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Social Presence with Video and Application Sharing

Erin Bradner, Gloria Mark

International ACM SIGGROUP Conference on Supporting Group Work
2001

Abstract

We present two experimental studies examining the effects of videoconferencing and application sharing on task performance. We studied performance on a cognitive reasoning task while subjects were observed via two-way video, one-way video and application sharing. Results demonstrate that performance is impaired when subjects are observed via media compared to when they are not observed. Surprisingly, we found no significant difference in awareness of the observer’s presence between the application sharing and the two-way video conditions. This is surprising because application sharing lacks visual feedback of the observer. This finding contradicts social presence theory which claims that media which provides visual feedback of others produce the greatest sense of social presence. Our data also show that media use heightens the perception of task difficulty. We extend social presence theory and argue that these social effects need to be considered in the design and deployment of video and application sharing technologies for use in the workplace.

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