Education and training for globally distributed virtual teams: preparing the workforce for the future

Topic Description

The aim of this research project is to investigate whether/how virtual team-working, in modules such as The Open University's M258, could adopt three-dimensional (3D) virtual environments (along with supporting 2D environments such as forums or blogs) to facilitate the development of employability skills such as building and managing virtual teams. The research will also involve evaluating the role of 3D affordances such as a sense of co-presence and space, the authenticity of 3D spaces and support for game-based learning in socialisation, which is an antecedent for effective virtual collaboration. The outcomes of this project will inform educators about the design of online collaborative activities that will enhance the student experience and student attainment in STEM disciplines. It will enable organisations to better prepare employees to lead, collaborate and commit to common goals in teams that work across geographical, national and cultural boundaries.

Skills Required:

Ideally you should have a degree in Computing or a related subject, possibly with a Masters level qualification or equivalent professional experience. A pedagogical background, experience of working in virtual worlds or in globally distributed virtual teams would be desirable.

Background Reading:

Bosch-Sijtsema, Petra M. and Happamaki, Johanna, (2014). Perceived enablers of 3D virtual environments for virtual team learning and innovation, Computers in Human Behaviour, 37, pp. 395-401.

M258: IT project and service management module description -

Minocha, Shailey and Morse, David (2010). Supporting distributed team working in 3D virtual worlds: A case study in Second Life. Interactive Technology and Smart Education, 7(4), pp. 200-219. Available at:

Rapanotti, Lucia; Minocha, Shailey; Barroca, Leonor; Boulos, Maged N. Kamel and Morse, David R. (2011). 3D virtual worlds in higher education. In: Olofsson, Anders D. and Lindberg, J. Ola eds. Informed Design of Educational Technologies in Higher Education: Enhanced Learning and Teaching. IGI Global, pp. 212–240.

Working in a Virtual World: Establishing Highly Effective Virtual Teams on Information Technology Projects. Deloitte. Available at:

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