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Class 7: Team working

November 23, 2012

CLASS SUMMARY:

We started with some discussion on the students’ blogs and suggested that you review the ACTIVITIES FOR NEXT WEEK sections for each class to ensure you have written the required posts. We also had a a quick review from each team on progress in the group project. As is normal at this stage in the module some teams appear to be making more progress than others. Locks and Tae reminded students that the purpose of the project was to give participants the opportunity to discover the joys AND difficulties in working with others online and to learn something about the differences between online collaboration and real life team working. Participants were also reminded that even though this is a group project you will be assessed individually: based on your feedback in class; participation; and critical reflection on the process in your blogs.

Sitearm Madonna, guest lecturer, then delivered his talk on team working in an online environment. Accompanying slides can be seen here. Commencing with an explanation of ‘le nom en ligne’ concept (similar to nom de plume and nom de guerre) he went on to talk about the challenges of collaborating with others online. As a graduate of the module he is in a good position to give participants some guidelines on how to work on the group project. Site gave an overview of how teams work, the roles of individual team members and referred to the Belbin approach. He emphasised the importance of all nine roles being activated: meaning that you will need to take on more than one role at different times during the project.

Then he spoke about the importance of clarity around the group’s presentation of their project and how easy it is to leave your audience confused. The most common mistake when presenting is for the participants to be unclear about their key message. Site suggests it is ‘impossible to underestimate the ability of an audience to understand you’! He described a range of tools teams can use to support the planing and development of their project.

Finally, Site spoke about identities and affiliations. He described how multiple affiliations lead to multiple identities and the importance of being aware of your online presence. He concluded with a warning to guard your privacy, keep space between your identities and post appropriately.

Sitearm will return next week to talk about content creation online.

Following some discussion we visited the Dublin Virtually Live Conference venue. Site offered support to the teams in developing their projects and said participants could use either the amphitheatre or the Conference venue for their presentations. We agreed to make a decision on the venue at next week’s class.

ACTIVITIES FOR NEXT CLASS:

  • Write a post to your blog comparing your experience of team work with the description outlined by Sitearm, particularly with reference to Belbin’s Nine Team Roles.
  • Decide on your preferred venue for the presentation. We will make a decision at next week’s class. (It was agreed that all presentations should take place in the same venue because the logistics of moving everyone around SL would be insurmountable.)

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