19. groupware


(a) Low bandwidths and single media groupware systems reduce the transmission of back channels. How does this affect communication?

(b) Emoticons are used in text-based communication to provide information about the mood of the sender. Is there any need for such augmentation in audio or video conferencing? Justify your answer.

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(a) Answer should define back channels. Because they fill in gaps in the conversation - backing up the utterances - they are critical for turntaking and establishing context. Thus there is a need to introduce explicit mechanisms for doing things that occur naturally through back channels, e.g. turn-taking - provide explicit request floor/relinquish floor protocols.

(b) Emoticons (or smilies) are symbols introduced into text-based communication to indicate mood. They are needed because of the lack of back channels, facial expressions, tone of voice and gesture, which indicate this in face to face communication. They are only effective if participants share understanding of their meaning. Video and audio are richer than text but not as rich as face to face. Answer should discuss what is lost with each of these media and how these might be compensated for within the media.

Other exercises in this chapter

ex.19.1 (ans), ex.19.2 (ans), ex.19.3 (tut), ex.19.4 (tut), ex.19.5 (tut), ex.19.6 (tut), ex.19.7 (tut), ex.19.8 (tut), ex.19.9 (tut), ex.19.10 (tut), ex.19.11 (tut), ex.19.12 (tut), ex.19.13 (tut), ex.19.14 (tut), ex.19.15 (tut), ex.19.16 (tut), ex.19.17 (tut), ex.19.18 (tut), ex.19.19 (tut), ex.19.20 (tut)

all exercises for this chapter