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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

International Collaboration At a Distance: a Critical Review on Initiating, Implementing, & Sustaining of Virtual Teams

Rohan Jowallah (University of Central Florida, USA)
Sue Bauer (UCF, USA)
Wendy Howard (University of Central Florida, USA)
Sharon M Gilzene (University of the West Indies Open Campus, Jamaica)
Kevin Ramsoobhag (University of The West Indies Open Campus, Trinidad and Tobago)
Session Information
October 15, 2015 - 1:30pm
Leadership, Values and Society
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Research Study
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Europe 3
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Concurrent Session 7

This panel presentation will highlight the potential benefits/challenges that international virtual teams encounter. Lessons learned and best practices will be shared.

Extended Abstract

In 2014 The University of The West Indies Open Campus visited the University of Central Florida for five days. On the final day, participants volunteered to be part of eight different virtual teams for research areas related to online teaching and learning in higher education at each university.

This presentation will highlight the strategies used by team members from both institutions to plan, execute and manage virtual teams. Tuckman's (1965) stages of group formation was used as the theoretical framework for assessing the groups' stages of development. The presentation will also highlight the potential benefits and challenges that the international virtual teams encountered. The session will also disseminate valuable information to institutions considering international collaboration via the use of virtual teams.

The panel will consist of representatives from both UCF and UWI Open Campus who will speak candidly about their experiences collaborating at a distance. In addition, the panel will share findings from surveys and interviews with participants on each of eight virtual teams.

Based on initial data collected, it was established that international virtual teams could contribute to organizational enhancement however, consideration will speak candidly about their experiences collaborating at a distance. In needs to be given to: group communication; technological issues, shared goals; social and cultural issues; organizational demands, availability of team members, time constraints and professional pathways.

B W Tuckman (1965), 'Developmental Sequence in Small Groups', Psychological Bulletin, 63, p.384-399

Lead Presenter

Dr. Rohan Jowallah has worked in education for over twenty years and has international experience, having taught in the Caribbean, England and USA. His teaching experience includes teaching online, face-to-face and blended modes of course delivery. He has taught at various levels: elementary school; middle school; high school and university.

Rohan Jowallah holds an Ed.D. in Language and Literacy in Education from the University of Sheffield in England; ME.d. in Special Needs and Inclusion Studies from The Open University in England; BSc in Psychology from The Open University in England; Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education from the University of Wolverhamptom in England and ASc in Secondary Education from Bethlehem Moravian College in Jamaica and a certificate in Social Work from The University of the West Indies School of Continuing Studies.

Rohan has presented at several international conferences and has had several peer reviewed publications. He also has a published book chapter and continues to develop work for publication. He has also been a reviewer of several international journals.

Rohan's roles at UCF as an instructional designer includes assisting faculty as they transition into online teaching and learning. In addition, he has an active research agenda which focuses on online learning pedagogies, literacy and inclusion. He also works part-time as an adjunct for the University of Central Florida and The University of the West Indies Open Campus.