Starting to work with a new group of people is always exciting: you never know what is going to happen as people with different backgrounds, personalities and preferences for working are put together. When this work is put to an online environment, it can be even more challenging, especially if you haven’t even met all the people you’re collaborating with. I only got to meet a few of our group members face-to-face online and the rest only through their introduction in written form. Hopefully this will be fixed in the next week although it seems that finding a synchronous meeting time where everyone is present might be a challenge for this group.

Team communication

“In teamwork, silence isn’t golden. It’s deadly.”

– Mark Sanborn

One of the key elements in collaboration is communication. Our group communicated through three different means: ONL course page, email and google groups. The challenge with this was that it was unclear where information should be posted and whether all members were on all forums. Of course, having several communication channels also increases the risk of accidentally missing information. I hope that next we can agree on our main channel of communication as a group.

Collaboration on our group presentation

“Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up. “

– Oliver Wendell Holmes

An important part of collaboration is working on a platform that is truly collaborative (i.e. everyone has equal access to edit it and the work doesn’t fall on one or more individuals). I intially suggested Prezi as our collaborative platform, but quickly realized that everyone did not have a free prezi account – a key item needed to collaboratively work on a prezi presentation. Thus, I created a Google slides presentation as plan B. Since every one had a google account that platform was truly collaborative as everyone had equal access to it. Introduction started coming in fairly quickly and within 24 hours everyone’s introduction was there. However, my initial suggestion to use Prezi had sparked interest in the team and our final group presentation was created in Prezi after all.

However, as everyone did not manage to create a prezi account on such a short notice, the responsibility for the final group presentation fell on the person who created the Prezi and other group members who already had a prezi account. What had been already put once into google slides, had to be now put again into Prezi. In a way, we ended up doing double work.  In hindsight, we could’ve just gone with the google slides presentation for this task and then we could’ve used prezi for a later task.

Thoughts on future collaboration

Was our group presentation a success? Definitely! Everyone was able to participate at least in some form and put togther a great-looking presentation. What do we still need to work on? Let’s ensure that in the future we clearly decide on a platform that everyone has equal access to and stick with it to avoid doing double work.

Group presentation version 1
Group presentation version 2
Connecting week: collaborating with new people