Forming Student Online Teams for Maximum Performance

In this research, the authors used the IDE (Insights Discovery Evaluator) to try to determine the make-up of learning teams tht would provide the best performance.  The study reviewed the work of 450 students on 138 virtual learning teams.  The study found no statistical significance based on IDE personality types in team composition to provide maximum performance.


What is the best way to assign graduate business students to online team-based projects? Team assignments are frequently made on the basis of alphabet, time zones or previous performance. This study reviews personality as an indicator of student online team performance. The personality assessment IDE (Insights Discovery Evaluator) was administered to 450 students in the first six-week course of a proprietary online university MBA program. The IDE was utilized for the study because the university had selected the IDE as a part of its business curriculum. In the second week, students were randomly placed on 138 virtual teams and quantitative data collected from an assignment where students self-reported their IDE type. A qualitative method was used to determine subject IDE type in those cases where subjects did not clearly identify their type. Performance was measured using three instructor- graded assignments completed during the course. Student virtual teams were categorized as random, variable and dominant, contingent upon the composition of team personality types. This study found no statistically significant relationship between IDE’s personality types or the cognitive trait variables of attitude (extroversion and introversion) or trait function (thinking and feeling) on team performance. Personality trait did not appear to be a variable with the intentional formation of higher performing online student teams. All personality traits performed equally as well. Personality Bias (IDE type homogeneity) was the closest to being statistically significant as a factor in virtual team performance. A model is presented describing the relationship between personality and performance.

This publication has been peer reviewed.
Publication Type: 
Journal Article
James G. Ziegler
Ray C. Kalinski
Darlene G. Ringhand
Joel D. Olson
Year of Publication: 
Journal, Book, Magazine or Other Publication Title: 
American Journal of Business Education
Second Quarter 2015
Date Published: 
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Publication Language: 
Boyer's Domain: 



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