No longer alone: finding common ground in collaborative virtual environments

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PubDate: April 2018

Teams: California State University Northridge

Writers: Li Liu;Adam Kaplan

PDF: No longer alone: finding common ground in collaborative virtual environments

Abstract

When a team works on a collaborative task, the experience of a common workspace benefits their performance and transforms their use of communication. Visual information helps collaborative users understand the current state of their task, ground their conversations, and communicate efficiently [10]. However, head-mount virtual reality technologies impinge on the visual information needed to support collaboration. We explore how grounding can be attained by integrating the physiological information of co-located subjects into a collaborative virtual work environment. Our results suggest that the presence of this information supports common ground, providing VR users with a less isolated experience, and providing the foundation for enhanced collaboration. We observed that collaborators tend to communicate more when solving sub-problems in parallel, and found that subjects tend to expend 30% more effort (in the form of physical movement) during independent competitive problem solving, and 9% more effort when collaborating in a turn-based fashion.

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