Journal of Virtual Worlds Research
Sunday December 02nd 2012, 4:43 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Article Information (include a correct bibliographic entry).

Wigert, Benjamin, and Gert-Jan De Vreede. “The Role of the Facilitator in Virtual World Collaboration: An Exploratory Study.” Journal of Virtual Worlds Research 5.2 (2012): n. pag. Web. 02 Dec. 2012. <>.

Why did you select this article (approx. 50-75 words)?

I decided to select this article because I wanted to get a better understanding of facilitators’ roles when conducting an online class.  I have taken a couple online classes and I wanted to see if there is a common method or technique that is recommended and used across the board.  To my dismay, however, this article was more so about collaborating real world experiences with that of the online teaching world.

Provide a one paragraph summary of the article. Do not copy the abstract.

The purpose of the article was to study the role of facilitators when collaboration is conducted in a virtual environment. What the authors did was conduct a study that consisted of five questions on a questionnaire about major issues in real world collaboration.  They interviewed eighteen people and what the participants ultimately did was: identify key differences facilitators perceive between virtual and real world collaboration, provide new interpersonal insights, spoke of the challenges associated with the introduction of more technology to the collaboration process, as they also came up with  suggestions for avoiding drawbacks and enhancing collaboration. The results that were gathered from the study were experts’ ability to identify three main challenges associated with collaborative problem solving in virtual worlds; challenges being: Interpersonal management is more difficult because non-verbal cues cannot be monitored, more technology can create more problems, and facilitator’s avatar may be a source of discrimination and credibility loss.  The results also identified four important steps that can maximize virtual world collaboration; them being: the importance of providing clear rules about behavior and communication, ensure comprehension of computer skills, provide encouragement throughout the modules, as well as utilizing technology gracefully and troubleshooting technical problems.

Give an example of how you may use the ideas in this presentation in the business education classroom. Be specific with the content area, etc.

I can use the presentation ideas when instructing my students on utilizing discussion boards.  Students need to know how to work around a computer and proper web etiquette and by incorporating this presentation idea I will better know how to incorporate the web analysis part with the face-to-face person aspect.

Give an example of how the ideas in this presentation may transfer to the business/industry/health care environment.

Given that the interface of web learning and real world learning interact with each other this article debunk things that facilitators should do.  So in a business meeting conference call, video chat, podcast, or online presentation, one can better relay the message to employees and potential clients in a more thorough and detailed oriented way to help with transition from the virtual world into the real world.

What is your opinion of this research (approx. 25-50 words)?

I felt the paper was lengthy in regards to the point that it was trying to get across.  The article initiated great ideas on how to enhance the virtual collaboration into the real world but I think it could have conducted a better study.  A questionnaire given to eighteen people doesn’t seem adequate enough to me to suffice as evidence for means to better collaborate virtual learning with face to face learning.