A Hole in the Wall: The Potential of Persistent Video-enabled Communication Channels to Facilitate Collaboration in Dispersed Teams

By Lynne Siemens

University of Victoria

With advances in telecommunications and information technology, collaborations and teamwork are no longer bound by geography. However, challenges stemming from distance must be managed to ensure that teams work together successfully. One of the...

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With advances in telecommunications and information technology, collaborations and teamwork are no longer bound by geography. However, challenges stemming from distance must be managed to ensure that teams work together successfully. One of the primary challenges is finding ways to facilitate communication and coordination across distance and time. Skype, Zoom, and other internet-enabled tools provide some potential to accomplish this; however, relatively few studies have been completed on the best ways to use a continuously open communication channel to facilitate teamwork within a geographically dispersed collaboration. This study contributes to this discussion by examining the use of such a channel by a dispersed lab. While this paper suggests the potential for similar collaborations, open audio and video communication channels can create the sense of social presence by reminding members that they are part of larger efforts, even when working at a distance. It managed to do so while addressing concerns of privacy and a potential for surveillance culture. These tools also complement the other well-established online ones as well as face-to-face meetings for project coordination and decision-making.

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Original publication: Siemens, Lynne. 2020. “A Hole in the Wall: The Potential of Persistent Video-enabled Communication Channels to Facilitate Collaboration in Dispersed Teams.” Pop! Public. Open. Participatory. 2: n.p. DOI:10.48404/pop.2020.06