Reflections on Communication Processes and Virtual Teams by Lecturer and Student Cohort: a Case Study

Kathy Egea, Shirley Gregor
InSITE 2002  •  Volume 2  •  2002
This paper explores processes and outcomes from virtual teamwork in a university course in Human-Computer Interaction. The course has students both on- and off-campus, with a very wide geographic distribution. The novel approach adopted in the course organized students into both small teams (three students) and into larger units (a group of six teams). Teams worked collaboratively, using a variety of communication channels: email, chat groups, face-to-face, and phone. Each team was responsible for preparing a power-point presentation that incorporated human-computer interaction design principles, that was then critiqued by other teams in their ‘group’. Overall, students’ experiences were extremely positive and recognized learning that contributed to course goals and effective virtual teamwork. Reflections on the processes involved in successful teamwork indicated that important factors included clear goals for the team, good task organization, similar personal achievement goals among team member, reliability and efficiency, open communication styles, and respect and understanding for others in the team.
virtual teams, communication, assessment, distance learning, human-computer interaction
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