CEC Theses and Dissertations

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Title

Investigating Wikis as Agents for Virtual Team Activity Awareness

Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Science (DISC)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Laurie P Dringus

Committee Member

Steven Terrell

Committee Member

Martha M Snyder

Abstract

Virtual team collaboration through the Internet has become a commonplace event for preparing and publishing collaboratively authored documents. While collaborative technologies are now ubiquitous through the advent of Web 2.0, there is still considerable work required to ensure that virtual team members are able to maintain a sufficient level of activity awareness about other members and their roles and contributions in the collaborative authoring of a document. The goal was to measure and evaluate wiki notification mechanisms as agents to significantly raise activity awareness for virtual teams engaged in collaborative authoring.

Virtual teams collaboratively authored a project over a sixteen-week term using team wikis. The participants were undergraduate students divided into groups of between 25 and 27 each in three online business courses. Attention focused on the significance of e-mail and RSS notifications as agents for raising activity awareness. Evaluation of the effect of notification mechanisms on activity awareness was done with a pretest-posttest control group design and a descriptive analysis of data, plus a posttest only design to test for significant academic achievement gains on projects.

The Activity Awareness Questionnaire with IRC Domains and Levels was used to measure activity awareness. Additionally, a pedagogical evaluation of student success based on treatment type was undertaken. The ANOVA was used for measuring virtual team academic success between the control and treatment groups.

In general the data analysis suggested that the use of RSS and e-mail notification did not have a significant impact on either activity awareness or virtual team academic performance.

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