Virtual Team Building in an Intelligent Collaborative Learning Environment

Maria Kuznetsova, Dmitry Gura, Lubov Vorona-Slivinskaya
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 22  •  2023  •  pp. 157-175

The main purpose is to study the experience of using virtual team building as a means of forming educational and research teams in the context of the development of online education and its effect among students and teachers of higher educational institutions.

Methods ensuring effective engagement of students in learning are critical to the success of online education. The most obvious problems in higher educational institutions are procrastination, academic dishonesty due to easy access to electronic resources, decreased attendance, and insufficient interaction between teachers and students.

The research methodology is based on an empirical approach, which is a research survey using a questionnaire to collect data based on closed-ended questions. For quantitative analysis, the independent sample t-test was used. The survey was conducted among students and teachers of two educational institutions in the Russian Federation.

This study is of practical and scientific importance as it can contribute to the introduction of virtual team building in the modern education system.

Based on the analysis of the data obtained, it can be concluded that students and teachers approximately equally assess the impact of team building on the ability to get to know each other better, improve communication skills, and psycho-emotional intimacy. Despite the need and sometimes no alternative to virtual team building (for example, during a pandemic), half of the sample of students (50.8%) agreed that team building was more effective in an offline environment while 64.3% of teachers believe that the effectiveness could have been higher in the offline environment. The respondents assessed the positive effect of team building on their interest and motivation to study or work.

These findings can contribute to a broader and faster implementation of virtual team-building practices in the education system of the Russian Federation and other countries of the world. The results of this study can be applied by higher educational institutions that are interested in increasing team cohesion, interest, and motivation to study or work, as well as the creation of closer and trusting relationships, and an atmosphere of psycho-emotional safety.

This topic requires more observations to verify the influence of student personality on the effectiveness of virtual team building in intelligent collaborative learning environments.

The study highlights the importance of communication between the student and the teacher, as well as between students, as psycho-emotional well-being in the micro-society results in a better academic performance.

Further research can be aimed at studying the difference in the effectiveness of team building in online and offline learning environments, as well as the impact of team building on the teaching staff.

collaborative learning, smart environment, virtual team building, virtual reality, online education
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