Margolis, Judith; Bizley, Richard and Dempsey, Michael
The Concept of virtual teamwork and its implications for research into learning via on-line conferencing.
In: BEST Conference, 9-11 Apr 2003, Thristle Hotel Brighton.
Virtual teams are becoming commonplace in both industry and educational settings. This paper uses a case study format to draw parallels between virtual team research and virtual learning. 150 management students were observed over a six week period conducting on-line collaborative activities designed to facilitate learning on their Certificate and Diploma courses. We were able to identify four streams of literature which potentially could be useful to course teams managing such learning experiences. Choosing the right technology (1) and media (2) to facilitate the collaborative process, The importance of setting goals and protocols in boundaryless networks (3), and the critical role of providing opportunities for students to build trusting relationships (4). There was clear evidence in our monitors’ reports of the benefits of on-line collaboration for management students and many ideas for best practice for our tutors. While it is impossible to make any generalisations from one case study, we have been able to find clear directions to future studies.
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