Class 2: Online collaboration

February 6, 2015

020515 - class with Site

Class started with a selection of students delivering their elevator pitches. Really good work and well presented from everyone. The class has an interesting mix of students from healthcare, creative and cultural backgrounds.

Sitearm Madonna kicked off his Team-building talk by asking who had worked in a successful team. Most people had some experience. He shared his online slide presentation using a narrative to set the scene, and then referring to the slides to highlight how teams are built: Form–Storm–Norm–Perform. He noted that the Storm stage is probably the most uncomfortable but, it passes!

When your team gets to the Norm stage, it is imperative, that you have ground rules in place, for example: agree to entertain all ideas without criticism; remember nothing is too wild; everyone has something to contribute. He also suggested that teams may need to move between brainstorming and deciding quite a few times before settling on a final direction.

Review slide 5 to see how he identified the effective team roles. Using the narrative with which he began he highlighted how this played out when four team members had to work together. Sometimes, you will find that one person may take on more than one role, or there may be more than one person with a single role.

A notecard with the Student Groups was circulated so that you can start to get to know each other. (For those who missed class the notecard will be added to the class group #iole15 so make sure you have joined and activated the group next time you visit Second Life.) We have nine teams with four members each, and have tried to make each group as diverse as possible. You will need to work collaboratively online and we encourage you to support one other. Working in groups online is much the same as in real life, so spend time together and get past the Form and Storm stages in good time.

The brief for the Group Project work will be presented in next week’s class.

Sitearm Madonna is online, as are all of the guest speakers you will meet throughout the course. Find him @sitearm and his blog.


  1. Explore: Get to know your group members and explore SL with your group. You are to visit at least 3 locations that are new to you. Find them in search, or ask other residents for recommendations or select them at random. Also find a blog that interests you and review it with respect to subject area, engagement, profile of blogger, etc. Can be a hobby, any interest… 
  2. Discuss: with your group how you would like to operate, what ground rules might be helpful, and who might take on different roles. Think about what skills you have now have collectively.
  3. Write the second post : on your blog reviewing the locations you visited. Explain how and why you chose them and what relevance they might have for your group.
  4. Read: The Lazy Person’s Guide to Personal Branding by Yohana Desta at Mashable or Personal Branding Basics by Chris Brogan, expert in online community, social media, and related technologies or The first Step to Building Your Personal Brand from Forbes.
  5. Other interesting reading about SL and virtual worlds:
    in Virtual Worlds Magazine, Virtual Anthropology and the Prometheus myth
    An article about Rod Humble, former CEO of Linden Labs, owner of Second Life Shared created spaces
    Your Second Life is Ready – Popular Science’s take on SL in 2006.

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