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In the past for introductory networks classes, I've recreated
experiments on the effects of communication structure on performance in
small task-oriented groups. I didn't actually build a table with
slots as his lab did, but designated group members as particular colors
gave them instructions on who could communicate with whom for a
set of rounds (the students mostly don't cheat). The students usually
a lot of fun with the games themselves (I make it a timed-competition),
after they've finished with a given structure, they try to graph it, and
then answer various questions about their experience (how much they
their role, etc. ala Rogge's (Bavelas' student) work). On a subsequent
class day, you can analyze the data, showing the effects of
on speed and accuracy, and the effects of centrality on knowledge of the
structure and their enjoyment with a given role. All in all, I was
usually quite pleased with the results, though setting up the
can be time-consuming.
Bavelas, A. (1950). Communication patterns in task-oriented groups.
the Acoustical Society of America, 22, 271-282.
Also appears in Group Dynamics (1968, 3rd ed.), edited by
Cartwright and Zander, pp. 503-511.
Timothy J. Brazill, Ph.D.
Human Services Department
California State Univ., Fullerton
800 N. State College Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92834
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