Posted by: MandyS | February 24, 2014

The joys of asynchronous study…

This wouldn’t be the first time that I have vented my frustration during the MAODE and no doubt it won’t be my last! It would be easy to lay the blame with the participants but, on reflection, the module design/requirements have to share some of the responsibility.

Week 4 is a ‘whole’ group collaborative activity and with it comes the inherent problems of the group not necessarily working at the same pace and under differing views as to what is required. My reading of the activity is: decided a context and goal then suggest various technologies to support that context and goal and then vote on which of the suggested technologies should be evaluated in respect of that context and goal. I would bow to my own inadequacies if it were not for the fact that the other groups appear to think the same; one group is looking at the technologies that might support their agreed context of using e-portfolios to support a collaborative project.

So why am I so frustrated? In the dash to use ‘doodle.com’ to reach a consensus on the technology to evaluate, the group appears to have lost sight of the fact that there is no consensus as to the context. A variety of technologies have been suggested to support a variety of contexts (popplet/audioboo for revision, poll everywhere for face-to-face engagement) as opposed to a variety of technologies being suggested to support a particular context. So what appears to be being voted on is the technology and the context as opposed to simply the technology. And is it possible for me to make comment on this? Well given that my suggestion that a strict timetable may exclude late participants prompted a personal response, obviously not.

So where does one go from here? I read the article posted in one of the other groups about the use of Google Drive for collaboration. Mann is highly enthusiastic about its use for collaboration but I think one phrase that had the most impact was “the skills and good natures of my fellow panellists”. Collaboration is all about a group working together. In Mann’s case there were only three people and I do wonder if her comments would be quite so laudable if the group were much larger. Groups associated with learning generate from a wealth of different backgrounds with a wealth of differing experiences and views as to how activities should best be proceeded with. I admire the organised and assertive but respect the disorganised and reluctant. Arguably, the key to working collaboratively in these situations is being open to new experiences.  What being made to feel an inch tall in open court teaches one is to value everyone’s opinion no matter how disparate from ones own. Its a bit like ‘taking it on the chin’, the pain and humiliation disappear relatively quickly but the experience is likely to last forever.

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