"You Get What You Inspect, Not What You Expect"
Building the Plane While You're Flying It

How to Make Online Collaboration Work

Team_1 E-Learning Online reposts a great tip from Patti Shank, an instructional designer and principal for Learning Peaks, LLC.

To make online collaborations work well, Patti suggests developing a team agreement that clearly articulates the following:

  1. Will the team have a leader and if so, who will this be, and will this role be rotated?       
  2. How will work be distributed?  Who will do what? Who is the designated backup?
  3. What work style does everyone agree to?
  4. Any known problems or problematic dates/times that need to be factored in?
  5. When and how will the team “meet” and communicate with each other? How often?    
  6. How will iteration and version control get handled?
  7. Who will post team deliverables?
  8. How will team members provide constructive feedback to each other?
  9. How will team members handle work that is sub par, incomplete, or not done?

Although designed for class projects, these agreements would work just as well for online work collaborations.

If possible, it's probably a good idea to try to iron these things out at a face-to-face meeting or in a Skype or conference call and then document them in an agreement that you share with everyone. If that's not possible, try turning each question into a wiki page where team members could post their ideas and then the group could edit their way to consensus. Try to find a way that makes people comfortable giving their feedback, particularly if you're a new work team that has never collaborated before.

(NOTE--As you can probably tell, I'm having fun with this online speech bubble tool. I'm afraid you'll have to bear with me for the next few days until I get it out of my system).

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)