • 28% To improve collaboration
    • 33% Never moved tables
survey results n 5710
Survey Results (n=57)
  • If you have never rearranged the tables in CL3 before, why not?
    • 37% I didn’t need to
    • 22% Didn’t know it was allowed
    • 15% Didn’t know it was movable
  • Would you move the table more often if:
    • 30% Fewer wires
    • 29% Easier to plug and unplug wires and cables
    • 19% Signs instructing them to move

(i.e. How to move tables & re-plug, random positioning of stations)

    • 19% tables were lighter
    • 22% still wouldn’t move
  • How did you find out the tables were movable?
    • 33% Figured it out themselves
    • 17.5% Was told by instructor
    • 17.5% Saw other people move
    • 14% Didn’t know they are movable
physical arrangement of cl 311
Physical Arrangement of CL3
  • Desk Moving Force Requirement:









Liberty Mutual Manual Table Pushing


rula rapid upper limb assessment
RULA (Rapid Upper Limb Assessment)

Score: 4

Investigate further

Score: 3

Investigate Further

Score: 2(Acceptable)

Score: 6


Further and

Change Soon

sound level analysis
The survey concluded that sound was not a problem or concern for CL3 users. Sound Level Analysis


Uris Computer Lab

  • Average sound level is higher in the Uris computer lab under all conditions.

Sound Level Analysis

Unless there is a class, CL3 is relatively quiet. More talking and interaction can be seen in the Uris computer lounge at all times. Possible explanations include its open/bright atmosphere, ability for people to walk through to get to/from the Cocktail Lounge, and to the shape of the computer desks.

CL3 desks: sitting

space closes in

Uris desks: sitting

space open

collaboration in cl 319
Collaboration in CL3
  • Questions to Answer:
    • To what extent do people collaborate in CL3?
    • How does CL3 compare to other collaborative spaces on campus. In this case Uris computer area (The Runway).
collaborative data gathering methodology
Collaborative Data Gathering Methodology
  • Used a combination of survey questions and observational methods
    • Survey Questions provided easily comparable results and detailed data
    • Observations provided data on the frequency of various types of collaborative actions
    • Data was gathered in CL3 and in the Uris Computer area for comparison
survey results
Survey results
  • Group size ranges from 2 to 9. 66% of those surveyed worked in groups of 2 or 3. 16% of respondents worked alone.
  • 56% spend ‘most of the group time’ in task related conversation.
time spent in collaborative activity in cl3 versus other computer labs
Time spent in collaborative activity in CL3 versus other computer labs

46.5% spend a lot of time collaborating in a CL3 class, 13 % in other computer labs

survey analysis
Survey Analysis
  • Most people do spend time collaborating while in a class in CL3
  • During group collaborative periods, there was a high level of conversation between members
observations of cl 3 verses uris
Observations of CL3 verses Uris
  • Looked at the frequency of talking, pointing, keying, and mousing of each member in CL3 and comparison groups in a Uris computer area
cl3 uris observation result
CL3 & Uris observation result
  • Talking, pointing at screens and papers are counted as interactions
  • Mean number of interactions per minute in CL3 and Uris are similar (5.8 vs. 5.85)
  • Mean coefficient of deviation for the number of interactions in two labs are 8.56% and 5.97% respectively.
cl 3 uris observation result
CL3 & Uris observation result
  • Only 2 groups out of 7 from our observation used both keyboards and mice
  • Dominant use of keyboard and mouse was observed both in CL3 and Uris
  • Usually there are more people in Uris lab.
conclusions on collaboration
Conclusions on Collaboration
  • Survey data suggest that CL3 has provided an effective place for collaboration
  • Observations suggest that the Uris computer area provides an even better place for collaboration
  • Reasoning: Uris computer area has more natural exchange of information as people walk through the area, there is naturally more noise of conversations being held, and the furniture is more easily arranged
why people use the cl 3
Why People Use the CL3

We surveyed to find out why people come to use the CL3 lab.

  • The most common responses were:
    • “Because I have to for class.”
    • “The lab is aesthetically pleasing & comfortable.”
    • “I enjoy having the option to use dual monitors, mice and keyboards.”
  • Other reasons included…
what would facilitate moving the workstations in cl 3 more often
What Would Facilitate Moving the Workstations in CL3 More Often?
  • Top Responses:
    • If there were fewer wires to deal with
    • If the workstations were easier to plug & unplug
    • If the workstations were lighter
    • If there were signs suggesting to move the workstations
  • However, 13 respondents said that they simply would not move the workstations.
reasons why people like cl3
Reasons Why People Like CL3
  • The dual screen option
  • The mobile furniture
  • The software and hardware available
    • Fast computers
  • The ambient environment
    • Ample space, high ceilings, quiet work environment
  • The whiteboards
  • The availability of electrical outlets
  • The fact that it is a good space for collaboration
reasons why people dislike cl 3
Reasons Why People Dislike CL3
  • The limited hours
  • The limited table space (for group meetings)
  • The lack of appropriate signage
  • The conflict between users who want talkative collaboration and the users who are not aware that it is a collaborative computing lab (and who want a quiet study environment)
  • The shape of the room
  • The fact that the whiteboards do not erase well
  • The temperamental projector
suggestions for improving cl 3
Suggestions for Improving CL3
  • Provide accurate signage concerning:
    • The hours, the equipment available, and the ways to move workstations
  • Provide more information on resources, software and equipment available in CL3
    • Place info cards on the workstations, hang posters, etc.
  • Increase the hours of operation and staffing to accommodate the demand
  • Inform users that this is a collaborative space and not just a typical computer lab
  • Increase the number of workstations or integrate laptop use into the space
  • Improve printing options (i.e. 11” x 17”)