Sunday, 8 June 2014

Learning Design Team Work

Online collaborative teamwork is certainly an enlightening etivity!

I'm not so sure about the task that we're supposed to have completed, but the group dynamics have been a real learning opportunity.

Taking HayMcber's styles first: we have representatives from the coach leadership, directive, pace-setters and affiliative styles. We have been through Tuckman's norm phase and are probably experiencing some storming - and if the activity had a longer time frame then we would have to address this as it could be quite damaging. For now we can just gloss over the cracks.

We all have different communication and learning styles along with different agendas motivating participation. Some of us just want to pile through it, some want to get on with it and do it well, whilst others are giving it consideration. Some are motivated by power, others by self achievement and the rest by working in a team. Some want to be right and look good, others are not bothered and some straddle the middle ground. A microcosm of life.

With this in mind, we probably needed to discuss at the start of the exercise, some of our groundrules and how to deal with issues and problems. The "pace-setters" want to move quickly by foregoing reflection and at times bypassing activities (taking them even further ahead) others have to move at their own pace, not because they are less able, but because they have different lives and different priorities.

It is around these issues and in particular communications (as always) that the frustrations have percolated through.

Clearly, when leading or participating in an online task with a tight deadline, teams need to agree 'up front' how they will manage 'lag' and deal with disagreements in interpretation or comprehension.

Einstein said: give me an hour to solve a problem and I will take 55 mins to work out what the problem actually is and five minutes to solve it." My suspicion is that we probably needed longer to figure out what the problem really was and plan it out better, before finding the solutions. Unfortunately, we allowed the pace setters to run with the baton resulting in some unfortunate side effects.

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