Managing Virtual Teams in a Virtual University - Students' Experiences


Kamal Kishore JAIN


ABSTRACT
The business is becoming global in scale and perspective. The developments have encompassed every business activity- education being no exception. The advancement of information technology is already transforming the education industry in a large scale worldwide. The opportunities for learning via the electronic environment are virtually limitless. E-learning transcends typical time and space barriers, allowing students to access learning opportunities day and night from various corners of the world. In higher institutions, e-learning is making it possible for non-traditional students, those with families, full time jobs and all other kinds of responsibilities, to earn degrees, enabling learning to become a lifelong enterprise. The growth in this sector has been phenomenal. There is a growing recognition of the fact that e-learning will be critical to the success of individuals, organizations, communities, and economies in the dawning knowledge economy. The growing market of e-learning now faces the challenges of equaling the success of traditional classroom. As there are some serious opportunities in all this, there are many obstacles to overcome. One serious drawback of this system is that it lacks human touch. However, by the use of virtual teams universities offering such kind of learning environment can overcome the problem of lack of human touch. We need to develop ways and means of making such virtual teams of students work effectively. The Paper explains the kind of assignments that can be developed and given to students to work on them by forming virtual teams. The Paper also examines the ways and means of making virtual team effective based on the experience of the students who worked in virtual teams to work on assignments given to them as a part of the coursework. The study was conducted on a group of 23 students registered for the course "Managerial Leadership" at MBA level. The course is a part of the MBA degree at University Tun Abdul Razak, the first virtual university of Malaysia. The students registered for this course came from different geographical locations as diverse as Johor, Penang, Sabah, Ipoh, Kedah, and Kuala Lumpur and they are all working people. The paper is based on individual reports submitted by each student at the end of the semester.


KEYWORDS: Virtual Teams, E-Learning, Relationships

[PDF]