How Do User Groups Cope with Delay in Real-Time Collaborative Note Taking
A property of general interest of real-time collaborative editors is delay. Delays exist between the execution of one user’s modification and the visibility of this modification to the other users. Such delays are in part fundamental to the network, as well as arising from the consistency maintenance algorithms and underlying architecture of collaborative editors. Existing quantitative research on collaborative document editing does not examine either concern for delay or the efficacy of compensatory strategies. We studied an artificial note taking task in French where we introduced simulated delay. We found out a general effect of delay on performance related to the ability to manage redundancy and errors across the document. We interpret this finding as a compromised ability to maintain awareness of team member activity, and a reversion to independent work. Measures of common ground in accompanying chat indicate that groups with less experienced team members attempt to compensate for the effect of delay. In contrast, more experienced groups do not adjust their communication in response to delay, and their performance remains sensitive to the delay manipulation.