Title page for ETD etd-434714272974850

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Kies, Jonathan K.
URN etd-434714272974850
Title Empirical Methods for Evaluating Video-Mediated Collaborative Work
Degree PhD
Department Industrial and Systems Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Beaton, Robert J.
Ehrich, Roger W.
Rosson, Mary Beth
Wierwille, Walter W.
Williges, Robert C. Committee Chair
  • human factors
  • desktop video conferencing
  • research methods
  • psychophysics
  • ethnography
Date of Defense 1997-03-18
Availability unrestricted

Advancements in computer

technology are making video

conferencing a viable communication

medium for desktop computers.

These same advancements are

changing the structure and means by

which information workers conduct

business. From a human factors

perspective, however, the study of

new communication technologies and

their relationships with end users

presents a challenging research

domain. This study employed two

diverse research approaches to the

problem of reduced video frame rate

in desktop video conferencing. In the

first study, a psychophysical method

was used to evaluate video image

quality as a function of frame rate for

a series of different scenes. Scenes

varied in terms of level of detail,

velocity of panning, and content.

Results indicate that for most scenes,

differences in frame rate become less

detectable above approximately 10

frames per second (fps), suggesting a

curvilinear relationship between

image quality and frame rate. For a

traditional conferencing scene,

however, a linear increase in frame

rate produced a linear improvement

in perceived image quality. High

detail scenes were perceived to be

of lower quality than the low detail

scenes, while panning velocity had

no effect. In the second study, a

collection of research methods

known as ethnography was used to

examine long-term use of desktop

video by collaborators in a real work

situation. Participants from a

graduate course met each week for

seven weeks and worked on a class

project under one of four

communication conditions:

face-to-face, 1 fps, 10 fps, and 25

fps. Dependent measures included

interviews, questionnaires, interaction

analysis measures, and


Recommendations are made

regarding the utility and expense of

each method with respect to

uncovering human factors issues in

video-mediated collaboration. It is

believed that this research has filled a

significant gap in the human factors

literature of advanced

telecommunications and research


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