Teamwork and online classes

Well first thing’s first, I feel that I enjoy online classes more than I do regular face to face classes. I’ve taken probably a handful of online, and many half online/half in-class classes. While, yes, I think they are more work, it’s just simply a better environment for me. I may not have been the sit in the back-row kind of student that Enid Irwin described herself as, but still I’d always listen more than participate. I was fully content with the back and forth discussions that a few others would pick up. Online it’s completely different for me. I still may not be one to initiate a discussion unless I really do have a question or something to add, but I tend to jump in an answer a question when I can or add in to already going discussions. For the most part, in all my online class experiences, I see that this is the case for most students. Because of the type of learning environment we’re in, we simply need to discuss things more amongst each other.

Other than participation, many other skills including time management, organization, and motivation are all things that I’ve always had with my classes (online or in-person). While I have procrastinated when it comes to writing papers, I’ve always know how long I’ve needed (be it a day or two, a week or a month) and accomplished it on time. I had a strong GPA and I’m sure that had to do with time management, motivation, and organizational skills. I worked full-time (and will continue to do so plus any internships or volunteering I do) through my undergraduate degree and without keeping organized and on-time I think I would’ve gone insane! So all in all I have no reservations about online classes. In fact, I love the idea that I’ll have a couple extra hours to work on classes instead of commuting, arriving early for parking, etc.

As for teamwork, I have to fall into the category of those who dread it. I found myself laughing out loud listening Dr. Haycock’s lecture because I really related to many things he said. I know I’ve just had so many bad experiences in group work. The only successful one I’d say I had was in an African Studies class. We gave a wonderful lecture on the DRC. But to be fair, it was supposed to be a large group and it ended up only being 3 out of 6 of us who did anything. So I guess 50% participation really wasn’t successful despite it feeling like it was! I think a lot of it stems down to guidelines. Other than deciding and agreeing on what work should be divided, and how to divide it, nothing really want set down for guidelines.

The forming stage, as Dr. Haycock would describe it, was always a stumbling block for my history of group work during my undergrad career. There was always a lack of enthusiasm in most groups I was in. We’d all get together and everyone would just sort of sit around staring at each other. I had no problem jumping in. I liked being team leader, but it’s hard when no one else really cared to share anything or showed any enthusiasm in doing anything.

I think it’ll be a lot easier to get our group work going in our SLIS classes, especially now that I’ve listened to both of those lectures. The idea about asking your group mates about their particular skills is a great way to start getting things rolling. I know I’m not very artistically inclined, and while I can make PowerPoints fine, I’ve found others in my various groups can set up gorgeous ones. So right there you know who should be working on something vs. another person, etc. And overall just getting the ball rolling by asking questions about our intentions and in general the “ground rules.” It’s an excellent starting point, and I’ll be sure to use that in my next group work… which I’m sure is coming soon in our core classes. So to wrap up, looking forward to starting our classes, applying these techniques in our classes and later in our careers as well.



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