University of Twente Student Theses


Collaboration at a distance: Remote expert support during a troubleshooting task

Sengler, Rosan (2021) Collaboration at a distance: Remote expert support during a troubleshooting task.

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Abstract:Introduction: Several different work fields could benefit from remote expert support to novices on location. A possible problem that could arise from this approach is that it would create a new generation of employees that are not truly experts at troubleshooting. Objective: To investigate the effect of being supported by a remote expert or working alone with a manual during a troubleshooting task on the ability of a novice to complete tasks on their own at a later time. Methods: The experiment, with 36 participants, simulated a troubleshooting task. During the unsupported (baseline) condition the participant solved several puzzles on their own using a manual that explained how to solve the puzzles. In the supported condition the participant solved the puzzles while being supported by an expert at a distance. The supported condition consisted of three phases, throughout which the participant gradually worked more independently: videoaudio phase, audio-only phase, and the individual phase. After this, both conditions performed the transfer task which measured whether the participants were able to complete a more difficult task with similar solving strategies on their own. Results: During the individual phase, the supported condition showed a significantly faster time on task, but the unsupported condition was significantly more correct. During the transfer task only one of the five trials showed a significant result for time on task in which the supported condition was faster, and no significant difference in number of correct answers. Conclusion/Discussion: The supported condition was faster, but the unsupported condition was more correct, suggesting there may have been a speed-accuracy trade-off that could have been influenced by initially having expert support or not. The transfer task and training component may not have been optimally designed, causing the lack of significant results in the transfer task.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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