Understanding Effects of Feedback on Group Collaboration

Taemie Kim, Alex 'Sandy' Pentland


Small group collaboration is vital for any type of organization to function successfully. Feedback on group dynamics has been proven to help with the performance of collaboration. We use sociometric sensors to detect group dynamics and use the data to give real-time feedback to people. We are especially interested in the effect of feedback on distributed collaboration. The goal is to bridge the gap in distributed groups by detecting and communicating social signals. We conducted an initial experiment to test the effects of feedback on brainstorming and problem solving tasks. The results show that real-time feedback changes speaking time and interactivity level of groups. Also in groups with one or more dominant people, the feedback effectively reduced the dynamical difference between co-located and distributed collaboration as well as the behavioral difference between dominant and non-dominant people. Interestingly, feedback had a different effect depending on the type of meeting and types of personality. We intend to continue this direction of research by personalizing the visualization by automatically detecting type of meeting and personality. Moreover we propose to demonstrate the correlation of group dynamics with higher level characteristics such as performance, interest and creativity.

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