Developing professional judgement with the aid of a 'low-profile' group support system

Martin Read, C. Gear

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper reports positive results from an application of one type of group support system (GSS) to a training application. Reviews of the findings of other trials of GSS have been mixed, and inconclusive. We describe the results of a series of seven training sessions in a field-based application of group process support. The subjects were professionals working in various agencies concerned with the welfare of older people. A 'low-profile' type of group support system, based on wireless handsets, was used. This design enabled responses from each participant to be input and displayed anonymously. Each session was aimed at stimulating a dialogue focused on the reasons for differences of judgement, as displayed on a single projected feedback screen. Changes of individual judgements were recorded for subsequent analysis and comparison with already known 'expert judgements'. Frequent changes of judgement were recorded. A significant proportion of these were related to an improvement, which could not be explained as simply the result of conforming behaviour. We propose that the mode of operation and design of a 'low-profile' GSS have the potential to create a learning environment by reducing personal anxieties while encouraging group-based learning with focussed conversation. We conclude that this type of GSS design is particularly suited to 'selective'-type tasks in groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1021-1029
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Operational Research Society
Volume58
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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