In English

Measures of collaboration in CSCW: Usability and collective measures in remote and co-located problem-solving

Sandra Mattsson
Göteborg : Chalmers tekniska högskola, 2011. 103 s.
[Examensarbete på avancerad nivå]

Since computers first came to be used in the society the role of the user has changed as has the research connected to it. Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW) has focused on several users and to evaluate existing collaborative systems. However, no full method is yet proposed. Authors state that there is a lack in usability and social studies. The aim of this thesis has first been to find new measures for collaboration and second to test the validity of these measures on a set of experimental data. A literature review showed that good candidates for new measures were usability an collective measures. A careful observation of the experimental data set helped to find seven candidate measures: Speaking, Monitoring, Looking at task description, Sketching, Erasing, Laughing and Task process that were applied on an existing body of experimental data. The collection of experimental data stemmed from video taped observations on a within-group design experiment involving eighteen participants. Nine pairs of subjects solved dot-to-dot puzzle problems under three conditions (first independent variable), two of these conditions were remote (SkypeVideo and CollaBoard); one condition was co-located (Co-located). There were three tasks with varying difficulty (second independent variable). Monitoring and Speaking were examined in statistical tests and the five other measures in descriptive analysis. Statistical significant difference in means were found for tasks in Monitoring and Speaking. In Monitoring the difference was due to the difference in task time. No significance was seen for conditions which could be due to a high variation as seen in the box-plots or that the conditions were too similar when solving the specific dot-to-dot puzzle problem. The descriptive data showed similar results. The Task process measure showed that in the Co-located condition most focus was put on task-solving, in Skype Video the most focus was put on the whiteboard. In the CollaBoard condition Looking at task description had the most focus and the most conversation and Laughing was seen. Most Laughing was also seen in the simple and hard task. Also the most focus on the whiteboard was seen with the simple task. Most task-solving was done in the average task which implies that in an average task more focus can be put on solving the task than on other things. The measures found in this study should be investigated further as well as measures of CSCW usability and collectivity in general. A more usable CSCW system may save time, money, and our environment.

Nyckelord: Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW), collaboration, usability, evaluation and collective behaviour

Publikationen registrerades 2011-02-25. Den ändrades senast 2015-07-28

CPL ID: 137321

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