Examining the conditions impacting the effective use of Chat communication in high workload environments


  1. Filardo, E-A.
  2. Brown, A.
  3. Davis, S.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Toronto Research Centre , Toronto ON (CAN);Humansystems Inc, Guelph ONT (CAN)
This project was conducted in support of a Defence Research and Development Canada Toronto Research Centre (DRDC TRC) Surgeon General’s Diagnostic and Health Protection Program investigating the challenges of using chat communication for keeping track of constant streams of communication. This was a follow-on project to work conducted in the fiscal years ending 2013 and 2014. The overall aim of this program of research has been to examine the unique cognitive issues (e.g., demands on memory and attention, workload, situation awareness) related to communicating through chat. This report outlines the process used to edit the previously developed chat transcripts to prepare them for use with a civilian population. It further describes the protocol used and a description of the user interface utilized for data collection. The goal of the study was to assess the impact of room layout (multi-room or single room) and number of events being tracked (one event, two events, or four events) on performance as measured by perceived workload, responses to reports and Brigade Commander’s questions, radio communications, and participants’ ability to keep an up-to-date map. The main findings indicate that perceived workload was related to the number of events being tracked within a scenario. Fewer acknowledgements of reports were found as the number of events being tracked increased and reaction time to reports was additionally impacted by room layout. Performance as measured by respons
chat communication
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2015-C184 — Contract Report
Date of publication
01 Mar 2015
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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