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Multi-Touch Table for Enhancing Collaboration during Software Design

BASHERI, MOHAMMED,ZAID (2013) Multi-Touch Table for Enhancing Collaboration during Software Design. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Encouraging collaborative software design through the use of Multi-touch interfaces has become increasingly important because such surfaces can accommodate more than one user concurrently, which is particularly useful for collaborative software design. This study investigated the differences in collaborative design among groups of students working in PC-based and Multi-touch table conditions to determine the potential of the Multi-touch table to increase the effectiveness of collaboration during software design.
The literature includes several interesting studies reflecting the role of Multi-touch tables in enhancing collaborative activities. Research has found that Multi-touch tables increase group interaction and therefore increase the attainment of group goals. Although many research efforts have facilitated collaboration among users in software design using Unified Modelling Language (UML), these studies examined distributed collaboration and not face-to-face collaboration. However, existing research that studied facilitating co-located collaborative software design has some limitations such as using technologies that prevent parallel design activities.
Collaborative software design using Multi-touch table has not been widely explored. A structured literature review revealed that no Multi-touch collaborative UML design tool is available. Thus, a Multi-touch enabled tool called MT-CollabUML was developed for this study to encourage students to work collaboratively on software design using UML in a co-located setting. Eighteen master’s level students enrolled in the Software Engineering for the Internet module were selected to participate in the study. The participants formed nine pairs. The experiment followed a counterbalanced within-subjects design where groups switched experiment conditions to ensure each group used the Multi-touch table and PC-based conditions. All collaborative UML diagramming activities were video recorded for quantitative and qualitative analysis.
Results show that using the MT-CollabUML tool in the Multi-touch table condition enhanced the level of collaboration among the team members and increased their shared contribution. It also increased the equity of participation; the individuals contributed almost equally to the task, and single-person domination decreased in the Multi-touch condition. Results also show that the Multi-touch table encourages parallel-participative design where both group members work in a parallel manner to accomplish the final agreed-upon design. The analysis of verbal communication shows that both experiment conditions encouraged subjects to use collaborative learning skills.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Multi-Touch table; Software design; Collaboration; UML
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Engineering and Computing Science, School of (2008-2017)
Thesis Date:2013
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:28 Oct 2013 09:41

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