Peer Contribution Sheet
Having listened to the footprints from previous participants I decided to start as group leader, not for the duration but just for our first week, and proposed a rotating leader position which the others accepted. This rotation of duties worked well and meant everyone got experience leading the group. From there, my involvement with the group grew and as I did work on the project I also settled into the role of a “facilitator” as described by Kop (2011) for group use of some technologies and deliverables.
When we were trying to settle on technologies to use, I suggested hangouts for live meetings as it had a webinar-like interface, and joined Slack as it had been proposed by one of the other group members
Our online meetings using Google hangouts went from one hour where we had no agenda in advance and only agreed five actions, to a very focused thirty minute session with everyone clear on their responsibilities. This was a good example of moving from storming, to norming, to performing, Johnson Johnson, Suriya, Yoon, Berrett, & La Fleur (2012)
Our group decided on a case study based discussion and once the activity was agreed we divided the sections for the Wiki between ourselves.
We were also determined to read and edit each other’s work as the literature had shown the value of this approach.During this time I was really bonding with the team and even took on the role of reminding them when non-group related submissions were due.
They in turn were extremely understanding of my absence and brought me back up to speed on the work done without any sign of annoyance.
My section was Interlinking and summing up. I put up my first draft within a few days and then left it for comment from team mates and at the same time looked at their work and proof read and made edits where I thought they were needed. This worked well and if there were any problems with the group dynamic I found good advice in Borg, Kembro, Notander, Petersson, Ohlsson(2011) By moving some of the submission to other sections and then asking the owners of those sections to edit the new text to suit the section we managed to keep the word count in line.
Finally, I organised the submission of the two documents and the Wikis as others had tried to copy/paste between different software platforms which impacted formatting and would have required a lot of re-work.
By trying several combinations I managed to extract the Wiki to Word via Google Docs without loss of format which gave us a bit more time to work on the content
Overall I found the experience very rewarding and stimulating and have formed links to people outside the MSc course who provided a wealth of experience and insights which have helped my own development.
Borg, M., Kembro, J., Notander, J., Petersson, C., & Ohlsson, L. (2011). Conflict Management in Student Groups-a Teacher’s Perspective in Higher Education. Högre utbildning, 1(2), 111-124.
Johnson, S. D., Suriya, C., Yoon, S. W., Berrett, J. V., & La Fleur, J. (2002). Team development and group processes of virtual learning teams. Computers & Education, 39(4), 379-393.
Kop, R. (2011). The challenges to connectivist learning on open online networks: Learning experiences during a massive open online course. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 12(3), 19-38.