"The arrangements of Joint Attention with interactive interfaces" by Dimitri Voilmy
An interactive whiteboard (IWB) is a touch screen linked to a computer. The surface is lightly touched in order to control applications and annotate documents. A real-time reaction follows every action of the agent at the IWB. It is precisely through this mutual access to the viewing area – which contains the annotations, the traces of actions, the results of manipulation errors – that the participants are able to make sense of the activity, to establish joint attention and produce the classroom event. The thesis is based on excerpts of video recordings in teaching situations with children or training situations with adults. Two research questions are at the heart of my analysis: how are the participants sensitive to the fact that they are involved in the same activity? How are mutual intelligibility and common understanding of the current activity accomplished?
It appears that social cooperation and joint attention to a display surface are interactionally accomplished. Since co-presence in the same room does not constitute a sufficient condition, participants mobilize the resources of their embodied conduct, visual and artefactual, where the face-to-face body position is not the preferred spatial arrangement. I observe that participants who do not look at each other (no eye contact) succeed in maintaining their mutual orientation to both the conversational exchange and the mutual activity in a set of social practices. The study of the achievement of joint attention in spatial co-presence with visualization interfaces appears to be a complex social formation, which brings out the procedural rules and moral responsibilities. Several human phenomena emerge from my analysis: the phenomenon of two social orders that are intrinsically linked during the organization of turns at the IWB, the prosodic marking on the first name when selecting the next participant depending on the situation of spatial co-presence and eye contact, and the achievement of the collaborative instruction.
Keywords: Interactive Whiteboard, visualization, HCI, Workplace studies, interactional analysis of video, conversation analysis