ERIC Number: EJ815293
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Phases and Patterns of Group Development in Virtual Learning Teams
Yoon, Seung Won; Johnson, Scott D.
Educational Technology Research and Development, v56 n5-6 p595-618 Dec 2008
With the advancement of Internet communication technologies, distributed work groups have great potential for remote collaboration and use of collective knowledge. Adopting the Complex Adaptive System (CAS) perspective (McGrath, Arrow, & Berdhal, "Personal Soc Psychol Rev" 4 (2000) 95), which views virtual learning teams as an adaptive and self-organizing entity, this study examined group development processes of seven intact virtual learning teams over 12 weeks using the multiple case study design. Content analysis revealed seven temporal group development phases: orientation, scheduling, exploration, work and decision, progress check and evaluation, refinement and formatting, and termination. The development pattern of each virtual learning team could be described as either "Linear Progression," a straight movement through those phases, or "Adaptive Progression," a backward movement to a previous phase for adaptation before proceeding. We also identify the factors that caused each team to develop in one way or the other and conclude with the implications of conceptualizing virtual teams as a CAS.
Descriptors: Electronic Learning, Cooperative Learning, Group Behavior, Development, Content Analysis, Case Studies, Systems Approach
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A