My Fellow Colleagues:
Overall, I think that the experience of working with others as a group in a virtual environment is beneficial and should be encouraged. There is much to be learned through collaboration and the sharing of ideas provided that there is openness, trust and mutual respect. Each member of the team have individual strengths that can contribute to the whole.
I have participated in both face-to-face and ‘virtual’ groups within an educational setting several times before. I have found that good communication is essential to the success of any group. In a virtual group, especially, it is important to agree on who is to do what and to clarify when members will be available to ‘meet’. It is often a good idea to appoint a group ‘leader’ or ‘moderator’ (as long as they don’t dictatorial tendencies). Some of my past experience has been disappointing as not all the group members participated equally which left one or two group members doing the bulk of the work!
I had a lot of trouble getting into a group for this class. Two of us initially tried to form a group which we were going to call “Three-Blog Night” but were unable to find a third person despite vigorous efforts at solicitation. Finally, Dr. Kaur intervened and placed me in this group. In my ‘search’ I used all kinds of methods to locate the needed team member, including the public discussion thread as well as the ‘private’ Horizon email. I tried ‘blanket’ notices and individual solicitations. However, it was difficult to tell who was already in a group and who was not.
This ‘cosy’ group appears to contain some high caliber people! I am looking forward to working with you all!