“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford

Collaborative Learning is one of those buzz words not only in education but also in what some media calls millennial jobs. With the expansion of digital economies and access to high-speed internet, now it is possible to learn or work collaboratively from remote places. I think part of the success of this alternative way of education or/and work is due to there is a select group of the society finds the social component of both activities unnecessary. Some colleagues argue that they don’t have enough time to create bonds because of their limited time, therefore they prefer to expend their free time with their families or friends. They tend to work online or from home as much as possible.

On the other extreme, the digitalization of the working activities makes much more easy to bring office duties out of the office. Creating a sensation of being available 24/7. The element of freedom originally intended by means of online tools has turned into an element of slavery. The bad news is that we cannot avoid this change of paradigm, we have to learn to work collaboratively using different online tools. Finding balance in life is not an easy job, so we have to think about what can be done to optimize and get the most of any collaborative process.

During the online webinar of topic 3, we had discussed two important questions. I took some snapshots of both questions and the results of the polls (see images below). The first question was about the most important factors of success for online collaboration. Interestingly here, at least for most of the participants, the results showed that good communication and clear goals are the two most important factors. Online tools appear as the third option and again, a no technological answer, openness is the fourth. I think these results are very interesting because, in our perception, the success of any collaborative activity lies, somehow, in very primordially social elements. For the second question on what are the most critical factors in online collaboration that lead to failure, the answers follow a similar pattern, being having unclear goals the option with more percentage.

Poll 1: What are the most important factors of success for online collaboration?
What are the most critical factors in online collaboration that lead to failure?

I had to lead the group for this topic and my approach was to present experiences related to collaborative learning. In the previous topics we did a research based on an individual literature review but in this case, we used personal experiences. The final product was a video in which we summarised our experiences as individuals and as a group.

The password is PBL14
Learning in communities – networked collaborative learning