Université du Québec à Rimouski (CANADA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN11 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 2650-2659
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Faced with an ever changing environment, and with the necessity of adapting rapidly and with agility, universities and colleges rely more and more on technology and, in fact, on Groupware to support the learning experience. The underlying objective is to make learning experience as efficient and effective as possible, regardless of the time and place that students add their collaborations. In order to collaborate in such a context and to produce their work efficiently and according to the desired outcome, team members must first appropriate the technologies that are made available to them, whose purposes are mutual support and proper management of resources. The goal of this research is to analyze if the appropriation of a virtual work technology contributes effectively to support the group process and the efficiency of project teamwork, as well as to analyze the mediating role of interpersonal support and team work management between appropriation and efficiency. Appropriation (AP) refers to the measure of the team members’ a) consent on specific terms of use (consensus on appropriation – CA) of the Groupware that they will be using and the virtual environment that it constitutes; b) on actual Groupware use (GU); c) and on psychological ownership (PO) towards the Groupware.

This research was carried out by handing out a survey to a sample of 304 university students grouped into thirty-four teams working on real learning projects. The results of this study indicate that the two variables, PO and CA, are positively correlated to the two dimensions of the internal functioning of the student group: interpersonal support (IS) and teamwork management (TM). Moreover, the CA is also linked to the three criteria for efficiency: the quality of the group work experience (QGE), the team viability (TV) and the output. So there is a positive relationship between the AP and the quality of the output and the student result. The results indicate that actual GU is negatively linked to IS and to the QGE. Indeed, the test for the mediating role of the interpersonal support and teamwork management indicate that there is, in fact, a relationship between the PO and the CA, and the three factors of efficiency.

This research contributes in many ways to the development of knowledge on this topic. Firstly, there is a clear demonstration that PO is, in fact, possible for a virtual work environment in a study settings, and that this appropriation has a link with the internal functioning and efficiency of a student project team. Moreover, the research also helps to demonstrate that the PO is distinct from other variable such as CA. Indeed, this unique factor allowed for the creation of a new measuring instrument with interesting psychometric attributes. The research also contributes to the generalization of a multidimensional conception of team functioning and efficiency. Finally, the recognition of the mediating role of the interpersonal support and team work management between two types of appropriation and some of the efficiency criteria is both interesting and un-heard of in the context of the use of Groupware by work group. It would seem that the measurement framework could also be applied to more general project teams.
Psychological ownership, computer supported collaborative work, teamwork, team performance, e-learning, project.