Ige105 communication technology in a changing world
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IGE105 – Communication Technology in a Changing World. Week 6 Dr. Ken Cosh. Recap. Introduction to Semiotics Saussure Dyadic Model Peirce Triadic Model. This Week. A little more on Semiotics Communication and Collaboration Models Human Computer Interaction (Dix – Chapter 14).

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Recap l.jpg

  • Introduction to Semiotics

    • Saussure

      • Dyadic Model

    • Peirce

      • Triadic Model

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This Week

  • A little more on Semiotics

  • Communication and Collaboration Models

    • Human Computer Interaction (Dix – Chapter 14)

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But First

  • Remember “Layers”

    • TCP/IP

      • Application Layer

      • Transport Layer

      • Internet Layer

      • Link Layer

    • Today we’ll look at a different set of layers

      • The Semiotic Ladder

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The Semiotic Ladder

  • Social World

  • Pragmatics

  • Semantics

  • Syntactics

  • Empirics

  • Physical World

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The Semiotic Ladder

  • Physical World

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The Semiotic Ladder

  • Empirics

  • Physical World

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The Semiotic Ladder

  • Syntactics

  • Empirics

  • Physical World

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The Semiotic Ladder

  • Semantics

  • Syntactics

  • Empirics

  • Physical World

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The Semiotic Ladder

  • Pragmatics

  • Semantics

  • Syntactics

  • Empirics

  • Physical World

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The Semiotic Ladder

  • Social World

  • Pragmatics

  • Semantics

  • Syntactics

  • Emprirics

  • Physical World

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Communicating via signs

  • If all communication is carried by signs

  • For communication to succeed we need to consider all the rungs on the Semiotic Ladder

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Face to Face Communication

  • Primitive

    • In terms of technology

  • Sophisticated

    • In terms of complex interplay between different channels

    • Not just speech and hearing

      • Also body language & eye gaze

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Personal Space

  • How much space do you need?

    • Different cultures allow different distances

    • Environmental factors (such as noise) affect space

    • But can you be comfortable?

  • What does this have to do with technology?

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  • Can I control the zoom on Tom’s camera, and he control mine?

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Eye Gaze

  • What’s it for?

    • Lovers

    • Checking attention

    • Conveying interest / confusion / boredom

    • Authority / Power

    • Building a bond

  • How about on video conferences?

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  • “Lets move this one there…”

  • Technological Assistance

    • Group Pointer

    • Shared Work Surface

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The Power of “Um”

  • Aha!

  • Erm!

  • Hmmm…!

  • Er!

  • Um!

  • Uhh!

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“Back Channels”

  • For Confirmation / Interruption

  • Electronic communication reduces the channels available;

    • Sight

    • Sound

    • Gesture

  • As we lose channels, we lose back channel responses

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  • Context helps us understand, and back channels provide context;

  • Internal context

    • Depending on previous utterances

  • External context

    • Depending on the environment

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Turn taking

  • A conversation is a series of turns…

    • I could request a ‘turn’ with “well, uh…”

    • You could offer a ‘turn’ with “what do you think?”

  • Often turns are signified with a pause or gap in conversation.

    • We live in a physical world, and physics says communication can not be instant…

      • Quick(er), but not instant

    • Given these pauses are short, often the pauses are lost during telecommunication

      • Leading to confused conversations

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  • A: Isn’t that beautiful?

  • B: The symmetry of the branches

  • A: How some people can dislike them I can’t understand.

  • B: Yes, the rangers should cull those deer, they strip the bark terribly in winter…

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  • We are efficient at repairing communication breakdowns

  • However with electronic communication

    • Lack of redundant channels

    • Reduced turn taking frequency

    • Reduced back channels

  • In reality it isn’t the breakdowns that cause problems, but the inability to recover from them.

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Constructing a shared understanding

  • What is different between reading a book, and sitting in class?

    • Here we can build a common ground

  • Much of communication is concerned with building common ground

    • Utterances should be relevant & helpful

      • Relevant – continuing the current topic

      • Helpful – considering the listeners knowledge & understanding

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Where is it?

  • “Just passed the pub…”

    • Assuming we know which pub, this is relevant and helpful

  • It creates a common ground within the conversation

    • It doesn’t matter that “A” thinks of the pub with memories of a great party, while “B” has never been, but has seen the sign.

    • i.e. we don’t necessarily need the same sense of individual signifiers if the conversation leads us to the same global sense.

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Text Based Communication

  • Common & Familiar

    • From letters to Google wave

  • Very different style from face-to-face communication

    • Discrete: directed messages such as email, with no explicit connection between messages

    • Linear: Participants messages added in temporal order to a single transcript

    • Non-linear: messages are linked together in hypertext fashion

    • Spatial: Messages arranged across 2D surface

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Back Channels

  • Text based communication loses channels

    • Gesture, Body Language, Facial Expressions

  • Loss of Affective State of speaker

    • Happy, Sad, Angry, Humorous

  • Loss of Illocutionary Force of the message

    • Importance, Urgency

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  • Emoticons are often used to convey this

    • :-)

    • ;-)

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  • ASL RL

  • ROFLMAO 555




  • J/K L8R

  • NOOB

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  • Text based communication is often more heated, by calmer conversants

    • Stronger language, as message has to be explicit

    • Emotionally distanced, often time to calm down between messages

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Email culture

  • Becoming more important

    • Originally Email was unreliable

      • “I didn’t get it” ;)

    • No guilt felt

    • Originally we wouldn’t react the same way to an email as a formal letter

  • But different cultures treat email differently

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Turn Taking

  • Different environments

    • Cotemporality?

      • Message is seen as soon as it is typed

    • Simultaneity?

      • Participants send and receive at the same time

    • Sequential?

      • Utterances are ordered

  • How often have you misunderstood an MSN conversation due to sequential issues?

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  • A: How many should be in the group?

  • B: Maybe this could be one of the four strongest reasons?

  • A: What do you mean?

  • B: I agree

  • A: Hang on?

  • B: What did you mean?

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Group discussions

  • When multiple users chat simultaneously, these issues grow:

    • Alison: Brian’s got some lovely roses

    • Brian: I’m afraid they are covered in greenfly

    • Clarise: I’ve seen them, they’re beautiful

  • Google Wave?

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Group Project

  • How did the Google Docs project go?

  • How did you work as a group?

  • In what ways was Google Docs useful?

  • In what ways was Google Docs unhelpful?

  • What alternative collaboration means would be useful?