“I won’t send roses…”

Week 4

roseandpersonValentine’s Day has been and gone and it is almost time to deliver our instructional document to our French student team members. Without Nicola’s resolve, I don’t think our team would have made as much progress as has been achieved this week. In the absence of contact from most other team members, myself and Nicola took the decision to keep working through the document, as we were concerned about delivering the first part of this assignment on time. Meanwhile, we have been posting document status updates on Facebook each day.

We now have a rough document, and are in the process of editing it. In spite of Nicola’s delegation of tasks among the whole group over two weeks ago, some students who began to contribute this week, seemed surprised that tasks assigned to them had already been completed. Were we right to keep the momentum going and in not waiting for the others? We made every effort to engage the whole team and keep them up to date. Personally, I couldn’t have waited. I loathe not being on time for anything (blame it on a sojourn in Zurich back in the mists of time).

Our document has moved from Google docs into Microsoft Word for ease of editing. Nicola notified all team members that this was happening. However, the document has been updated anonymously on a couple of occasions without any accompanying commentary. It has been interesting trying to decipher what is implied by the changes. I wonder if some team members are unfamiliar with Word?

It has been a while since I used ‘track changes’ on Word but it was very useful this week. Although this project has not been without its challenges, it has definitely been a boon for learning to use collaboration tools effectively (Google Slides, Google Docs), and for refreshing some skills (Word) which had become a little rusty. Use it or lose it!

What nuggets of wisdom have I gleaned from our collaboration project this week?

  • It’s vital to keep up communication when working in a virtual environment.
  • It’s incredibly frustrating when there is a lack of response from other team members.
  • Not every team member is going to pull their weight. Alas, I haven’t learned how to motivate reluctant team members to participate. Perhaps by the end of this semester I will have the answer to that.
  • It is necessary to remember that some team members may have other competing issues they need to deal with, such as family or work commitments.
  • And finally, it’s always good to keep things in perspective.

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