The mixed methods study assessed an instrument and two constructs developed to help measure factors based on the National Cancer Institute’s Team Science Toolkit and MIT researchers’ work on building learning organizations. A taxonomy of avatar embodiment was built upon Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Transdisciplinarity represented the highest embodiment level where respondents’ self-actualize and transcend ‘self’ by collaboratively pursuing the art-of-the-possible. Many group endeavors were not possible in physical life opening pathways beyond interpolating the future.
A spectrum of virtual engagement was developed to identify heuristics for avatar dialogue and collaboration. The heuristics were based on extensive literature review, study results, and ethnographic experience. Implications of the study impact virtual team science, virtual community learning organizations and transdisciplinary research endeavors requiring collaboration assessment. Trends in blending virtual and physical community events and future directions to apply study finding will be discussed.
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