A Data Gathering Strategy for Evaluating Technology-Supported Collaborative Decision Making Processes

Kevin Ramsey, Timothy Nyerges, and Piotr Jankowski

Paper submitted to Behaviour and Information Technology

Researchers of information technology designed to support collaborative decision making have emphasized the importance of focusing not only on decision outcomes, but also the process of group interaction and technology use. However, few have reported on research strategies that address the challenges of conducting such studies. Drawing from our experiences conducting two separate studies, one in a laboratory and one in a field experiment setting, we describe a strategy for gathering, interpreting, and summarizing data about technology-supported collaborative decision making processes. We first introduce a theoretical framework used to unpack the many aspects of these processes. Next, we identify a variety of techniques for gathering data relevant to these aspects. We then introduce techniques for systematically interpreting and summarizing large volumes of sequential data. Finally, we address the limitations in this data gathering strategy and provide guidance as to how it can best be integrated into a broader research study.

technology-supported collaborative decision making; group support systems; decision support systems; interaction coding; participatory geographic information science

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