Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Industrial Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Greenstein, Joel S

Committee Member

Cho , Byung R

Committee Member

Garrett , Sandra K


Given the increasing importance of collaboration and the resulting use of virtual tools, this research investigates the performance of engineering design teams using a concept selection task in three meeting spaces, face-to-face, 2D online and 3D virtual. Cisco's WebEx and Sun Microsystems' Wonderland were used as the 2D online meeting space and the 3D virtual environment, respectively. Twenty-four two-person design teams were formed and randomly assigned to the meeting spaces. Eight teams performed a cell-phone concept selection task in each meeting space. Four dependent variables were measured: task completion time, team satisfaction, self-evaluated quality and expert-evaluated quality. Following data collection, one-way ANOVA was used to analyze each variable to determine the differences, if any, among the meeting spaces. ANOVA results did not support rejection of the null hypothesis for any variable. These results suggest that 3D virtual environments support design concept selection tasks as well as 2D online meeting spaces and that both of these technologies are viable alternatives to co-located meetings when it is difficult or expensive to bring team members together for a co-located meeting.



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