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Title: Qualitative remote collaboration analysis : understanding the dynamics of RTC
Author: Rivers, C. B.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2691 2446
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2010
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Remote Tabletop Collaboration (RTC) is a fairly new and unexplored research field within Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). Most tabletop research focused on effects of the characteristics of technology and individual aspects of co-located or remote collaboration. However, a holistic picture of how RTC works and the dynamics of RTC has not yet been given. Understanding the dynamics of RTC is of great importance in order to design appropriate tabletop systems and tabletop systems that support users (individually and collaboratively) in different group constellations and in different environments (co-located and remotely) while performing different tasks. Thus, three components have to be considered while studying users and groups of users in RTC: the system, the task and the users. This requires a method that allows studying all three components of remote tabletop collaboration in interrelation with one another, which raises the question of how can we develop a useful methodology that holistically studies RTC? Current research methods, qualitative and quantitative, used in HCI and CSCW are either inadequate to study complex group constellations in remote tabletop collaboration in order to design advanced applications, or under-specified in terms of employing them to gain useful insights; Inadequate, because the relevant methods only allow investigating isolated aspects. A method that allows studying and understanding the dynamics of remote tabletop collaboration, so the interrelation of different group processes that indicate how RTC works, has not yet been found. This might require a pragmatic approach in terms of being open to what works best and how it can be combined and applied to achieve the best outcome. This thesis proposes a new qualitative method, a combination of Qualitative Content Analysis, Grounded Theory and Activity Theory to study dynamics of RTC: Qualitative Remote Collaboration Analysis. By applying this multi-dimensional approach, a holistic picture of the dynamics of RTC has been obtained and extended the scope of RTC within different research communities. Two experiments have been conducted that addressed the challenges discussed above. These user studies investigated dyadic and multi-user interaction in RTC by applying different qualitative research methods. Furthermore, the findings have been used to deduce design ideas and recommendations for existing and new tabletop collaboration systems.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available