The Effects of Software Interaction Mode on Nominal Group Creativity in Online Classes

Abstract

When students work together in a group in an online class, often times they work in a 'nominal group' – a term used to address the situation when individuals work separately – rather than an actual group. This paper focuses on an electronic brainstorming task in nominal groups in online classes, where group members can work from their own location and generate ideas independently rather than sharing them with other group members. Hence, there is no communication within the group. A facilitator, or one of the group members, is responsible for collecting and collating the ideas at the end of the brainstorming session. Some research has shown that a nominal group can result in higher performance than actual groups. This paper also examines creative software interaction mode, the factor that is believed to influence group performance in electronic brainstorming, and its effect on idea creativity in nominal groups in online classes. There are two major software modes: graphic and outline, and users can switch between the two modes or stay with one mode. We investigate how three different uses of the interaction mode (graphic, outline, and switching between the two) can affect group performance of online nominal groups. Group performance is assessed by four aspects of idea creativity (fluency, flexibility, elaboration, and originality). We believe that our findings will have an academic implication for educators who are teaching ever-growing online classes, as well as for researchers who are interested in electronic brainstorming or other Group Support System (GSS) tasks in different time/place settings.



Author Information
Janejira Sutanonpaiboon, Sonoma State University, United States

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2018
Stream: Design, Implementation & Assessment of Innovative Technologies in Education

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