Techniques for Teaching Virtual Collaboration: Preparing Students for Success in Virtual Teamwork
Abstract: This presentation will discuss the preparation for virtual work given to students in a senior-level technical communication course. I will describe how I teach students about the best practices for virtual collaboration and techniques for overcoming challenges related to communication, technology, and project management. I will present findings based on several years of examining students’ preferences for and satisfaction with three different leadership models. I will report on student outcomes in terms of learning, attitudes, and the quality of the final deliverable. I will also offer guidance to faculty members wishing to develop similar projects in other disciplines. I have had success collaborating with colleagues in several other disciplines to develop global virtual team and global education projects. I will draw on that experience to provide suggestions for finding collaborative partners in other disciplines, for structuring and planning projects, and for conducting research on student projects.