Team development and group processes of virtual learning teams
Scott D. Johnson*, Chanidprapa Suriya, Seung Won Yoon, Jared V. Berrett, Jason La Fleur
College of Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 345 Education Building, 1310 South Sixth Street, Champaign, Illinois, USA
Received 26 November 2000; accepted 4 June 2002
This study describes the community building process of virtual learning teams as they form, establish roles and group norms, and address conï¬ict. Students enrolled in an HRD masters program taught entirely online were studied to determine (1) how virtual learning teams develop their group process, and (2) what process and strategies they use as they work through the stages of group development. Both quantitative and qualitative methods of inquiry were used to capture the dynamic interaction within groups and the underlying factors that guided group process and decision-making. The results show that virtual learning groups can collaborate eï¬ectively from a distance to accomplish group tasks. The development of virtual learning teams is closely connected to the timeline for their class projects. Virtual teams are also similar in terms of their task process and the use of communication technologies. In contrast to face-to-face teams, the leadership role of virtual teams is shared among team members. Recommendations are discussed in order to facilitate peak integration of virtual learning teams into Internet-based training courses. # 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Adult learning; Cooperative/collaborative learning; Distance education and telelearning; Learning commu- nities
In the 21st century, organizations face many challenges from increased globalization and rapidly changing technologies. While technological advancements in the workplace continue to be the primary factor in maintaining a competitive advantage, organizations also recognize the
0360-1315/02/$ - see front matter # 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. PI I : S0360-1315(02 )00074-X