Abstract- University graduates need to be better prepared to work in globally distributed organizations. Part of that preparation involves teaching students to work effectively in teams to solve problems. Students also must learn to work virtually, that is, to work across time and distance using electronic communications with little or no face-to-face interaction. This paper describes an empirical study of virtual teams engaged in software development within a distributed project course at the post-secondary level. This research used grounded theory methodology to analyze the electronic communications of virtual teams to investigate how these teams developed. Results of the study indicate that certain communication behaviors and member attitudes affect group development. These findings have implications for how educators prepare students to work in dispersed teams. Index Terms – Grounded theory, group development, software engineering education, virtual teams
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