Date of Submission


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology




Tara L’Heureux-Barrett, Ph.D.


COVID-19, Perceptions of Teamwork, Virtual Team Collaboration, IMOI framework


Virtual work teams, COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020-


Due to the COVID‐19 pandemic, university students were forced to transition to emergency remote learning that, for many, required an abrupt shift from traditional face-to face instruction. The current study leveraged the unique opportunity provided by the change in communication modalities to compare pre and post pandemic perceptions of teamwork. Using the input-mediator-output-input (IMOI) framework, this study sought to discover how group processes, emergent states, and outcomes differed for face-to-face and virtual group work. As part of a retrospective pretest design, a convenience sample of fifty-two graduate students from the University of New Haven completed a single survey that asked them to compare their experiences before and after the transition from face-to-face to virtual team collaboration. Dependent-sample t-tests were used to compare before and after perceptions of team constructs, and correlational data illuminated underlying data trends. Results showed that when in post-pandemic virtual groups, graduate students reported fewer positive experiences with their groups as opposed to when they were able to conduct their teamwork in-person before the pandemic. Both satisfaction with group members and overall group cohesion were significantly lower in virtual groups than they were when the students were face-to-face. Consequently, group performance was also reported as significantly lower than it had been before the pandemic. Major differences were found primarily in second-year students. The study’s findings demonstrate that workgroup cohesion is strongly linked to the satisfaction and performance of student project teams and was substantially higher when teams met face-to-face. Recommendations for educational practice regarding building cohesive virtual student teams are put forth.