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Virtual Teamwork: Mastering the Art and Practice of Online Learning and Corporate Collaboration Paperback – May 25, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0470449943 ISBN-10: 0470449942 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470449942
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470449943
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.6 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,479,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Based on best practices generated over the last decade, Virtual Teams reveals how to manage teams successfully, with chapters on how to build intimate virtual relationships and how to communicate creatively online." (Certification Magazine, 1 May 2011)

"This collection of expert perspectives, edited by enterprising-learning professor Robert Ubell, offers a practical guide to virtual teamwork". (Nature, 23 December 2010)

"This work is for educators, project managers, and anyone else involved in teaching online courses or creating online programs. It describes best practices for online instruction and team learning, and offers advice for managing enterprises and building global virtual teams. Contributors come from backgrounds in instructional design, instructional technology, international documentation, training, information systems, and leadership." (Book News Inc, November 2010)

About the Author

ROBERT UBELL is Vice President, Enterprise Learning, NYU Polytechnic Institute. Earlier, he launched Stevens Institute of Technology's online graduate program, winner of the Sloan Prize as the "best online learning program" in the nation. Ubell was editor of The Sciences, American Publisher of Nature, and a senior executive at leading publishers. He has written or edited five books and more than fifty scholarly articles and received grants from numerous prominent foundations. He serves on the Board of the Sloan Consortium.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeri Zerr TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have been coordinating and managing online teams since before most people were aware of the existence of online forums. I hosted forums on P*, was a shift coordinator and team leader for AOL's TechLive Advisor program (former volunteer unpaid technical support / members helping members program) then went onward to develop active online communities (17k+ members, 6k posts in a single month) supported by a small but effective moderation team spread from coast to coast. I have taken many college courses online, have been on the board of directors of non-profits where the board members were road warriors and have managed spontaneously combined teams of federal employees from temporary locations - often hotel rooms (when we were so fortunate!) I am not a stranger in a strange land when it comes to Virtual Teamwork.

Despite my vast experience, I found Virtual Teamwork informative, refreshing and thorough. Robert brings forth new perspectives, new ways to look at age old problems of how to EFFECTIVELY train, coach, manage and mentor members of teams who are scattered across cyberspace. He covers topics such group size (span of control), recognition (leadership and development), diversity, as well as SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.)

What I found missing from Virtual Teamwork is an introduction to SMART Objectives - a topic covered in Incident Command System (ICS) training for emergency responders and emergency management and Personality Types (such as Myers Briggs personality type testing). If these topics are included in a future revised edition, this book would be out of the park!
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Format: Paperback
This book contains copious and practical suggestions for enhancing students' learning by assigning them to teams that meet online. Chapters in part one present recommendations to help instructors:

* determine whether students divided the work they carried out equitably;
* facilitate student introductions that establish a strong start and clear expectations for interaction among teammates;
* relieve students from the unfair disadvantage of being stuck with a non-contributing teammate by changing team composition with each new assignment;
* convince students that although teammate diversity may heighten the challenges of working collaboratively, teammates who are different from one another are likely to propose problem solutions their teammates had not thought of.

Since selection of the most appropriate collaboration tools and communication technologies will impact the success or failure of online courses, the virtues and drawbacks of Learning Management Systems, Blogs, Wikis, Email, Podcasting, Chat and Instant Messaging are compared in part two of the book.

In the third and last part of the book evidence of the global reach and flexibility of online learning is provided. Short descriptions demonstrate the resourcefulness of pioneering instructors who teach students in multiple time zones and also teach students with divergent, perhaps even clashing cultural backgrounds.

I use virtual teams to add online interactivity to my face-to-face courses. Consequently this book provides significant insight and practical suggestions for using virtual teams to enhance my pedagogy.

Adrienne Wheeler, Ed.D.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ira Laefsky VINE VOICE on March 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As one who witnessed first-hand the dynamics and personalities of group learning efforts in one of the top U.S. MBA programs I would say that the insights Mr. Ubell and his contributors provide on the dynamics of group efforts and distant communication in education is significant. Indeed various personal and emotional factors, as well as the uneven preparation of differing groups of students, is well described, and as much as possible solutions are offered. On the other hand to say that this set of collected essays provides great new insight in electronic professional communications or group efforts online would be a stretch. Certainly those using remote Engineering CAD and Collaboration Systems, or Software Development tools for distributed teams would find little to learn in this volume based on certain efforts in online education.

I would commend this book to anyone or organization that wishes to offer coursework online in that it
advises and disambiguate's the problems associated with differing student abilities and personalities. Its contribution in other areas of online professional communication is limited.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Despite the glut of books on social networking (or perhaps because of it) there is a scarcity of peer-reviewed source material on virtual teams. "Virtual Teamwork" [Robert Ubell, editor] takes an important step toward bridging that gap.

Distance learning and virtual collaboration are here to stay. Team projects are now the norm in most organizations, often across geographical boundaries. In the past ten years I have been involved in three virtual teams for three different employers, as well as being involved in several distance learning efforts. The results have been mixed, but this is an indication of how this sector is evolving, not of its validity.

As many organizations are discovering, it is not just about the technology. "Cute cat" tools like Facebook or Twitter are obviously not a solution for corporate or educational communication. The fact that millions of people use social media does not give it value - millions of people also watch "reality" TV shows. Wall Street made it clear that Facebook was over-valued. But just installing Lync or some other flavor of the month messaging tool in the corporate software pool isn't the answer either if no one uses it.

The essays that editor Robert Ubell has gathered covers many of the hurdles that one encounters in virtual teams. Although they are often couched from the perspective of one discipline, the insights can be applied across the spectrum. For instance, the problems that occur in team projects in a university class are not any different than one sees in a corporate environment, and the solutions bear equal weight as well.
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