Collaboration in virtual worlds: The role of the facilitator

Benjamin Wigert, Gert Jan De Vreede, Imed Boughzala, Ikram Bououd

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 45th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS-45
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780769545257
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event2012 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2012 - Maui, HI, United States
Duration: Jan 4 2012Jan 7 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
ISSN (Print)1530-1605


Conference2012 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMaui, HI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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