Review of collaboration

The design of the activity ‘key drivers in Personal development planning‘ gave a clear framework for us to work within in terms of a template, time scale, group and selected readings but with the flexibility for us to approach it in our own way. This is something I have been giving a lot of thought to with my own students; providing a sturdy structure for them to use, a scaffolding  in the form of templates, template guides and organising blogs for their research but also giving them choice over the methods they use. Part of their learning and my teaching will involve introducing them to the choices available – their toolbox of research methods.

We had a choice over how we would communicate and organise a strategy for collecting and sharing the information. For various reasons our group was a little quiet initially but responses to the readings appeared on the forum as reactions to the readings. One student suggested a Wiki as a structure for us to build on which although there was not an immediate agreement on this I thought there was not any disagreement so added a page on the group wiki for our template. This is not something I have done before so followed the breadcrumb trail the other group had left and put the template on the wiki. At that point I had looked at a couple of sources so added the key points to the template.

This gave our group a focus in terms of where we would co-construct our resource. It was after this that some questioning of what we were actually doing started – How were we defining our terms? Rather than becoming an obstacle it enabled us to reflect on the readings in more depth by considering overarching themes that were emerging. This happened in the structure of the forum posts and so took on a more conversational means compared to the ‘directory’ like wiki. On reflection perhaps this emerged as our preferred way to construct information and as was suggested by others, a synchronous online conferencing session may have been a more efficient method. Having said that the wiki does exist as a constructed document that we can continue to review and construct.

The H808 framework gives us an additional scaffolding for our learning and helps to give ‘value’ to all aspects of our experience. I have been  thinking  about my own blogging as well as the ‘push’ , ‘pull’ and ‘pause’ of the research process and the role reflection has in that process. The blog entries give us the opportunity to consider, take stock, realign and define what needs to improve and where to go next…