Technology enabled non-face-to-face collaboration has the potential to enhance information sharing and shared situational awareness (SSA) by providing near real-time information to a wide audience. Collaborators require an awareness of what critical information should be shared to develop this SSA. Previous research suggested that participants, while reporting that they shared relevant information, in actuality did not. To explore this issue, the previous research was repeated with the addition of having half of the participants exposed to a short training video on how to collaborate. Participants who received training on how to collaborate located significantly more SCUDs during each of the five turns of the two games played. Similarly, participants who received collaboration training scored higher on shared situational awareness during every turn played. Overall, those receiving the training on collaboration shared information more often with their partners and these information exchanges were longer than those who had not received the training. As technology advances, there is an increased need to understand how humans collaborate at a distance. Findings from this research advance our knowledge of how to enhance non-face-to-face collaboration. SCUDHunt, an on-line game developed by Thoughtlink Inc., was selected for this research on collaboration because it provides a simplified model of the interplay of shared awareness and collaboration, while permitting independent manipulation of variables thought to affect them. SCUDHunt requires participants to do the following: (1) collaborate from distributed locations, and (2) share unique information from their intelligence assets for optimal game performance. The goal of the game is simple: locate three SCUD missile launchers on a map. The game requires geographically dispersed players to collaborate while executing digital tasks to achieve a shared goal.
U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavior and Social Sciences Research Note
Schaab, B., Dressel, J.D., Sabol, M.A., & Lassiter, A.R. (2009). Training Collaboration in a Network-Assisted Environment. U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavior and Social Sciences, Research Note 2009-05.
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