A Brief Survey of Experimental Results on Computer-Supported Collaboration and Software Development
Dickens’s character Mr. Gradgrind is the quintessential empiricist seeking facts, and in this chapter we shall emulate him by reviewing the efforts of researchers who have sought to experimentally determine the facts of collaboration in various collaborative settings. The chapter focuses on experimental results in computer-supported collaboration including its application to software development. Because technologically supported collaboration is affected by so many factors, researchers have tried to recognize key variables that affect the outcomes of experiments in this area. We look first at some of these relatively standardized frameworks. We then consider some meta-studies that have been done. These are studies that attempt to both review and integrate the results of large numbers of published experiments. We look at meta-studies for small-scale, laboratory experiments on collaboration, as well as comparisons between laboratory and field-scale studies, and for the special case of studies on computer-aided group brainstorming. We conclude with a review of some empirical work on various specific tasks or phases that occur in software development, such as technical reviews and software design, as well as a discourse analysis of the kind of communications that arise in computer-mediated group software development.
KeywordsSoftware Development Nominal Group Group Decision Support System Group Support System Production Blocking
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