Higher Learning Research Communications

Digital Object Identifier



Elizabeth Johnston, 0000-0003-0695-1475; Cheryl Burleigh, 0000-0003-2393-5477; Andrea Wilson, 0000-0002-1471-654X


Although faculties are more diverse, decentralized, and increasingly isolated in technology-supported modern universities, effective technology use can also foster faculty professional academic development and collegiality. This scoping literature review applied Cooper’s systemic review model and a categorical content analysis technique targeting decentralized collaborative research teams in higher education. Findings indicate technology supports formal and informal university and nonuniversity networks, as well as various collaborative research structures; all contributing to professional academic development. Shared attributes of successful collaborative online teams include a sense of social presence, accountability, institutional and team leadership. Collaborative teams are integral to research and allow more faculty members to contribute and benefit from professional academic development through scholarship. Collaborative team research should be investigated further to understand and promote cross-discipline and cultural collaboration potential for research and professional academic development possibilities with special attention given to opportunities for women, online, and adjunct faculty