About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3780-3785
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS: COMMUNICATING EFFECTIVELY IN VIRTUAL TEAMS

C. Stevenson

Kaplan University (UNITED STATES)
There is a saying by an unknown author that states: “Teamwork is working together — even when apart.” The concept of virtual teams has gained the attention of professional organizations and corporations. As the landscape of companies has shifted to more globally diverse settings, virtual teams have grown in significance in the world of work. As such, educators need to design and facilitate courses with a focus on group dynamics and working in virtual teams. This paper will focus on the following guiding questions: How can instructors effectively design courses in virtual teams? In what ways can instructors promote effectively group work in a virtual setting? What are some techniques for effective virtual group facilitation? How can instructors engage all students in virtual group projects? This presentation will engage participants in critical dialog on strategies for designing and facilitating effective online group projects and virtual teams.

INTRODUCTION
Collaboration with others is part of living and working in the social world. Much of our daily communication occurs in groups such as our family, co-workers, friends and classmates. Regardless of career choice, it is likely that students will spend a considerable part of their life and work in collaborating with others.
Perhaps past experience working in groups has not been enjoyable for your students. The purpose of this paper is to help instructors learn ways to promote effective communication within group and to become knowledgeable of the practices that make working in groups productive and enjoyable.
When organizing groups for a course, it is important to remind students of the broad range of groups in which students already are members, for example: organizing a car pool for your children; serving as a condominium association member; being a student; or leading a task-force team in the workplace. This will enable the instructor to not only to better explain the dynamics of working in groups, but also provide students with skills to become more effective leader in group settings.
The concept of working in virtual teams has grown in importance as the world of world has reached beyond the boundaries of the boardroom to a more global perspective. As such, instructors need to prepare students for working in virtual teams and are posed with multiple challenges. They must first seek out faculty members truly interested in the topic, and those that see value in integrating the concept of virtual teams into the curriculum. Questions that need to be asked include: How will virtual teams be integrated into the curriculum? Should a formal course in group dynamics and teambuilding be offered or integrated across the curriculum? What are the issues challenging today’s undergraduate students when approached with the topic of working in virtual teams? Educational leaders, deans or program directors should encourage faculty members interested in this topic, but should not force integrating virtual teams in every course in the curriculum. Student concerns about working in virtual teams need to be addressed and training for instructors on effective ways to teach the value of teamwork need to be offered.
@InProceedings{STEVENSON2010STR,
author = {Stevenson, C.},
title = {STRENGTH IN NUMBERS: COMMUNICATING EFFECTIVELY IN VIRTUAL TEAMS},
series = {2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN10 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-9386-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {5-7 July, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {3780-3785}}
TY - CONF
AU - C. Stevenson
TI - STRENGTH IN NUMBERS: COMMUNICATING EFFECTIVELY IN VIRTUAL TEAMS
SN - 978-84-613-9386-2/2340-1117
PY - 2010
Y1 - 5-7 July, 2010
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN10 Proceedings
SP - 3780
EP - 3785
ER -
C. Stevenson (2010) STRENGTH IN NUMBERS: COMMUNICATING EFFECTIVELY IN VIRTUAL TEAMS, EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 3780-3785.
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