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FACULTY FINDINGS

Faculty findings and improvements using SocialStudent

EnvironmentOptionsIn 2014, 262 students at the University of Southern California participated in a 10-week virtual team project and could choose the communication channels they used to work together. Most used email, texting, Google Docs, and other similar platforms. In 2015, a similar number of students participated in same virtual team project but were required to use SocialStudent/IBM Connections as the platform for their work.

The student teams using the SocialStudent/IBM Connections reported dramatically better team performance. Consider the following:

  • About 44 percent of students in virtual teams that did not use SocialStudent said they had problems with lack of participation. Only 12 percent of students in virtual teams that did use SocialStudent said they had this problem.

 

  • In virtual teams that used SocialStudent, 89 percent of students agreed with the statement Members in my work group planned together and coordinated efforts effectively. In virtual teams that did not use SocialStudent, just 55 percent of students agreed.

 

  • In virtual teams that used SocialStudent, 79 percent of students agreed with the statement The people in my work group made my job easier by sharing their ideas and opinions with me. In virtual teams that did not use SocialStudent, just 48 percent of students agreed.

Peter Cardon, associate professor at USC, said, “SocialStudent is critical to helping our students develop collaborative skills. We’ve tried many platforms to create meaningful experiences for our students to learn collaboration skills in virtual environments. Our students learn much more and perform much better with SocialStudent. I’m convinced SocialStudent prepares students to use online platforms effectively in the workplace.”