Moving Your Face to Face Team to a Virtual Team

Concurrent Session 5

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Brief Abstract

Teamwork is not always efficient work.  Institutions new to online learning may find challenges to moving beyond the conference room. For others, access is a priority. Standard practices, such as email, are inefficient for effective work. In the session, strategies and practices to create engaged and productive teams will be shared.

Presenters

Dr. Angela M. Gibson serves as Lecturer in the Higher Education Administration Leadership doctoral certificate and masters of Adult Education program at Texas A&M University – Kingsville. Additionally, she serves as faculty for the Online Learning Consortium Institute for Professional Development teaching in the Online Teaching Certificate Program, designing and facilitating workshops, and serving as a mentor to professional educators. She has taught first-year, senior, and graduate students, designed and developed curriculum, and created initiatives for student engagement, strategic learning, and innovation. In addition to roles during her 25 plus years in higher education, academics, and student affairs at a diverse set of colleges and universities, she made the rank of Professor at American Public University System. Angela received a Masters of Arts in Human Performance Systems, with a Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design, from Marymount University and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, with concentrations in Adult Education and Community College Education, from Texas A and M University - Kingsville. She has been published in various peer reviewed journals, is on journal editorial boards, presents at national and international conferences, and served on the Online Learning Conference Steering Committee and was the 2017 Chair of the Technology Test Kitchen. Dr. Gibson is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador and volunteers as an informal STEM educator creating learning opportunities at schools and with community organizations as well as providing social media outreach for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). She is a recipient of the Online Learning Consortium 2014 Effective Practice Award.
Lori Kupczynski, Ed.D. has served over 20 years in higher education in the areas of English, Communication, Adult Education, Higher Education and Educational Leadership. She currently serves as a Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Previously, she has served as Associate Professor and Program Director of the Educatonal Leadership doctoral program, doctoral level transcripted certificate program in Higher Education Administration and Leadership (HEAL) and the Adult Education Masters Program. She was the Recipient of the 2012 United States Distance Learning Association’s Outstanding Leadership by an Individual in the field of Distance Learning Award and the 2012 Distinguished Researcher Award from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. She also received the 2017 Outstanding Senior Faculty Award in the College of Education and Human Performance at TAMUK. Her research agenda focuses on developing a deeper understanding of interactions among adult learners in online learning environments through the development of grounded theory to explain the interactions within the Community of Inquiry Framework (CoI). A secondary track of research is on new and emerging technologies complementary to research with adult learners online. Lori has published over 75 peer reviewed articles in the field and has presented at numerous prestigious national and international conferences.

Extended Abstract

 

Educational institutions and organizations are adding more elearning classes as part of course offerings.  Face to face classes are being converted to blended or fully online to provide additional choices and access for students.  Organizations are also increasing opportunities for professional learning, such as faculty training or staff development, through online mediums. 

Teams that plan out strategy, create initiatives, and develop curriculum are finding they, too, are working more online.  Much of the communication for these teams at traditional institutions has been in the form of email messaging.  However, after participating in several email conversations where the long and now convoluted thread includes the final, final, final version of documents, it is easy for participants to become frustrated and/or lose motivation and momentum for the work.

Such frustration can also stem from not feeling connected to or engaged in the team itself.  Connectedness to the individuals promotes deeper involvement in the work at hand and can increase commitment to fruition of the project or initiative. Community itself can be developed, even in formal situations, can be promoted through the online medium.

In the Innovation Lab session for Moving Your Face to Face Team to a Virtual Team with Technology, the presenter will open with a brief facilitated discussion with a statement of the problem and then discuss how by adopting specific strategies and tools, teams – whether at traditional brick and mortar institutions or part of more online organizations – can develop as a community and increase efficiency.

Participants will be asked to describe how they currently work on teams, face to face or online, state what technologies are used, and examine the strengths of the current functions and where there are gaps and/or frustrations in their work.

For the demonstration, the interactive presentation will be in two parts; 1) effective technology for team work; and 2) effective strategies to create, develop, and maintain virtual teams. Multiple examples of tools for various team scenarios will be demonstrated. Strategies for robust and productive virtual teams will be shared and tied into the OLC Five Pillars of Quality Online Education.  Additional theories and practices from the literature will be presented for further application.

During the innovation lab session, participants will further analyze their current and potential team, pairing, or committee interactions at their institution or organization. 

Individuals participating can use a current example of a team or a future project with a team to create a strategy through analysis. Stakeholders will need to be identified as well as determination of ease for adoption of tools, if there will need to be synchronous and/or asynchronous interaction, if face to face attendance is required for any part of the team work, what initial medium(s) can be used for strategy and technology integration, and purpose of the intended team work.   A plan will be developed for the promotion and adoption of methods for effective team work through virtual tools and strategies with identification of support for the participant from their institution to apply such changes within their organization.

Participants are welcome test out tools on personal devices, share with those at the session, or follow along with the live demonstration and collaborate with in groups.