Quick tips for online group work

Communication and team work is the key to success when it comes to group work.

These are my quick tips for online group work:

    • Set up a Facebook group page (make it accessible for your team members only, you can maintain your privacy – you don’t have to be ‘friends’)
    • Check out Samepage (it’s awesome!)
    • Use Blackboard Collaborative [BBC] – You will need a great PC headset and make sure you test it out prior to your online meeting. I love the Logitech H540!
    • Use Google Docs to “create and share your work online and access your documents from anywhere” for FREE. Just remember to download a back up copy regularly.
    • Check out my tips – Here’s a quick ‘how to’ guide for Google Docs
    • Write an Agenda prior to each meeting and circulate it in advance.
    • Take Minutes during every meeting and circulate promptly after each meeting.
    • Help each other and remember that team members may not be as proficient or as confident with ICT’s.
    • Enjoy the journey, group work will keep you motivated, no one wants to let the team down!

 

    • Create new documents on Google Docs and share with group members:
      • Team Roles and Responsibilities (assign roles that suit each person’s skills, attributes and interests)
      • Team Project Plan (establish weekly goals in alignment with your course study schedule and assessment submission / due dates and assign team members to tasks)
      • Availability for online meetings (makes scheduling meetings a breeze)
      • Communication Log (team members are accountable for maintaining contact)
      • Team Code of Conduct and Communication (see the draft copy and references pasted below)

TEAM CODE of CONDUCT and COMMUNICATION

Rule/Code Rationale
1 Start and end the meeting on time.

Be ready and online 5-10 minutes prior to the meeting to test and resolve technical /ICT issues.

Be courteous of other team members’ commitments and schedules. If the meeting is set to 60 minutes, make sure that the meeting is 60 minutes.
2 Respect all team members, their ideas, perspectives and diverse ways of learning. Respect that individuals have different ideas, perspectives, preferred styles and ways of learning etc. This does not mean agreeing with everything, rather respecting them as an individual.
3 Encourage cooperative collaboration and enable all team members to be active contributors. Teamwork involves all team members. Success depends on teamwork and helping each other.
4 Commit 100% focus and attention during meetings. Eliminate unnecessary and irrelevant distractions (surfing the net, reading other materials, sending emails during the call).
5 Follow the agenda for the meetings.

Include a short update at the beginning and recap at the end of each meeting. Take notes and distribute meeting ‘minutes’ promptly after each meeting.

Ensure all team members are informed of the agenda. Create, contribute to and circulate the agenda a day or two before the meeting. Allocate time at the start of meetings for a short update from all team members. Recap at the end of all meetings: agreed action points, who will be accountable, next steps etc.
6 Notify team members if you are unable to attend a meeting. Provide an update of assigned tasks and seek assistance in delegating some tasks to team members if required (in the event of personal issues/illness). Be courteous and notify team members as soon as possible prior to the meeting. Delegate tasks to other team members to ensure tasks will be completed in accordance with the team’s study and assessment schedule.

ICT community_puzzle_concept

For more helpful advice, check out the links below 🙂

Britton, J. (2008). 5 Tips for Effective Virtual Team Meetings. Retrieved from http://biztoolkit.blogspot.com.au/2008/01/5-tips-for-effective-virtual-team.html

Noble, S. (1997-2009). Starting up a virtual team. Retrieved from http://teambuildersplus.com/articles/starting-up-virtual-team

Settle-Murphy, N. (2007). Mobilize Global Virtual Teams by Avoiding 8 Common Landmines. Retrieved from http://www.guidedinsights.com/mobilize-global-virtual-teams-by-avoiding-8-common-landmines/

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