An Evaluation Framework for Selecting Collaboration Systems for Student Teamwork

An Evaluation Framework for Selecting Collaboration Systems for Student Teamwork

Yide Shen (Rohrer College of Business, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ, USA), Lei Li (College of Computing and Software Engineering, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA, USA), Guangzhi Zheng (College of Computing and Software Engineering, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA, USA) and Rong Guo (Richard College of Business, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJICTE.2017040106
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Abstract

Collaboration technologies play an increasingly important role in student teamwork in universities. With the proliferation of collaboration systems on the market and the wide range of features they offer, choosing an appropriate system can be an overwhelming task for college students. In this paper, the authors present an empirical study that aimed to help college instructors and students assess and select appropriate collaboration systems for their teamwork needs. They first identified and ranked the important features of collaboration systems for students through a web-based survey. Based on the survey results, the authors built an evaluation framework, in the form of weighted scoring tables, to help students systematically choose technologies that met their collaborative needs. They further demonstrated how to use those scoring tables for an undergraduate capstone class that had a term-long team project. The implications and future directions of the authors' study are also discussed.
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Literature Review

Collaboration technology supports multiple people working together regardless of their physical locations or whether they work at the same time or at different times (Dennis, George, Jessup, Nunamaker Jr., & Vogel, 1988; DeSanctis & Gallupe, 1987). Examples of early collaboration technologies include e-mail (Markus, 1994), group decision support systems (DeSanctis & Gallupe, 1987), and web-based conferencing systems (Warkentin, Sayeed, & Hightower, 1997). In recent years, features provided by collaboration technology have expanded greatly, including: sharing documents; presenting, sharing and annotating a screen; polling participant status; recording meetings; tracking activities; planning and scheduling; and coordinating member efforts (Dumova & Fiordo, 2009; Xu, 2007).

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