Activity 2.1 is the first H808 collaborative activity where Lesley, our tutor divided us in 3 separate groups. In the group I was assigned to, silence reigned for the first couple of days. The pace of other groups got me a bit panicked. Therefore, I thought it would be better if I got the ball rolling more so as later on would be busy with my new job. Therefore after seeing what other gorups were doing, I’ve posted a suggestion in the forums to use wikis or googledocs to keep track of who is reading what and also to collate our table with findings (technology-related competencies). This would help us keep organised although there was also the possibility that group members might not be so accustomed with wikis. Therefore as I’ve got familiarity with such tools, I offered my help to anyone requiring it.
Maybe as Lesley comments, planning may enable a better flow for collaboration. Even planning ahead from week 1 could help. For this activity I think that collaboration has been somewhat difficult to achieve. This due to the assyncronous nature of forums which might be difficult for the first-time user. Also the group was still in its initial stage of socialisation (sounds like a theme in H807). Moreover different study patterns might have hindered the progression of this type of activity. A learner from another group comments in her blog;
‘Looking back on it, next time round I would like to spend some time at the beginning of the activity to agree what all group members consider the task to be, how we might best go about achieving it and then assign roles and responsibilities to ensure that the task will be achieved. Always allowing some contingency, of course!’ Constable(2010)
In fact in mid week, tutor told us that one group member had been errenously placed in two groups (therefore would be working with other group). Some students needed to do catch up due to issues such as sickness, travelling abroad (see quotation from forum).
Later on the activity I have acknowledged that maybe we should define what we understand by drivers. but probably I asked this too late in this activity which spanned two weeks.
This activity enabled me to reflect on various issues of which; online collaborative work, communication-related skills, research-related skills and proactivity. As I mentioned in forums, collaborative nature of online tools like forums and wikis is important for communication-related competencies and for the success of such activities. On the other hand, this activity has showed that time should be dedicated at the beginning of such activities to map out the roles of group members and how work would be tackled. This could have been done with better results if group members were more familiar with each other. But then, why other groups seem to have worked much more on this activity? Maybe having a strong leader in the group could be a reason for this.
Course material; http://learn.open.ac.uk/mod/forumng/discuss.php?d=95976#p660166)