1. Off to a good start?

Our virtual collaborative team is a mix of technical communication students from the University of Limerick and  the University of Central Florida, and translation students from Université Paris Diderot. We commenced a preliminary discussion on Sulis, the VLE used at UL. Most members joined the discussion swiftly and the virtual collaboration began. So far I feel optimistic about collaborating online.

We have agreed to continue to use Sulis to communicate, which is an advantage for the UL team members.  We also agreed to check Sulis daily to respond to questions and make suggestions and contributions. A couple of students haven’t participated yet, as Sulis is new to them maybe it’s a barrier?  How do we know if an absent student is a ‘free-rider’ and avoiding the group? How do we handle uneven contributions from team members? I suppose these are the challenges of online collaboration within a student setting. Online collaboration within my work environment is a lot simpler. My instinct is to give the missing members the benefit of the doubt (for the short term) and arrange a virtual search party. However, we must move on with phase 1 of the assignment in an effort to meet the first deadline (20th Feb).

The team suggested three collaborative tools:

  1. Create a Dropbox account
  2. Create a WordPress blog
  3. Create a Facebook account (with a focus on privacy settings)

We ranked the tools in order of preference and a WordPress blog received the most votes.  I’m new to blogging, so I’m sure this task will also deepen my understand of WordPress.

Two members of the team nominated me as the team leader, which I accepted. With Helen’s support (my fellow UL team member), I’m both hesitant and happy to lead the team through the ‘writing for translation’ phase. Tonight I plan to pour a glass of wine and read ‘Getting to Yes’ (Fisher et al., 1997) for inspiration on how to negotiate as team leader!

References

Fisher, R., Ury, W.L. and Patton, B. (1997) Getting to yes: Negotiating an agreement without giving in. 2nd edn. London: Random House.

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