I have to admit that I was a little skeptical when I discovered that teamwork would be the norm rather than the exception during my time at SJSU. I wondered how teamwork was even remotely possible in an all online environment.
Sure, I had been on teams before, but these were face to face. As a teacher, I served on committees. My boss would assign me a task and I would dutifully come back and report my findings to the group. Additionally, I often assigned my students tasks that required group collaboration.
After listening to Dr. Ken Haycock’s and Enid Irwin’s speeches about teamwork, I realized how naive I’d been. Just because I had served on these teams doesn’t mean that they were functional or the best use of my (or my students’ time). I appreciate Dr Haycock’s psychological analysis of a team. Forming, storming, naming and performing-these are all stages I’ve experienced. When I taught, I remember being frustrated when my students complained about the assignment or spent too much time socializing. Now, I realize that they were just going through the natural stages of team development. If some groups had a difficult time getting past the storming stage, I could have done a better job of steering them back in the right direction. In hindsight, the information I recently learned about teamwork would have been helpful!
Moving forward, I appreciate Dr. Haycock’s advice of establishing ground rules. This can alleviate a lot of unnecessary group tension. Furthermore, I like Ms. Irwin’s nuts and bolts approach to having a successful team. What better way to start a team meeting than by discussing everyone’s strengths!
After listening to this apporach to teamwork, I came back refreshed reminding myself that two heads are better than one. Yet, I still had the nagging feeling that this still couldn’t be the case in cyberspace. Thankfully, after reading the content from a Lib 203 learning unit, I discovered all the possibilities! Black Board IM, Skype, Goggle Docs, Wikis and on are some of the ways I can connect and be part of a team. Now I am excited to be part of this online adventure. After all, two heads are better than one- even in cyberspace!