Modelling Symmetry of Activity as an Indicator of Collocated Group Collaboration

  • Roberto Martinez
  • Judy Kay
  • James R. Wallace
  • Kalina Yacef
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6787)


There are many contexts where it would be helpful to model the collaboration of a group. In learning settings, this is important for classroom teachers and for students learning collaboration skills. Our approach exploits the digital and audio footprints of the users’ actions at collocated settings to automatically build a model of symmetry of activity. This paper describes our theoretical model of collaborative learning and how we implemented it. We use the Gini coefficient as a statistical indicator of symmetry of activity, which is itself an important indicator of collaboration. We built this model from a small-scale qualitative study based on concept mapping at an interactive tabletop. We then evaluated the model using a larger scale study based on a corpus of coded data from a multi-display groupware collocated setting. Our key contributions are the model of symmetry of activity as a foundation for modelling collaboration within groups that should have egalitarian participation, the operationalisation of the model and validation of the approach on both a small-scale qualitative study and a larger scale quantitative corpus of data.


tabletop group modelling groupware collaborative learning collocated collaboration clustering 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto Martinez
    • 1
  • Judy Kay
    • 1
  • James R. Wallace
    • 2
  • Kalina Yacef
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Information TechnologiesJ12, University of SydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Systems Design EngineeringUniversity WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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