Andrea Forte

I'm an assistant professor in the iSchool (College of Information Science and Technology) at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

I received my PhD from the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology in human-centered computing with a focus on social computing and learning sciences. My MLIS is from the School of Information at University of Texas at Austin.

I'm interested in how emergent uses of technology create opportunities for people to construct new knowledge together.

Publication Statistics

Publication period start
Publication period end
Number of co-authors


Number of publications with favourite co-authors

Productive Colleagues

Most productive colleagues in number of publications


Lampe, Cliff, Resnick, Paul, Forte, Andrea, Yardi, Sarita, Rotman, Dana, Marshall, Todd, Lutters, Wayne (2010): Educational priorities for technology-mediated social participation. In IEEE Computer, 0 (0) pp. 1-8.

Forte, Andrea, Bruckman, Amy (2010): Citing, Writing and Participatory Media: Wikis as Learning Environments in the High School. In International Journal of Learning and Media, 1 (4) pp. 23-44.

Forte, Andrea, Bruckman, Amy (2009): Citing, Writing and Participatory Media: Wikis as Learning Environments in the High School. In International Journal of Learning and Media, 1 (4) pp. 23-44.

Forte, Andrea, Larco, Vanessa, Bruckman, Amy (2009): Decentralization in Wikipedia Governance. In Journal of Management Information Systems, 26 (1) pp. 49-72.

Forte, Andrea, Guzdial, Mark (2005): Motivation and Non-Majors in Computer Science: Identifying Discrete Audiences for Introduc. In IEEE Transactions on Education, 48 (2) pp. 248-253.

Forte, Andrea, Antin, Judd, Bardzell, Shaowen, Honeywell, Leigh, Riedl, John, Stierch, Sarah (2012): Some of all human knowledge: gender and participation in peer production. In: Companion Proceedings of ACM CSCW12 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work , 2012, . pp. 33-36.

Forte, Andrea, Humphreys, Melissa, Park, Thomas (2012): Grassroots professional development: How teachers use Twitter. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media ICWSM , 2012, Dublin, Ireland.

Forte, Andrea, Ortega, Felipe (eds.) International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration , 2011, Mountain View, California.

Berland, Leema, Forte, Andrea (2010): When Students Speak, Who Listens? Constructing Audience in Classroom Argumentation. In: Proceedings of the International Conference of the Learning Sciences , 2010, Chicago, IL, USA. pp. 428-435.

Willever-Farr, Heather, Zach, Lisl, Forte, Andrea (2012): Tell Me About My Family: A Study of Cooperative Research on In: Proceedings of the iConference , 2012, Toronto, Canada. pp. 303-310.

Bryant, Susan L., Forte, Andrea, Bruckman, Amy S. (2005): Becoming Wikipedian: transformation of participation in a collaborative online encyclopedi. In: GROUP05: International Conference on Supporting Group Work November 6-9, 2005, Sanibel Island, Florida, USA. pp. 1-10.

Forte, Andrea, Kittur, Niki, Larco, Vanessa, Zhu, Haiyi, Bruckman, Amy, Kraut, Robert E. (2012): Coordination and beyond: social functions of groups in open content production. In: Proceedings of ACM CSCW12 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work , 2012, . pp. 417-426.

Forte, Andrea, Bruckman, Amy S. (2007): Constructing text: Wiki as a toolkit for (collaborative?) learning. In: Proceedings of the 2007 International Symposium on Wikis , 2007, . pp. 31-42.

Forte, Andrea

4.13 Commentary by Andrea Forte

It is hard to imagine a topic that exposes the power of good design with more salience than social computing. Creating systems in which people debate, teach, hate, play, bully and love one another is a phenomenal line of work.

Central to social computing is the idea that traces of computationally mediated activities can be exposed to users to help them make choices about how to behave. Furthermore, these traces can be aggregated or otherwise computationally manipulated and fed back into socio-technical systems to form a feedback loop. But what kinds of information should be surfaced? How can it be usefully manipulated? And what kind of influence will that information have on people’s behavior? These questions are the bread and butter of social computing design and research.

Tom Erickson begins this chapter with a simple but powerful statement, “As humans we are fundamentally social creatures.” He goes on to describe the seemingly effortless ways that average people use and create social information in their everyday lives. He talks about the challenge of designing to support interaction by reproducing or compensating for the lack of cues from the physical world. One particularly memorable proposition is that computational systems must support deception in order to support socially graceful interaction among humans.

But, in order to lie, you have to know how.

The “natural” ways that humans convey emotion through demeanor, construct identities by selecting words and dress, and reassure each other through feigned attention and other “little white lies” are skills we learn and refine throughout our lives. These social skills require different knowledge and skills in a computationally mediated world.

An example. On the social music site, members may publish their music libraries and playlists and a log of all the music they listen to, updated in real time. To project the image of a Lady Gaga fan on, it is not sufficient to simply state that one listens to Lady Gaga, one must actually listen to her so the software can record that activity and expose it. Others can observe the record of your listening experiences and use it as a recommendation of what to listen to (or avoid). In order to project a desired image, fans have been known to manipulate tracks so that they appear to play several times in a minute, artificially boosting their personal playcount of newly released or beloved songs and artists and influencing sitewide statistics. To do so requires proficiency with digital audio.

Computational deception requires computational literacies.

One might argue that the best designs will prove to be intuitive as users perceive and respond to social cues that map closely to their face-to-face analogs. But beyond the enticing design problems raised by the challenge of enabling humans to engage with one another “naturally” in mediated environments, there is the question of what kinds of things people might do in mediated environments that they were never able to do before. What kinds of new behaviors might socio-computational systems exhibit? What new manifestations of power might people—users and designers alike—wield over one another? And what new competencies will these new possibilities require of people?

Tom Erickson builds a compelling vision of new possibilities for mediated social interaction on a simple foundation: Humans are fundamentally social. We depend on social information to carry out the simplest tasks. We generate social information as a byproduct of every activity we carry out. What to do with that information is one of the most enticing, meaningful and complex design problems of the coming decades.

Luther, Kurt, Flaschen, Matthew, Forte, Andrea, Jordan, Christopher, Bruckman, Amy (2009): ProveIt: a new tool for supporting citation in MediaWiki. In: Proceedings of the 2009 International Symposium on Wikis , 2009, . pp. 43.

Alevizou, Panagiota, Forte, Andrea (2010): Engaging with open education. In: Proceedings of the 2010 International Symposium on Wikis , 2010, . pp. 30.

Forte, Andrea (2003): Programming for communication: overcoming motivational barriers to computation for all. In: HCC 2003 - IEEE Symposium on Human Centric Computing Languages and Environments 28-31 October, 2003, Auckland, New Zealand. pp. 285-286.

Forte, Andrea, Bruckman, Amy (2008): Scaling Consensus: Increasing Decentralization in Wikipedia Governance. In: HICSS 2008 - 41st Hawaii International International Conference on Systems Science 7-10 January, 2008, Waikoloa, Big Island, HI, USA. pp. 157.

Forte, Andrea, Guzdial, Mark (2004): Computers for Communication, Not Calculation: Media as a Motivation and Context for Learni. In: HICSS 2004 , 2004, .

Forte, Andrea, Bruckman, Amy (2008): Scaling Consensus: Increasing Decentralization in Wikipedia Governance. In: Hawaiian International Conference of Systems Sciences January 5-9, 2008, Big Island, HI.

Willever-Farr, Heather, Zach, Lisl, Forte, Andrea (2012): Tell me about my family: a study of cooperative research on In: Proceedings of the 2012 iConference , 2012, . pp. 303-310.