The Effect of Perceived Ease of Use on Virtual Team Performance

By Nuket Savaskan Nowlan, Ali Arya, Eleanor Riesen and Michelle Morley.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In this study, an immersive virtual environment was designed for students from different disciplines to practice their teamwork skills. In the case of a domestic violence 911 call, an emergency team is formed with police officers, nurses, child care workers and paramedics. The newly formed team needs to collaborate and communicate effectively to handle the situation. An avatar based virtual environment was designed to provide a simulation opportunity to team members. Visually, the virtual environment appears to the user as a campus with a series of buildings that avatars can enter and performs related simulations. A police office, fire hall, five houses and two government building were created for that purpose as well as collaboration spaces and lecture hall. An auditorium is designed as well for group briefing and lecturing.

Sixty recent graduate participants simulate their teamwork both in person and in an immersive virtual environment, collectively, in real time. These simulations were recorded and evaluated by a group of experts. Participants’ performance were evaluated both individually and as a team. Research team surveyed learners to understand perceived ease of use of the technology as well. Collected data analyzed to identify relationships between perceived ease of use and individuals/team performance over teamwork skill dimensions such as; collaboration, communication, role and responsibilities, conflict management, team functioning. We have identified a strong relationship between perceived ease of use and conflict management skill and overall performance.

Keywords: Immersive Virtual World, Teamwork Skill, Team Performance

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp.59-72. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 4.850MB).

Nuket Savaskan Nowlan

Research Assistant, Interactive Media Group, Technology Innovation Management Department, School of Information Technology & Department of Systems and Computer Engineering, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Nuket Savaskan Nowlan received her BcS in electronics & electrical engineering from Bogazici University Istanbul. She worked in the industry for eighteen years in various roles. Her last role was employee learning and development consultant. She is currently working on earning her master degree from Technology Innovation Management Department from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. She is also working as a research assistant in the same university. She project managed the teams to build the following immersive virtual collaboration worlds: Tipontia, Persephone, Carleton Virtual, Archeological Excavation Site. She leads an online community called wagenesis.org, where she designs and facilitates the site and organizes learning/discussion sessions. Her interests are: Virtual Worlds, Immersive Learning Spaces, Management & Development.

Dr. Ali Arya

Assistant Professor, School of Information Technology, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Ali Arya received a Ph.D. in computer engineering from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, in 2004 and has been an Assistant Professor in the School of Information Technology at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, since 2006. His research interests are Computer Graphics and Animation, Video Games, Human-Computer Interaction, Virtual Worlds, Online Collaborative Environments, and Digital Art. Ali is a Senior Member of IEEE and a member of editorial board of International Journal of Computer Games Technology and the Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics, and Informatics. He has been a member of International and Technical Program Committees for many conferences and coordinates the Interactive Multimedia and Design program at Carleton University.

Dr. Eleanor Riesen

Nursing Professor, Health, Public Safety and Community Studies, Algonquin College, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Eleanor Riesen is a Nursing Professor in the Faculty of Health, Public Safety and Community Studies at Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario and a clinical supervisor in the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at the University of Ottawa. She is also a clinical psychologist in private practice. She has a Bachelors and Masters degree in nursing as well as a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Ottawa. Her research interests include interprofessional education, and simulation in virtual reality. In addition, she is a reviewer for the International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship.

Michelle Morley

Nursing Professor, Health, Public Safety and Community Studies, Algonquin College, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Michelle Morley is a Nursing Professor in the Faculty of Health, Public Safety and Community Studies at Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario. She completed her undergraduate degree at Queen’s University and Master’s of nursing at the University of Ottawa. She has been a nursing professor at Algonquin College since 2001 and works in the Collaborative University of Ottawa Baccalaureate Nursing Program. Michelle is the simulation lab coordinator at Algonquin College and is involved in teaching and research related to simulation and interprofessional education.