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A pilot study on design performance in a collaborative virtual environment

Hajnal, A. and Shiratuddin, M.F. (2010) A pilot study on design performance in a collaborative virtual environment. International Journal of Learning, 17 (3). pp. 509-522.

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A Collaborative Virtual Environment or CVE extends stand alone virtual environment to include real-time collaboration, interaction and sharing of the same virtual space among users across the network. We utilize the Torque Game Engine Advanced to develop a CVE application that was customized to support architectural students' design activities in a virtual environment. This application allows multiple users across the local area network and the internet to collaborate, interact, and share information within the same virtual space. Included in the application is an automated data-mining system to record the various users' activities during the collaborative design sessions in the virtual environment. In this paper, we present findings from our pilot study where we evaluate performance when designing and working collaboratively in a virtual environment. Subjects were divided into four groups; Group 1: experts working as individuals, Group 2: non-experts working as individuals, Group 3: experts working in pairs, and Group 4: non-experts working in pairs. Subjects were to assemble a building structure in the virtual environment using the CVE application. Several dependent measures were computed while performing the experimental tasks. The measures included: time taken when moving objects, the movement frequency, and the average pitch angle where subject's gaze was oriented. The results show that the overall performance of experts working in pairs in a CVE is better than that of the individuals working alone.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Common Ground
Copyright: © Common Ground, Alen Hajnal, Mohd Fairuz Shiratuddin
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