Transactional distance in an undergraduate project-based systems modeling course
Assessing the level and quality of collaboration between students working in project teams is a complex task. The main goal of our study was to develop and validate an online questionnaire for assessing the quality of distance teamwork collaboration in a project-based systems modeling course. The research goals included assessing the transactional distance (TD) perceptions among peer students who had collaborated in jointly constructing conceptual system models of projects carried out by
... researchers and the TD between the students on one hand and the distant researchers on the other hand. The research questions were aimed at validating the TD questionnaire as a tool for assessing TD. The research population included undergraduate students who participated and collaborated via a visualization-based environment as part of the EU VISIONAIR infrastructure project. The students interacted both among themselves and with remote researchers across Europe. Reliability and inter-correlation tests have indicated internal structure validity and reliability of the TD questionnaire. Correlation with other student outcomes indicated content validity by criterion. Experiencing visualization-based environments was a key factor in student satisfaction. Based on our findings and the collaboration literature, TD may serve as an alternative assessment tool for evaluating the quality of collaboration among peer students and researchers.