This exploratory quasi-experimental investigation describes the influence of text signals on team visual map artifacts. In two course sections, four-member teams were given one of two print-based text passage versions on the course-related topic “Social influence in groups” downloaded from Wikipedia; this text had two paragraphs, each with a prominent heading. Teams in one section (10 teams, 40 participants) were given the version that included the original hyperlinks (HTS) displayed as underlining, while teams in the other section (nine teams, 36 participants) were given an alternate version with the hyperlinks removed but with the same number of important text topics underlined (TTS). Participants worked during class time to create team visual maps of this passage using large sheets of newsprint. Both headings and text topic terms predominated in the TTS team maps, but only hyperlink terms and not headings predominated in the HTS team maps. The team visual map forms, as measured by vector pattern matching and by graph centrality, were also significantly different. Relative to the HTS team maps, on average the TTS team map forms were more complex and more like the expert’s map, while the HTS team map forms were more linear, showing a primacy effect. Further, the HTS team maps were substantially more alike. These results indicate that text signals in these print-based readings strongly influenced team collaboration artifacts.
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