Saturday, 6 September 2008

The need for structure

I just posted the following on Blackboard - and the wiki:

"I had thought we would use the wiki for collaborative work on documents/projects where called on by the activities in the learning materials. However, I see this is now taking off as a great networking site in its own right and the ability to add photos and videos etc makes it more fun. A disadvantage is that not everyone can access or edit whilst at work.....

I envisioned the blog being used for: longer reflections on the materials, interesting articles and websites; sharing videos; responses to activities that specifically asked you to post your reflections on the blog. Again - not everyone can access form work: currently this is the least used site though I am not sure why. Any comments?

Blackboard is still the main place for course information, announcements, discussion about the materials and problems. It seems that everyone can access this from work but one or two have difficulties with their broadband connection from home. I see this as the "official" place to meet. What do you think? "

This is an important discussion point: new teams coming together have to quickly establish norms - especially for communication, to ensure that everyone is included and important messages don't get lost. In communicating with a dispersed team it is perhaps doubly important to get some clarity early on about communication channels.

But how good are we at doing this in "conventional" teams?

Email distribution lists aren't perfect; people are invited to meetings they don't need to attend, others aren't invited who should be part of the decision making, conversations happen behind closed doors that affect our jobs.....Sorting out our communication protocols is important work that is often overlooked. So it's good that we are addressing this as a "team"!!


  1. I find the blog difficult to use as it's not always clear what you've looked at before and what's new. I can't access it at work and my home firewall makes it slow to react. I've found I can access the wiki at work and that does let you know what's new. Blackboard is fine as well though that's perhaps because I'm now more familiar with it. My preference would be to use either Bb or the wiki.

  2. good feedback Alison: others have also commented (see Blackboard) that the email notifications about what's new make the wiki more engaging and easier to keep up with - I would tend to agree.

  3. I have never been a grat fan of bb but do like the facility to see what i have read. I would prefer both the blog and wiki like Jane due to the email notifications (that way i cant avoid logging on!!) Billy

  4. I really agree with Janes points re conventional teams and e-mail distribution lists. I was stunned when I cam e into the post I am in that there was no way ( in entire Trust) to accurately find out numbers far less names and e-mails of the staff groups that I have the educational lead for.
    I still try and post and double post to try not to miss anyone but invariably I do or else someone gets it more than once

  5. interesting feedback, Jane. Sounds like a nightmare!