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H808 – Evaluating elearning practice – a collaborative activity (Unit 6)

November 27, 2010

First impressions

The Web 2.0 age facilitates creation, collaboration and participation, communication and sharing from ideas. Leadbeater (2008) coined the term ‘We-Think’ that captures the changes how we access and organize information. Collaboration, social networking and community building are important objectives which should enrich student’s personal and professional development and help developing their social and cognitive skills.

Participation and collaboration are one key principle of good practice and also a characteristic that is strongly required for an elearning professional. However, I am quite biased with this trait and I have to admit that I am not a great team player. I normally prefer to work on my own and I prefer the free division of time and that I do not need to make special arrangements. It gives me the freedom to work when and where I work and I can decide on an approach which I think is appropriate.

Well, coming back to our collaborative work that extend over 2 weeks.  If somebody would have asked me two days ago I would have answered, similar like on of the group members  ‘What a waste of time‘.

  • First,  the case studies we had to work with are more than shallow and had not much to offer.
  • Second, our time management wasn’t the best and it took us almost two weeks to come to an agreement what two case studies to focus on, with the result that we had to hurry with our presentation. My opportunities to work flexible became quite restricted.
  • third, though we have 125 postings in our forum, contrary to the other group with just half of it, communication was not always as effective as it would have been desirable, partly seen in the fact that we needed almost two-week to come up with the decision about which case studies to choose, it was also visible in several unheard and unacknowledged suggestion and in the way we communicated with each other. First we were all overpolite, nobody wanting to take a leading role, coordinate thing,  overemphasizing that we are just offering suggestions but finally the tone become harsher, probably revealing the true nature of our thoughts and feelings regarding the progress of our collaborative work. Personally I have to admit that I was a couple of times close to lose my nerves, and I was quite biased between keeping my mouth shut, not wanting to insult anybody, knowing I also contributed to the dilemma, on the other side wanting to sound off our inability to come to agreements. Well, I decided to keep my mouth mostly shut, talking about the honesty Creme (2005) talks about and that we often disguise our true identity.

Now we almost reached the finish line, things got a new perspective and start looking more positive. It will be now up to me to find out what I can learn from the collaborative work, how we/ I could improve further collaborative work and how it will effect on my PDP (personal development planning), thus I need be reflective and practice reflectivity which is part of the upcoming TMA (tutor marked assessment) as well.

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2 Comments
  1. Claire permalink

    Having shared the (at this point I usually add some unflattering adjectives) task for unit 6 with you, I second your thoughts. Having read some other groups’ comments, I was so impressed with how they organised themselves from the start. We were headless, and disorganised, and it made it rather painful! But, as you say, there is plenty there to reflect on. It almost seems as though having a difficult time can be an advantage for TMA time!
    Congratulations on completing your other TMA – I don’t know how you do both.

    • Thanks for your comment. I love especially you saying that you add some unflattering adjectives 😉 as this occurred several time to me as well, but I thought it would be appropriate to use it in a public blog. I had a brief look at the results of the other groups so far, but had not much time to look deeper how others organised themselves. Painful is indeed a good word to describe the activity, and you are right in saying that we were headless and disorganised as it took us almost one and a half week to figure out that we should concentrate on the Keep studies and simply choose two case studies. I know I contributed to the mess, but I really understood the task differently and it took almost all of the time until someone finally told me that I am on the wrong track. Great, that leaves the question what role did I played in the drama – probably the bad egg? or the enquirer and searcher? Not really laudable 😦 And what where my contributions? Well, first glance you could say except for my part of the presentation there were no great contributions. But who wants to look to negative, so I will of course find some points to shed some better light on me. As a teacher I would say, the result is good, but the process definitely lacked.
      So how would you describe your role and contributions, probably we can support each other a little bit in our reflection. I wonder anyhow how that will be graded. :-/

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