2013 Annual Meeting
Montréal, Québec, Canada | November 1-5, 2013
Rong Tang, Simmons College
Elizabeth Quigley, Simmons College
Jeremy Guillette, Simmons College
Christopher Erdmann, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Sixty Harvard undergraduate students, paired up as 30 two-person teams, participated in a usability study where they were interviewed and asked to perform eight tasks using the Library Explorer software on the Microsoft PixelSense tabletop. This paper focuses exclusively on the collaboration aspect of the study results. During the research session, participants’ verbal responses, their interaction on the table, their collaboration behavior, and task process were recorded. Using a typology of collaboration profiles and collaboration processes, each dyad was coded by their collaboration style and assessed by their collaboration quality. Results show that the majority of the dyads adopted the “turn taker” collaboration style in completing their tasks, and the “driver-passenger” style was also used frequently. Significant differences were found in team make-up in terms of the formation of their collaboration style and their likelihood to recommend the tool to others. Knowing their partner prior also influenced the formation of participants’ collaboration style. There is a significant correlation between overall collaboration style and the quality of collaboration. The use of collaboration styles such as “turn taker,” “driver passenger” and “independent,” correlate significantly with various quality measures of collaboration. While the “turn taker” style is associated positively with percent of tasks completed successfully, the “driver-passenger” is inversely correlated with the success rate. There are some preliminary evidences from the results to support Klimoski and Mohammed’s (1994) framework which suggests that team capacity leads to team process and then contributes to the team performance. Further analysis on participants’ screen touch rate and problem solving strategies may help to examine the deep layer of participants’ shared mental model construction and thus reveal the effect of the shared mental model on collaboration quality and task performance.