Posts Tagged ‘Group Project’

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Class 8: Presenting your Team Project

April 4, 2019

Again, attendance was disappointing this week. Apart from the first week, which had full attendance, we have had eight attending every week. However, last week only five came to class and this week only six. Both weeks two students gave their apologies. Nevertheless, such poor attendance means that class discussion is not as lively and engaging as it should be and, with only three more classes until the final presentation, it is a cause for concern.

John started by asking the class group if they would mind switching topics between this week and next week. Our guest lecturer is travelling today and therefore unavailable. All agreed so we will postpone the class theme ‘Walking away…?’ until next week. Some of you also admitted to not reading the short story yet so John urged you to ensure you have read it for next week.

We started the class by reviewing the visit to Virtual Ability Island last week. It gave you all a sense of the possibilities that virtual worlds can open up for some people and communities.

John asked for some feedback on the Team Project, in particular, how you were thinking of making the final presentation. Only members of the Blue and Yellow teams were present and most of you seem to be thinking in terms of video. It was not clear if the thinking is to use YouTube or steam directly into SL. John suggested reviewing options such as LinkedIn Slideshare, as was used by Sitearm Madonna in his presentation on teamwork and collaboration in class 3. You can also import images directly into SL and display them much as you would give a PowerPoint presentation IRL. John demonstrated how to make a simple ‘slide viewer’ using the ‘Build’ tool. It costs L$10 to import images to SL so John presented each of you with a budget of L$300 to use if you need to. The exchange rate is approximately L$270 to US$1 so your avatars have not become immediately rich!

Building in SL is normally reserved for premium residents (ie, those who pay a monthly subscription) however, there are lots of public sandboxes where anyone can build. Just remember to save your creation to your Inventory Folder so you can access it at a later time. You can also practice building in the classroom area – just be careful not to delete or change anything there! John reckons he has everything locked but remembers the day he accidentally deleted two of the walls and floor. So, do try out some building – there are links to support information in the reading set for Class 9 Presenting your Team Project.

You should also use some of your Linden dollars to explore the economy in SL. Go and visit some shops and see how the economy works. But, don’t spend everything you have – keep some for your project.

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Team Project – Future Work

March 3, 2019

This photograph was taken from lunar orbit by astronaut Bill Anders in 1968, during the Apollo 8 mission. Nature photographer Galen Rowell declared it “the most influential environmental photograph ever taken”.

The World Economic Forum report on The Future of Jobs 2018 provides a comprehensive analysis of trends on an industry-specific and country-specific basis. In the section on Strategic Drivers of New Business Models it concludes that the unfolding of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is resulting in a variety of new and emerging jobs while the more traditional job roles are declining. But, there is some good news for you as the Economist reported in 2016 that people working in creative fields are less susceptible to automation in Automation and Anxiety.

Taking a more holistic perspective raises deeper concerns for the future of not just work, but the entire ecosystem of society. French philosopher Bernard Stiegler suggests that the world is heading rapidly towards a dead end thanks to the consumerist model. Speaking in London in 2018 he argued that a radically new approach to shaping our society is required. Rather than allowing capital and technology to dictate we need to bring epistemological, technological, artistic, judicial, social and economic questions together in order to shape the future.

In 1992 the Union of Concerned Scientists issued a Warning to Humanity suggesting that vast human misery would ensue if we did not change how we are impacting the planet. They ‘feared that humanity was pushing Earth’s ecosystems beyond their capacities to support the web of life.’ Last year the warning was updated when 15,000 scientists from around the world published World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice.

This is a real challenge to you, individually and collectively, as you consider your emergence into society from college. For this project you are asked to consider how you might address the problems facing society while earning a living and living your lives. Do you accept the premise of the World Scientists? Can you see ways in which it is possible to work for a more sustainable engagement with our planet?

You will work on this project in your groups to present your findings in an entertaining, informative and lively manner using whatever medium and format you wish as long as it can be stored for later review (e.g. a talk, short film, narration+visuals). Each team will also present its project live in Second Life. The presentation should be no shorter than five minutes and no longer than ten minutes. You are encouraged to use visual, audio or any other aids to support the presentation during which each member of the team must take part.

Each participant must also describe the progress of the project in a weekly blog post with particular emphasis on your own contribution to the project. (What are you bringing to the group and how does it fit into the team’s work?) Discuss the details of the project and also the issues that arise in working collaboratively online. How easy is it meet up virtually and plan the project? What difficulties arise in development? How easy or difficult is communication? What particular problems arise and how do you deal with them? Focus on the experience rather than writing a ‘correct’ post or having an answer for every difficulty.

For full details on the Team Project specifications and the assessment criteria see the Assessment Unit in the Brightspace VLE.

Important note: If you use images or sound be mindful of copyright, particularly as presentations will be posted to the module blog.

Presentations should be no less than 5 minutes and no more than 10 minutes in duration.

Your presentation can be made in the TU Dublin campus or any appropriate venue in Second Life selected by the group. Presentations will be delivered in the last class at the end of the semester.

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Class 4: Team Project – Future Work

February 28, 2019

John started the class by reminding you all of the deadline for your first assessment item next week. It must be submitted in Brightspace before 5.00 pm next Thursday, 7th March. But, don’t wait until the last moment – get your submission in early. It’s easy: just provide the link to your blog. Full details are given in the ‘Assessment’ section of the module in Brightspace. Remember, you must make the submission in Brightspace so that it is registered and John can provide feedback.

The University is carrying out a survey of staff and students using Brightspace for this pilot phase. Please take this Brightspace Mid-Pilot Review (Students). Your feedback is important so that improvements can be made before the full rollout in September.

It is important that you login to Brightspace regularly during the course of the week. The Essential Reading given for each class is a necessary preparation for our meetings but also provides background material to the subject of your blog posts. You need to be reading and viewing it so that you can cite appropriate examples in your writing. Take the short Quizzes to check if you understand the content. Although they don’t count for assessment purposes they are a useful way of identifying content you might not have fully understood. If you have any suggestions for improving the content please let me know.

Then we turned to the Team Project. In response to John’s query about whether you had arranged team meetings it seems that some have met and some have not yet met. It is important that you start meeting this week. You will remember from Sitearm’s talk last week that teams need time to form. So start working together from now on – visit SL, work on your class assignments, and begin thinking about the project. Give yourselves as much time together as you can to get to know each other.

There is a lot of detail in the brief and plenty of reading to guide your thinking and help develop your approach to the project. Use the time you have without classes next week to get started and become familiar with the material. Another important guide you should review carefully is the assessment rubric for the project. That gives you the criteria on which you will be assessed. There is no point in being busy on work that is not relevant so study the criteria for guidance on how to proceed.

Here is a short (viewing time is less than two minutes) extract from the class discussion:

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Class 3: Teamwork and Collaboration

February 21, 2019

Guest speaker Sitearm Madonna talks about partnership team building.

We were joined by guest speaker Sitearm Madonna this evening. Sitearm is a graduate of the module, a former engineer in the US oil industry, expediter of projects in virtual worlds and musician, with extensive experience of team work. He spoke to the slides that will remain in the classroom for the rest of the semester. We were also joined by Dudley Dreamscape, another graduate of the module, professor at the University of Akron and guest speaker in a later class. John noted that both Sitearm and Dudley had performed so well on the module that they scored the highest marks ever awarded.

Sitearm started by asking us all to think of a time when we felt good about working on a team and to write down one word that would remind us of the experience later in the class. We were also asked to repeat the exercise for a time we had negative memories of a team. He emphasised that teams generally get projects completed, no matter how badly they perform. The aim is to continually strive to achieve better outcomes by supporting team development. This starts by building commitment and competence. Team members need time to get to know one another informally, in addition to the formal engagement, so they can perform effectively together.

Best practice for building teams that produce results.

Recognising the stages of team development is essential for managing time and ensuring that all members can contribute meaningfully. Each stage requires a different type of input and engagement. For example, when the team is in the ‘forming’ stage members may need to spend more time working together to develop cohesion whereas the ‘performing’ stage might require each member to complete their own contribution independently. Sitearm also described the practices of team work: brainstorming, deciding, briefing, and debriefing – explaining when and how to activate each one. Throughout all of this team members will constantly play different roles. When decisions need to be made it is important to have someone in the role of ‘coordinator’ or ‘shaper’ whereas ‘specialists’ and ‘team workers’ are essential to putting the project into production.

Partnership team building model.

Sitearm concluded by showing us his newly developed Partnership Team Building Model. It demonstrates the work a team needs to do in order to reach the goal of generating an outcome.

Following his presentation Sitearm asked for contributions based on his questions at the beginning of class. There were many good examples given such as Aestheicant’s experience of a team that worked well because everyone felt able to amend and improve on ideas; EvaKKCara’s satisfaction when a committed and hard-working team gained a tangible outcome at the end of the process; hummush’s comment that all members helped each other on different aspects of the project brief so all felt very well informed on the aim of the project; and JCraig1988’s discovery that his opinions and ideas tended to broaden out the more he worked on a team. Equally enlightening were the examples of negative team experiences: Alik98 recalled the embarrassment resulting when the lack of communication among team members led to a disjointed and terrible presentation; robadamson was dumbfounded when team members that didn’t show up for any meetings were shocked when they received no credit for the final piece of work; YuwenXing remembered the huge amount of additional unnecessary work that resulted from an unclear division of tasks. Everyone shared experiences and examples that demonstrated the importance of preparing appropriately for team projects and continually monitoring the health of the team.

John thanked Sitearm for a very interesting and informative talk and complemented the students on your engagement with insightful examples and reflective responses. Sitearm provided this link to the slides he used for the talk. Here is an edited version of Sitearm’s talk:

Many of you hadn’t picked up on the Project Teams announced on Brightspace this week so here are the details again. Please make contact with each other and read the preparatory material for next week’s class where we will consider the brief for the Team Project.

Project Teams.

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Class 11: Project presentations

December 13, 2018

Locks Aichi joined the class for the presentations by each team this week. A variety of approaches was taken including YouTube videos, Google Slide show to illustrate presentations in the classroom and finally, a visit to another location in SL which did not turn out as expected. The group gave us a link to a shopping centre to open their talk with a demonstration. Unfortunately, the owner was online when all thirty of us teleported there simultaneously and she assumed it was a griefing attack! After some serious confusion and much swearing on her part we returned to DIT. An explanation was sent to the shopkeeper by IM and the incident was concluded without any further rancour. It provided an excellent learning opportunity for the final meeting of our group – always ask permission before visiting someone else’s virtual space with a group – much as you would in Real Life. To be fair to the student team it had visited the location during the week and found it deserted and quite reasonably expected the same for our visit.

All teams presented with confidence and obvious preparation. Some presentations seemed more of a team delivery while others came across as a collection of individuals’ ideas but in each case the content was considered, coherent and relevant. Following the presentation each team answered a few questions from John and Locks and explained what tools they used to facilitate their group work.

THINGS TO DO TO COMPLETE YOUR ASSIGNMENT:

  1. Write the tenth post: to your blog reflecting on your team project presentation.

Blue team: PSS12, sarahmurph, RahaJamal, mclmichelle, LukeBob75 and EvoCall.

Green team: LouHug, haithanhnguyen, EmKoz1, NadsCore18, ShaunaHarkin and RoseDuong.

Red team: bennagle, ollyrobyn, Ruifeng Wang, clionabray, PeterKeane and hughkavanagh.

Mauve team: CiaraHoward, OPrincess, zoeobyrne, J98Carey, Assesi and marevatin.

Yellow team: Muriel001, JonathanBK, Whimseyy, maeveobrienny, JeromeZZC and Cmragasa.

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Class 10: Preparing your presentation

December 6, 2018

Uploading images to Second Life

This week we looked at how you might present your projects in next week’s class. John suggested that you may do this in the classroom in SL simply through voice, with each team member delivering part of the presentation in order; or you could do it in any other location you choose in SL (but be careful to ensure voice works – it can be shut off in some locations); you could include slides to illustrate the presentation; you might create a video in YouTube or Vimeo and give us a link on which to view it next week; you might act out the presentation in SL; or decide on any other approach that you think gets your message across.

We looked at importing images into SL to use on slides. Firstly, you need to ensure you have selected the module group. This gives you permission to build in the classroom. We created slide boards. Then John gave some of you L$200 so you could import images. Don’t worry, this is worth less than US$1! It costs L$10 to import an image which can then be dragged from your inventory folder to the presentation board, as required. We tried this out a few times to make sure everyone could do it. You were asked not to litter the room with too many boards and to clean up after you are finished.

If anyone else needs some L$ to import images just let John know via the Facebook page. And, indeed, if you have any other questions about the presentation ask them on Facebook too – that way everyone will benefit from the answer.

We agreed on the following order for the presentations:

Red Group; Green Group; Blue Group; Mauve Group; Yellow Group

Each group has between five and ten minutes, so including set up time and allowing for the inevitable glitches, it would be wise to allow some extra time for class next week – we might run on until 9.30 pm.

John reminded you all that you will be required to write two more posts to your blog. One this week describing your final preparations for the presentation and the final one after the presentation, describing how it went and your final reflections on the project.

Some participants have not yet submitted a link to their blogs. If your blog is not listed here it means I have not seen it and will be unable to assess it so send me your link immediately.

THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE NEXT CLASS:

  1. Write the ninth post: to your blog describing your final preparations for the group project presentation.
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Class 4: Project briefing

October 18, 2018

John started class by reminding everyone who hasn’t already done so to send in a link to their blogs. To date there are ten blogs outstanding. You are reminded to read the module website page about assessment and note that your blogs will be assessed after this week, again after week 8 and, finally, at the end of the module. It is important also that you read and understand the criteria for assessment.

There was some discussion about the elevator pitch and questions about how to go about it. Some of you were unclear about just what was expected so John explained that this was simply an exercise to give you the opportunity to have your avatar stand up and make a presentation – just to give the experience. He suggested you could talk about your choice of avatar costume, your interests and skills or anything that you feel like. LouHug, bennagle, Whimseyy and PeterKeane all got the task over with – others will be called on at random over the next few classes!

Most of you had read the Group Project brief so John started the discussion by reviewing the assessment criteria. The importance of ensuring you know exactly what you are being assessed on can’t be overstated. There is no point in working really hard on something that yields no benefit so, read (and regularly re-read) the assessment criteria for the Group Project given on the Module Assessment page. John recommends reviewing the criteria at least once a week and after each group meeting.

We considered precisely what was expected under each criterion noting that the actual content of the project is only one of the six criteria. John also emphasised that the main learning from this project is about team dynamics and group work. You should expect to run into difficulties when working together: some individuals will work hard and contribute while others may not; some will never turn up to meetings; others will go off on tangents and produce work that is not relevant. DON’T WORRY. That is a very common experience in group and team work. It is exacerbated when you are working online. The point of this project is to allow you experience it in a safe environment. Your task is to observe this behaviour, reflect on it and offer a critical response informed by your understanding of how group dynamics and the roles to be played by team members. Your mark will be based on your own work and is not dependent on your team mates’ contributions.

The content of the project was selected to give you an opportunity to consider your role in contributing to society as you emerge as educated professionals. Despite the pressure to earn a living and compete you need to consider your wider responsibility to the global community of this planet as a citizen. We have been warned that we are exhausting our resources and will be faced with the consequences in the coming decades. It is your generation that must start the search for a new way of engaging with one another and our home planet. The references given in the brief offer some starting points for your consideration.

Bernard Stiegler

French philosopher Bernard Stiegler, whose writing is referenced in the project brief, is currently in Dublin for the DIT GradCam hosted Inter-Nation – European Art Research Network conference in the Wood Quay Venue.

Most of you have met, or at least attempted to meet, in your groups since last week and some teams have set up Facebook groups for communicating. For the next class you are to meet in your teams to talk about the project and how you might approach it. Remember, you are still at the ‘Forming’ stage of your team – getting to know each other and learning how to work together. You should begin the ‘Storming’ stage by starting to brainstorm ideas for the project. Don’t worry about deciding on any one idea this week – just talk about a range of interesting approaches you could take.

You should continue to meet regularly to work on the project and your blog-writing should reflect on these meetings and your progress on the project.

Remember to join the class Facebook page so that you can keep in touch with developments between classes, such as the poll about the day for next weeks class. The following week is Review Week so there is no class. Use this time to get started on your project – the presentation date will be will be around the corner before you know it!

THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE NEXT CLASS:

  1. Read: the texts given in the Group Project.
  2. Meet: in your teams to discuss the project and brainstorm ideas for development.
  3. Write the fourth post: to your blog reviewing this meeting (or, reflecting on why the meeting didn’t happen).
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