(Video) OTTRS Speaker Series: “Interactive Team Cognition for Humans and Machines”

Maia Johnston - June 5, 2024

Dr. Nancy J. Cooke shares her 30-year research journey on interactive team cognition

OTTRS Speaker Series

On May 17, 2024, UMD’s Organizational Teams and Technology Research Society (OTTRS) hosted a virtual presentation by Nancy J. Cooke, a professor of Human Systems Engineering and affiliate professor of Bioinformatics at Arizona State University. 

For over 30 years, Cooke has studied the cognitive processing of teams in the context of sociotechnical systems in order to improve team effectiveness. A large part of this research focuses on measuring team effectiveness through synthetic task environments. These environments are what Cooke calls the “living lab approach,” where models and theories on teamwork are developed based on field data. Synthetic task environments are implemented to bring context into the lab, like utilizing the popular video game Minecraft to “create urban search and rescue environments where people can use their avatars to work together.” Through lab research, Cooke developed the theory of Interactive Team Cognition, where team interactions—often in the form of explicit communications—are the foundation of team cognition. 

“Team cognition is an activity; not a property or a product,” she said. “It is tied inextricably to context and is best measured and studied when the team is the unit of analysis.”

Watch a recording of the presentation here.