Cross Talk, Visualizing the Dynamics of Students Interrupting Each Other in Typed Chat

Faculty Sponsor

Michael Glass


Arts and Sciences


Computer Science

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-23-2016


The COMPS Computer-Mediated Problem Solving Program allows students to work on classroom problems by keyboard-chatting together. Unlike normal conversation, it is possible for students to chat simultaneously, on top of each other. What happens when students interrupt each other and all type at the same time? Previous work shows that they are indeed meaningfully conversing in such cases. Do they pause in the middle and wait for each other? Do they slow down or speed up? Do they start erasing text? Are there gender differences in interruption and turn-taking behaviors, such as those that have been observed in spoken discourse? Do interrupters wait for hesitations as an opportunity to break in?

This project visualizes the behaviors of the students as they type, the illustrations are a necessary step in the process of analyzing how they are interacting as they chat. Visualizations are needed at the time scale of individual turns, seeing what happens during the overlaps, and longer term over the course of several minutes of conversation. Some visualizations show typing speed, others show the words being typed.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

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