Design and evaluation of a voting tool in a collaborative environment
Department of Information Systems
Doctor of Philosophy
Hiltz, Starr Roxanne
Van de Walle, Bartel Albrecht
Rice, Ronald E.
Human dynamic voting
Dynamic voting tool
List gathering tool
This dissertation research designed, implemented, and evaluated a Web-based Dynamic Voting Tool for small group decision-making in a collaborative environment.
In this dissertation, the literature on voting tools in current GDSS research is presented. Various voting theories and methods are analyzed, and the advantages and weaknesses are compared, so as to gain a better understanding of how to apply these different voting methods to diverse decision-making situations. A brief overview of scaling theories is also given, with an emphasis on Thurstone's Law.
The basic features of some web-based voting tool implementations are reviewed along with a discussion of the pros and cons of Intemet voting. A discussion of Human Dynamic Voting (HDV) follows; HDV allows multiple voting and continuous feedback in a group process. The Dynamic Voting Tool designed and developed by the author (i.e., Zheng Li) integrated multiple scaling and voting methods, and supported dynamic voting. Its features, user feedback, and future improvements are further discussed.
A controlled experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of the Dynamic Voting Tool (along with the List Gathering Tool by Yuanqiong Wang) interacting with small group process. The design and procedures of the experiment, and the data analysis results extracted from 187 student subjects from New Jersey Institute of Technology are reported. While the System Survey yielded very positive feedback on the voting tool, the hypotheses tested by the Post-Questionnaire and expert judgments showed no major positive significant results. This was probably due to the complexity of the task and procedures, lack of motivation of the subjects, bad timing, insufficient training, and uneven distribution of subjects, etc.
Several field studies using the Social Decision Support System (SDSS) Toolkit (List Gathering Tool + Dynamic Voting Tool) are presented. The SDSS system worked well when the subjects were motivated. The field studies show that the toolkit can be used in course evaluations, or other practical applications.
Finally, it is suggested that future research can focus on improving the voting tool with true dynamic features, exploring more issues on SDSS systems design and experimentation, and exploring the relationship of voting and GSS.
njit-etd2003-112 (274 pages ~ 11,924 KB pdf)
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Created July 1, 2004