Research on how to develop effective virtual teams addresses many of the same issues as lecturers working with students in a blended or online environment. Virtual teams may meet occasionally face to face but mostly work in different physical locations. Similarly, blended learning students meet periodically for face to face classes but otherwise use technology to connect to the university and their fellow students, rather than sitting together in the same physical environment. It is useful therefore to consider what lessons can be learned from the literature on virtual teams which can be used with blended learning students.
This paper first discusses research on virtual teams and how this may relate to blended learning. Key factors identified were the importance of trust and communication, as well as support and technology.
The paper next discusses the application of these factors to a postgraduate program in an Australian business school. The implementation of an authentic on-line assessment task is also explored Student reactions to various aspects of the program are reported, based on surveys during the program and post-program completion.