Hierarchical Audio Structure For Online Collaboration

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Broderick M. DeSantis (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/
Rahman Tashakkori

Abstract: As online communication is increasingly used for collaborative purposes, it is important to rethink some of the audio and text-based chat environments currently in use today. Popular online video conferencing tools like Zoom and Skype, and text-based tools like Discord offer a sleuth of features and allow users to interact and exchange ideas freely. However, they may not be well suited for certain types of tasks, namely a virtual classroom with hierarchical breakrooms for focused discussions in virtual spaces. This thesis develops a hierarchical-based communication system that is conducive for the aforementioned tasks. The audio structure is built within a virtual environment and implemented using the Unity game engine and the Dissonance Voice Chat package. Users can navigate in the virtual space as avatars and have access to increasingly private audio and text chat channels called audio regions. Users can communicate exclusively on these audio regions but may hear communication at dimmed volumes on parent channels. This allows them to hear announcements from public channels while still retaining focus of discussion on private channels. We performed a comparative analysis of our audio structure with popular online communication tools like Zoom, Skype and Discord on two types of activities or games.

Additional Information

DeSantis, B. (2019). Hierarchical Audio Structure For Online Collaboration. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2019
Unity, Virtual Classroom, Media Richness, Virtual Audio Structure, Media Synchronicity

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