COMPS Collaborative Chat

Faculty Sponsor

Michael Glass


Arts and Sciences


Computing and Information Sciences Department

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-4-2017


The COMPS Computer-Mediated Problem Solving project supports student typed-chat collaborative exercises. Students work on structured problems in small groups. Unlike spoken conversations, they can all type-chatter at the same time and see each others’ typing as they do so. In this work, we show examples of how students use this ability to interact with each other. Usually when typing simultaneously, each is reacting to utterances that occurred earlier. “Simultaneous response” occurs when two persons, A and B, respond to an earlier dialogue turn, often by a third person, C. “Interruption response” occurs when person B responds to person A without waiting for A to finish. “Simultaneous utterance” occurs when A and B are separately contributing to the discussion without responding to each other. In all three varieties, A and B can type without reading each others’ current words. In addition to cataloging examples of these behaviors, we show how typing patterns differ in the solo-typing and simultaneous-typing regimes. Behaviors that change when the other person starts typing include frequency and length of pausing and frequency of backspace-deletions. We also observe conversational turn-taking, and measure how participants know when somebody is done typing and relinquishing a turn. Finally, we look at data from pre- and post-tests to get a peek inside the student experience: can we determine whether students are learning anything from the conversations? What they learn and how they experience the exercise seems to depend on how well prepared they were relative to their fellow group-members.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Brian Sukowicz is a sophomore majoring in computer science. Chinedu Emeka is graduating this spring with a Bachelor's degree in computer science and minors in math and statistics. Yesukhei Jagvaral is an undergraduate computer science and physics student, currently a junior.

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