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Open Access

Teamwork and leadership in a virtual learning environment

International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education201310:10020358

Received: 15 February 2012

Accepted: 15 February 2013

Published: 15 July 2013


The aim of this article is to identify the relationships and synergies between two basic management skills — teamwork and leadership — in the virtual learning environment of a master’s degree programme subject, whose purpose, among other things, is to enable students to acquire both competencies. A two-fold methodology was used: first, a qualitative analysis of a student survey specifically designed to gain an insight into teamwork and leadership practices; and second, a quantitative analysis of Moodle activity logs for each member of every team’s use of communication spaces and methods (forums and chats). The results obtained from both analyses showed that the dynamics varied considerably from team to team; that there was a clear relationship between teamwork, leadership management and participation, and each group’s performance; and that groups with a clear leader from the start obtained better results.


teamworkleadershipgroup dynamicshigher distance educationpostgraduate study