Collaborative working – first reflections


Thinker Mirror Reflection by Ted  Capture creative commons

So, here we are at the end of the first two weeks of working collaboratively. It’s been an emotional roller coaster frustration and worry at our (very) late start and elation at finally making some decisions and seeing our website come to life

We are a team of 4 and are working collaboratively through a learning design process with the objective of producing a digital diary for reflective practice to support professional development. We have decided to focus on a diary to support ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) accreditation.

In the first two weeks we have had to articulate the context, we are not quite there yet but it’s coming together and it is time to reflect on the process.  At this stage we have been tasked with answering three questions;

  1. Your contribution to the group effort of articulating the context.
  2. What you found challenging in this process.
  3. What you have learned from it.

So here goes…………

  1. Your contribution to the group effort of articulating the context.
    I prompted initial thoughts by suggesting 4 possible scenarios for our shared context – all workplace/vocational ranging from student placements to professional qualifications. They were fairly high level but I had stated the educational challenge clearly which became important when we later discussed and agreed our outline context.As project manager I have tried to keep the group on track and initiated and prompted action by
    – setting up the website
    – creating a Gantt chart for the group project
    – setting out agendas for meetings/discussions
    – writing up and distributing action points
    – creating joint documents in a shared work space  (Google Docs)

    I have supported my colleagues by being available to them online and on the telephone as we have worked through creating personas, establishing concerns and issues and distilling the relevant forces.

  2. What you have found challenging in this process?

    Time management
    We all have commitments and lead busy lives and so are available at different times. Using the communication channels we have set up has helped although I constantly feel there is something I should be doing, looking at commenting on.Managing my own emotions
    It is very tempting to look at how the other groups are progressing..and then panic! To help manage these feelings I made the decision during this phase to stay out of other forums and threads and just dip in occasionally to get a sense of where others’ are going and whether we can learn anything from this (yes we can!)

    We started late due to circumstance. At first I worried about this but I feel we have made great progress and our work is coming together.

  3. What have you learned from it?
    I feel we have a strong sense of our shared vision and are very clear who we are designing the digital diary for, this has been essential in keeping us on track.Creating personas has really helped to bring ‘our users’ to life for me as ‘real’ people. Whilst they are all different there are numerous similarities and I think this will help us with the core design of our solution. The differences highlight the real world differences we will experience and how we need to consider these within our design for it to be ‘fit for purpose’ They certainly reflect the different motivations e.g. career progression, accreditation, learning new skills. The unique qualities aspect of the persona is making me reflect on what our design will need to achieve for it to be accepted by our users.

    Reviewing colleagues personas has broadened my thinking about what our design has to ‘do’ and fulfill for our users.

    Having a design space where we work separately but together is useful in that we can present our thoughts without censorship, develop our own thinking as we review everyone’s contributions and the draw joint conclusions from this.

    I am learning to be patient and trust the process.

H817 Open University Weeks 14-15 Activity 8.



A first attempt at using VideoScribe

MOOC VIdeoScribe

Here we go…”write about an element of open education you have found interesting” – hmmm I thought I’d have a go at working out loud again and so I created my first VideoScribe video. It’s very simple and took an age to make but I did it!

You can see it here

Working out loud…………….. for real

Justin McGregor

So, I’ve talked about it enough and at the risk of winning the prevaricator of the year award I am reminding everyone that I talk about this …….alot!

Today is oficially a day of alisantics firsts

  • First Videoscribe ‘movie’
  • First voice over….do I really sound like that or is there a gremlin in the microphone?
  • First upload to YouTube
  • First share on WordPress
  • First real piece of Working out Loud!

Very simple………but as firsts go, very rewarding….after all I am very much ‘work in progress’

Block 2 Activity 25, H817



Blogging – half time reflections

Blog Capture

Jabiz Ralsdana Flickr.

I have enjoyed blogging far more than I had anticipated during the first half of the Open University Masters in Online and Distance Education module. I feel this is because I am producing something tangible with a purpose.

A notable development has been a lack of blogging when the module does not require it – this blog has been ‘silent’ for almost four weeks. Why is that?

  • I’ve been busy writing a 3000 word assignment – excuse or valid reason? We all lead busy lives
  • I deserved some time off after submitting my assignment – time off from what exactly? – do I see blogging as work/a chore?
  • My focus is on the next stage of the module which does not require blogging – do I need a reason to blog?

If I am to continue on my blogging development post this module these questions need serious consideration. John Stepper discusses creating habits and having regular blogging time each day.

I have to decide whether I see blogging as a fundamental part of my development and if so, make a conscious choice to create a blogging habit.

I am still very much work in progress and the jury is out on this one. Watch this space……..

Post script note: I have realised on re-reading this blog that I have an extremely inward focussed perspective here. Finding the image I finally selected to head up this blog has prompted me to consider I just might also be writing for existing friends and friends I have yet to meet….. More food for thought.