This is a report on the first controlled experiment conducted as part of a four year effort to explore the feasibility and effectiveness of using the computer to structure the communication for various types of group tasks. It uses a language called INTERACT, developed as part of this grant effort, to administer all instructions and conduct a group problem solving discussion in a computer conference. The experiment compares the process and outcome of face to face vs. computer mediated group problem solving discussions.
The objectives of this experiment are the following "basic research" questions:
- To gain quantified and detailed knowledge about the consequences and characteristics of computerized conferencing as a communications mode, as compared to the usual face-to-face discussion mode.
- To lay the foundation for a subsequent experiment which will seek to alter the process of group communication via computer, in order to improve group performance.
- To assess the feasibility of using a high level language to conduct automated experiments on group communication and problem solving.
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Computerized Conferencing & Communications Center; Hiltz, Starr Roxanne; Johnson, Kenneth; Aronovitch, Charles; and Turroff, Murray, "Face-to-face vs. computerized conferences : a controlled experiment. Volume I: Findings" (1980). Computerized Conferencing and Communications Center Reports. 11.