Collaborative working – first reflections

Thinker

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
    Panic
    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!)

    Worry
    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.

 

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