How Virtual Work Informs Virtual Learning

How Virtual Work Informs Virtual Learning

Lonnie R. Morris (The Chicago School for Professional Psychology, USA), Christine Morse (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, USA) and Ta Karra Jones (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2399-4.ch019
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Abstract

This chapter explores the connections between behaviors in virtual work and virtual learning environments. Benefits and challenges of virtual communities are reviewed. Following a review of organizational and educational literature, the authors identified six core competencies that emerged with shared emphasis as keys to virtual environment success. The authors appeal to educational leaders to assess and develop student, faculty, and administrator skills in developing trust, building relationships, empowerment, coaching and mentoring, inclusion and communication management.
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Background

Virtual Benefits

Virtual work leads to multiple organizational benefits. Advancements in communication technology make it possible for global companies to bring together people from around the world to connect and collaborate on virtual teams. Dispersed, virtual teams use electronically-mediated communication to collaborate on shared organizational goals (Hertel, Geister, & Konradt, 2005; Morgan, Paucar-Caceres, & Wright, 2014). Virtual work leads to multiple positive economic and environmental byproducts including decreased travel and facility use (Duarte & Snyder, 1999), increased efficiency and productivity (Eom, 2009), flexibility and convenience, access for participants otherwise excluded due to disabilities (Nydegger & Nydegger, 2010), removal of geographical limitations (Hunsaker & Hunsaker, 2008), access to international talent and expertise, as well as asynchronous collaboration (Barnwell, Nedrick, Rudolf, Seasay, & Wellen, 2014). Although in a modified context, these benefits also apply to virtual learning experiences. Learners experience similar efficiencies and conveniences. Access to virtual learning opportunities such as online courses and degree programs enables learners remove traditional impediments such as time and distance.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Virtual Learning Environment: Internet or web-based platform used for instruction and learning.

Virtual Leadership: Collection of leadership behaviors associated with virtual environments; often used interchangeably with e-leadership.

E-Leadership: Collection of leadership behaviors associated with virtual environments; often used interchangeably with virtual leadership.

Virtual Community: Environment for which participation is primarily mediated by technology applications or tools; interaction may be focused on social, work, or educational engagement.

Computer Mediated Learning: Learning that occurs when an individual interactively engages with learning materials via computer-based tools and applications.

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