ERIC Number: ED482681
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Nov-5
What Factors Affect the Way Teams Interact in an On-Line Graduate Course?
Ingram, K. W.; Conley, C.; McDonald, S.; Parker, V.; Rivers, J.
This study examined how adult graduate students made use of technology to mediate group interactions and processes in an online learning environment, also noting why individual groups of students chose particular tools and methods. The online course was delivered using a third-party course management tool. The structure of the course and the use of computer-mediated communication tools to promote interaction were somewhat controlled by the course management tool's pedagogical assumptions of design and the resulting technological and structural capabilities. Data were collected via conversations with a student, surveys that examined students' beliefs about their group processes, and a focus group interview. Results indicated that time was a major factor in determining how one group structured their use of the available technology tools. The course tool limited some of the design decisions about interaction. However, based on the interactions within the three groups, the personalities and experiences of individual members also played a role in their interaction. The need and ability to trust was a common theme among respondents. For at least two of the groups, students' level of technological experience factored in at the beginning of the group project. (Contains 19 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A