With common sense towards common ground? Understanding synchronous collaborative visualization for joint decision development

Katharina Burger, Leroy White

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


It has been claimed that visual reasoning is more universal than verbal reasoning. Indeed, many MCDMs recognise the need for visualisations during the process of supporting decision making to involve decision makers and in order to help their interactions and outcomes. In such progressive learning phases of MCDM interventions, groups of decision makers may benefit from visual scaffolds to become aware of their own subjective values, to illuminate controversy, and to facilitate debate to build common ground. Yet, our understanding of the efficacy of epistemic processes of reasoning with visualisations is still not well developed. Hence, this paper takes a practice-based view to address the question: How is the creation of common ground for action accomplished through real-time, interactive visualisation of participants’ contributions? Grounded in an activity-theoretical framework, we develop an exploratory approach to understand visualisation affordances and processual demands for visualisation-enabled coordination. Video data was collected during a traditional group model building workshop to capture the participants’ multimodal conceptual reasoning processes involved in encountering, constructing, exploring and questioning low-tech visualisations. It is hoped that the proposed approach to understand visualisations for learning with decision-makers provides a conceptual resource for the reflective design of multi-stage MCDM interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016
EventOR58 Annual Conference: The Operational Research Society Annual Conference 2016 - University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Sept 20168 Sept 2016


ConferenceOR58 Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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