Collaboration Discussion

When it comes to online learning, several working professionals are pulled towards colleges that offer online courses to get their degrees. Even it is a work at your own pace curriculum there is the lack of person to person face to face interaction which is the core of most business and the experience they are looking for. “Online learning environments can be a lonely place” “Palloff & Pratt, 2007). This is due to the fact that you work alone and never step foot in a classroom where you can interact and share information. You have to seek after it if you want it. This makes collaboration difficult especially since you are not normally in the same state much less the same time zone.
For this discussion question you will need to respond to the following topic:
In online courses the ability to collaborate is limited but encourages therefore it can be plugged into the course as a team activity. This can be seen as a difficult task with distance and work schedules being a factor. Synthesize two opportunities that can present themselves in the event collaboration in a team setting online is required. Also, answer the following questions: What tools and resources can you use to make team collaboration successful based on the challenges you have identified.
Wednesday: You will need to post your initial response
Sunday: You will need to have commented on two or more of your classmates comments giving either good feedback or ask a follow up question to their response.

RUBRIC

(Remember to read the rubric carefully and be mindful of what it is asking for to receive maximum points)
Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (2007). Building online communities: Effective strategies for the virtual classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

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5 thoughts on “Collaboration Discussion

  1. Challenges may include time zone differences, as mentioned. Additionally, technology can be an issue with bandwidth. There are several people with whom I work who live in areas where bandwidth is expensive and limited. It is easy to take for granted being constantly connected!

    There a several different methods or tools that can be used to facilitate collaboration. I think that Wikis are a great method for collaboration across time zones. I have also had great success in collaboration with colleagues around the world using Google Docs. On the rare occasions we are accessing the document at the same time, the instant chat feature is very nice.

    1. Rebecca, I love how you mentioned Google docs, it is something I am just begging to use and I find it very useful in collaboration. We use similar programs at my job to allow us to look at and edit docs so others can see our work which I find very helpful. What types of things do you collaborate on?

  2. Two specific challenges that I have faced with group collaboration are: lack of trust and accountability. The lack of trust stems from the fact that you know very little about the individuals in the group. You are forced to trust these individuals and relinquish some control over the assignment. For me, that’s a big deal, especially if you are an analytical, structured being. To help with this, it is necessary to create some type of ice breaker activity to learn more about your group. There are several interactive, online activities like individual self-quizzes, scavenger hunts, or two truths and a lie. These are all great ways to build trust within the group and establish a foundation to build upon.

    Second, is the accountability piece. Everyone should be held equally responsible for completing and submitting a strong, finished product. Personally, I have been in group activities where others didn’t pull their weight, and it can be damaging to the team morale and relationship. If group collaboration exists, there has to be some form of peer assessment to give everyone an opportunity to provide feedback. Furthermore, the instructor has to be clear about how much weight the peer assessment will hold on the individual’s grade so that it is not taken lightly. This is a great way to prevent learners from riding the coattail of others.

    1. Janea,
      I believe you really “hit the nail on the head” with your comments about trust. It is difficult for me to work in a group as I can never trust that the others will create work that is up to my own standards. My cup at work says, “Meticulosity.” It was given to me by my former co-workers because it best describes how I approach projects. For me, group work is stressful because I have to shut that off else cause damage to the group dynamic.

    2. Jenea,

      I am with you on the damage it can do when others in the group do not pull their weight. I attended a different college for my Bachelors degree and team work was a main aspect of almost every class. What was maddening was that when it was the night we had to turn in our team project and members of the team had not even started their portion and were asking for help. It was understandable id they had an emergency or something, but some of my teammates that were in several of my classes were always having issues and it cost us grades several times because of the last minute sloppy work. Clear guideline must be set and established and agreed upon before I will enter into team work anymore that’s for sure.
      Thank you
      Eric

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