Validation of Virtual Learning Team Competencies for Individual Students in a Distance Education Setting
The purpose of this study was twofold. Firstly, the study aimed to validate the scale of the Virtual Team Competency Inventory (VTCI) in distance education, which had initially been designed for corporate settings. Secondly, the methodological advantages of Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling (ESEM) framework over Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) framework were empirically compared and discussed. A total of 1,355 distance education students participated in the survey designed to elicit their perceptions of their own competencies for working on virtual teams. The study validated the results from prior research that an 11-factor structure solution for the competency construct achieved the most satisfactory fit. Methodologically, it also demonstrated that ESEM yielded a clearer factor structure and optimal model fitting indexes than CFA in a construct validation study.