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Using an Experimental Study to develop Group Awareness support for Real-Time Distributed Collaborative Writing

Tran, Minh Hong, Raikundalia, Gitesh K and Yang, Yun (2006) Using an Experimental Study to develop Group Awareness support for Real-Time Distributed Collaborative Writing. Information and Software Technology, 48 (11). pp.1006-1024. ISSN 0950-5849

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Supporting group awareness is vital for the success of real-time, distributed, collaborative writing systems. Many awareness mechanisms have been introduced, but highly effective solutions are few. The research presented in this paper focuses on the development of awareness mechanisms using an experimental study of synchronous distributed collaborative writing. Our study has made two major contributions to research on group awareness. First, the study compares the importance of different awareness elements in supporting group awareness for collaborative writing. The results of our Wilcoxon test on awareness elements identify the five most important elements, including Being able to comment on what other users have done, Knowing what actions other users are currently taking, Providing a communication tool when audio is not available, Knowing other users working areas in the document, Knowing other users tasks. Second, the research proposes mechanisms corresponding to the above-mentioned five awareness elements. The mechanisms include Dynamic Task List (DTL), Modification Director (MD), Advanced Chat (AC) and Split Window View (SWV). These mechanisms provide support for various aspects of group awareness, and add many enhanced features to existing awareness mechanisms. For example, DTL presents high-level information about authors responsibilities and the correlation between their work allocations. MD notifies users instantaneously whenever their work is modified by other authors. AC enhances communication between users by allowing them to attach document objects such as text and diagrams to a conversation message. And, SWV provides the views of other authors working areas and viewing areas simultaneously.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Group awareness; collaborative writing; computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW); groupware; awareness mechanisms; human computer interaction (HCI)
Subjects: Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Management and Information Systems
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Engineering and Science
Historical > RFCD Classification > 280000 Information, Computing and Communication Sciences
Depositing User: Ms Cynthia Newing
Date Deposited: 16 May 2007
Last Modified: 23 May 2013 16:39
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Citations in Scopus: 14 - View on Scopus

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