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Effects of Tablet Devices on Reading to Support Discussion: Comparison of Conversation Processes involving Paper, a Tablet, a Laptop PC

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Discussion processes involving the use of paper, tablet devices, and laptop PCs, were experimentally compared from the viewpoint of verbal interaction. In task discussions, 24 participants (12 groups of two people) were asked to plan a one-day sightseeing trip by using guidebooks presented on paper, an iPad2, or a laptop PC. According to the results of the tests, the frequency of essential conversations to attain the goal of the task was the highest when the participants used paper and not significantly different in the cases that iPads and PCs were used. Moreover, the frequency of asking redundant questions such as, “Which one are you talking about?” due to not understanding a partner's intent was higher when iPads and PCs were used than when paper was used. These results suggest that tablet devices should be used with caution in scenarios in which a topic needs to be thoroughly discussed in a short amount of time.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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