The Effects of Communication Medium Upon Collaborative Orientation Task Performance


Pairs of dispersed individuals are often forced to solve orientation tasks collaboratively. The present study examines how collaborative orientation tasks are solved when pairs of individuals complete the tasks using one of three computer-based communications (text, audio, and video). Both simple and complex tasks were presented. Pairs in the audio condition outperformed those in the text and video condition overall, and specifically on complex tasks, despite the fact that the video condition allows for the greatest amount of information to be communicated. Analysis of conversations between pairs indicates that those in the video condition had different conversational behavior. Results suggest that social effects of video communication may impair collaborative orientation task performance.

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