About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2054-2058
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain


S. Bu Shell1, J. Flowers2

1Teachers College (UNITED STATES)
2Monroe College (UNITED STATES)
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) a Bethlehem, PA non-profit group that links college career placement offices with employers, conducted a survey from mid-August through early October 2014 in which it asked hiring managers what skills they plan to prioritize when they recruit from the class of 2015 at colleges and graduate schools. Although the survey sample was small (NACE collected responses from only 260 employers), most of the respondents were large companies like Chevron, IBM and Seagate Technology. The employers were asked to rank the top ten skills that they will seek when considering which college graduates to hire in 2015. The ability to work on teams as well as make decisions and solve problems listed as the top two items on the list.( Adams, 2014)

It is not uncommon for college students to harbor negative feelings about the prospect of having to depend on the outcome of other students’ efforts for their (individual) grade in a college course. They perceive other students as laggards who are willing to do as little as possible in order to get a good grade that has been achieved by the hard work of conscientious, grade-directed students. An objective should be to convince students that either classroom or job-related experience in groups will enhance their employability; however, it takes more than saying. Students need to be convinced that having group experience will result in creating a positive impression about them to potential employers. ( Adams, 2014)

The challenge was to find a way to overcome feelings that many students had which required having to work with complete strangers with whom one was unlikely to meet in-person, lack of trust, and resentment (toward the Professor) for being given a term project that required participation in a group. Additional obstacles involved the resistance concerning using a common set of tools that were stipulated in the assignment instructions rather than the devices (e.g. cell phones, social mediums, etc.) that students normally use in their everyday lives, such as social media platforms.
In questions asked of the students, it was learned that most of them had previously worked on a task or project as a member of a face-to-face group. Notably, less than 0.1% of them had been involved in a virtual group.

The purpose of the presentation is to describe the evolution of what occurred during four fifteen-week semesters in which online students were persuaded and cajoled to engage in virtual teams on a college term project. The presentation commences with a discussion about the initial challenges faced by the students and the instructor. It describes the adjustments and actions that were taken to overcome and improve on the process in such a way that it resulted in positive changes in the students’ attitudes about the value of virtual group experience regarding future employability prospects.
author = {Bu Shell, S. and Flowers, J.},
series = {8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-2657-6},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {2054-2058}}
AU - S. Bu Shell AU - J. Flowers
SN - 978-84-608-2657-6/2340-1095
PY - 2015
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2015
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2015 Proceedings
SP - 2054
EP - 2058
ER -
S. Bu Shell, J. Flowers (2015) PRESUMPTIONS OF ONLINE FACULTY, ICERI2015 Proceedings, pp. 2054-2058.