Models and Theories in Human-Computer Interaction/Social Loafing and WikiBook Collaboration
Social Loafing and WikiBook Collaboration – Brian Finn
I am of the view that WikiBook as a collaboration platform has low transparency, and as it is used currently, it can be subject to social loafing for group-oriented goals. It seems that WikiBook platform would be a prime candidate for social loafing if a group was tasked to interact and problem solve. Transparency is lost in comparison to face to face interactions for a variety of factors. A lost might occur in member’s sense of identification with the group as a whole in relation to attractive principle. Another factor that contributes to the low level of transparency might be the level of anonymity that is found in virtual collaboration. As concluded in the white paper “ Don’t Hide in the Crowd! Increasing Social Transparency Between Peer Workers Improves Crowdsourcing Outcomes ” researchers found that members knowing certain demographic information about their teammates lead to better performance overall. Information such as name, nationality gender and age effectively increased the level of social transparency. It the most basic function of the WikiBook it lends itself better for individual efforts and individual contributions as opposed to collaboration. For example if the goal was to have team members work to create a WikiBook post I would recommend to introduce an intermediate step for WikiBook such as a team blog, team score, or even a team video conference.