PhD Proposal by Julie Harrison

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Name: Julie Harrison

Ph.D. Dissertation Proposal Meeting

Date: Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Time: 11:00 am

Location: J.S. Coon Room 148 & via Zoom (link; Meeting ID: 954 4696 8501, Passcode: 184490)


Advisor & Co-Chair: Jamie C. Gorman, Ph.D. (Arizona State University)

Dissertation Committee Members:

Co-Chair: Richard Catrambone, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech) 

Mengyao Li, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Sashank Varma, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Leanne Hirshfield, Ph.D. (University of Colorado, Boulder)


Title: A Multilevel Perspective of Events During Collaborative Problem Solving 


Abstract: Collaborative problem solving (CPS) is a process that unfolds over time through the joint action of two or more actors. Many existing frameworks that measure CPS identify its component skills and processes in isolated behaviors (e.g., in a single speaking turn). However, given the interactive nature of CPS, timescales longer than singular behaviors are of interest for measurement and scaffolding. Though select team performance modeling methods elucidated how CPS processes emerge in time, existing techniques fail to consider the perspective and experience of first-person actors. The present proposal seeks to redress this gap by moving toward a more human-centered approach to real-time CPS measurement. The proposed study seeks to validate commonly employed modeling techniques against the perceptions of first-person actors by leveraging a theory of event cognition. Results are intended to advance CPS measurement theory as well as the construction of dynamic assessment models for use in interactive classroom technologies, such as dashboards and artificial agents that assist with the regulation of collaborative processes.

After synthesizing work from the CPS measurement and team performance modeling literatures, this proposal theorizes the nature of dynamic mental representations of first-person actors in CPS situations via event cognition. This proposal then presents an empirical study to test a candidate CPS measurement model that considers how the global CPS interaction at the team level and the local experience of individual CPS actors combine to form the CPS system. The proposed research hypothesizes a temporal alignment between meaningful events detected by first-person actors, elicited via the Unit Marking Procedure from the event cognition literature, and events detected by an entropy-based team communication model commonly employed in the team sciences. The team communication model is explored using both low- and high-level communication input data, where low-level data captures only who is speaking and when and high-level data captures CPS processes through communication content codes. Both the low- and high-level models will be compared to first-person event perceptions.

By taking the first-person view of CPS interactions, we align the third-person perspective typically assumed in human performance measurement with the experience of the first-person actor. This then centers the actor and deemphasizes the power of the third-person researcher or teacher. This change in perspective not only advances CPS measurement theory, but more broadly sheds light on user experiences in dynamic team interactions, making the results of model testing relevant to an array of engineering psychology applications.


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Tatianna Richardson
  • Created:12/04/2023
  • Modified By:Tatianna Richardson
  • Modified:12/04/2023



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