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Starr Roxanne Hiltz, Linda Plotnick, & Rosalie J. Ocker. (2011). Learning about Emergency Management Information Systems through Partially Distributed Team projects. In E. Portela L. S. M.A. Santos (Ed.), 8th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management: From Early-Warning Systems to Preparedness and Training, ISCRAM 2011. Lisbon: Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, ISCRAM.
Abstract: What are effective ways to train students for designing Emergency Management Information Systems and for working with distant partners on EMIS projects? This paper describes the results of a project whose goal is to assess the effectiveness of Partially Distributed Teams (PDTs) as a pedagogical strategy. A PDT is one type of distributed team, in which two or more co-located subgroups use information and communication technology to collaborate on a task. Much of emergency management involves cross-organizational and often cross-national collaboration in this form. Students need, but lack, learning experiences focused on how to work effectively in such situations. This field study involved more than 700 students from universities in eight countries, working in 80 teams on an EMIS software requirements task. Results indicate that students report positive learning experiences, with international students in international teams reporting the most positive experiences. There are also significant differences among universities.