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Durham e-Theses
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Exploring The Impact Of Configuration And Mode Of Input On Group Dynamics In Computing

FOSTER, CHRISTOPHER,ROSS (2011) Exploring The Impact Of Configuration And Mode Of Input On Group Dynamics In Computing. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Abstract

Objectives: Large displays and new technologies for interacting with computers offer a rich area for the development of new tools to facilitate collaborative concept mapping activities. In this thesis, WiiConcept is described as a tool designed to allow the use of multiple WiiRemotes for the collaborative creation of concept maps, with and without gestures. Subsequent investigation of participants' use of the system considers the effect of single and multiple input streams when using the software with and without gestures and the impact upon group concept mapping process outcomes and interactions when using a large display.
Methods: Data is presented from an exploratory study of twenty two students who have used the tool. Half of the pairs used two WiiRemotes, while the remainder used one WiiRemote. All pairs created one map without gestures and one map with gestures. Data about their maps, interactions and responses to the tool were collected.
Results: Analysis of coded transcripts indicates that one-controller afforded higher levels of interaction, with the use of gestures also increasing the number of interactions seen. Additionally, the result indicated that there were significantly more interactions of the 'shows solidarity', 'gives orientation', and 'gives opinion' categories (defined by the Bales' interaction processes assessment), when using one-controller as opposed to two. Furthermore, there were more interactions for the 'shows solidarity', 'tension release', 'gives orientation' and 'shows tension' categories when using gestures as opposed to the non-use of gestures. Additionally, there were no significant differences in the perceived dominance of individuals, as measured on the social dominance scales, for the amount of interaction displayed, however, there was a significant main effect of group conversational control score on the 'gives orientation' construct, with a higher number of interactions for low, mixed and high scores of this type when dyads had one-controller as opposed to two-controllers. There was also a significant interaction effect of group conversational control score on the 'shows solidarity' construct with a higher number of interactions for all scores of this type when dyads had one-controller as opposed to two-controllers.
The results also indicate that for the WiiConcept there was no difference between number of controllers in the detail in the maps, and that all users found the tool to be useful for the collaborative creation of concept maps. At the same time, engaging in disagreement was related to the amount of nodes created with disagreement leading to more nodes being created.
Conclusions: Use of one-controller afforded higher levels of interaction, with gestures also increasing the number of interactions seen. If a particular type of interaction is associated with more nodes, there might also be some argument for only using one-controller with gestures enabled to promote cognitive conflict within groups. All participants responded that the tool was relatively easy to use and engaging, which suggests that this tool could be integrated into collaborative concept mapping activities, allowing for greater collaborative knowledge building and sharing of knowledge, due to the increased levels of interaction for one-controller. As research has shown concept mapping can be useful for promoting the understanding of complex ideas, therefore the adoption of the WiiConcept tool as part of a small group learning activity may lead to deeper levels of understanding. Additionally, the use of gestures suggests that this mode of input does not affect the amount of words, nodes, and edges created in a concept map. Further research, over a longer period of time, may see improvement with this form of interaction, with increased mastery of gestural movement leading to greater detail of conceptual mapping.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Large Displays, HCI, gestures, WiiRemote, Collaboration, small-groups, concept mapping, configuration of input, Interaction Process Analysis, interactions, computer science
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Engineering and Computing Science, School of
Thesis Date:2011
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:02 Jun 2011 11:19

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