The colliding virtual and physical academic working environment

Collins, Hilary (2018). The colliding virtual and physical academic working environment. In: 12th International Conference on e-Learning, 17-19 Jul 2018, Madrid, Spain.


This paper examines the identity processes, and routines of academic teams working within the intersection of a virtual and physical working environment within higher education with the aim of proposing an approach to designing a process that supports collaborative academic work. With cost-orientated moves to expanding online provision through emergent technologies and the growth of alternative HE strategies, traditional group-orientated academic interactions are colliding with the virtual working environment after a shift from a physical environment which now requires academics to alter previously embedded working routines and in consequence impacting academic identity processes. This paper takes the following areas into consideration: workspace environment, mixed virtual and on-ground team work, academic identity and organization culture. This research employs a cross-sectional research methodology including observation, sociocultural narrative interviews, surveys, and diary studies to gain a better understanding of the learning routines that exist for mixed virtual and physical teams, the tools and spaces used to support them, and the management styles that guide them. The data collected from these tools will provide understanding of the implications of identity processes within the organisation cultural setting of a higher education institute undergoing radical change within their composition of physical and virtual working environments and is designed to give insight into the physical and virtual needs of mixed academic teams. The investigation adds to emerging literature within this virtual and physical intersection of the working environment within the context of a move within academia towards distance working.

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