Investigating the Role of a Large, Shared Display in Multi-Display Environments

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We conducted an empirical study to investigate the use of personal and shared displays during group work. The collaborative environments under study consisted of personal workspaces, in the form of laptops, and a shared virtual workspace displayed on a nearby wall. Our study compared the use of the large shared display under two different interface content conditions; a status display that provided an overview of the group’s current task performance, and a replicated view of the shared workspace that allowed task work to occur on the shared display. The study results suggest that while participants used their personal displays primarily to perform the task, the shared display facilitated several key teamwork mechanisms. In particular, the provided status display best facilitated monitoring of group progress, whereas the replicated content display best facilitated conversational grounding. Regardless of the shared display content, having a shared, physical reference point also appeared to support synchronization of the group activity via body language and gaze.