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2012 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (2012)
Maui, Hawaii USA
Jan. 4, 2012 to Jan. 7, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7695-4525-7
pp: 973-982
ABSTRACT
Virtual worlds (VWs) are becoming a popular medium for meetings and collaborative problem solving efforts. However, complex VW communication tools and challenges in managing online social interactions are likely to complicate VW collaboration efforts. The purpose of our study therefore was to investigate the role of the facilitator when collaboration is conducted in a virtual environment. We developed a questionnaire based on major issues in real world collaboration and interviewed 14 subject-matter experts. Participants were asked to identify what key differences facilitators perceive between virtual and real world collaboration. In response, participants provided many insights, such as the new interpersonal management challenges that arise from the absence of face-to-face communication. Participants also warned of the challenges associated with the introduction of more technology to the collaboration process. Further, they identified credibility and trust issues that arise due to facilitators' avatar manipulation skills and avatar appearance. Suggestions for avoiding pitfalls and optimizing collaboration are provided.
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CITATION

B. Wigert, G. de Vreede, I. Bououd and I. Boughzala, "Collaboration in Virtual Worlds: The Role of the Facilitator," 2012 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences(HICSS), Maui, Hawaii USA, 2012, pp. 973-982.
doi:10.1109/HICSS.2012.158
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