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Future of Your TV: MSP 0821

Research help for the GenEd course, MSP 0821: Future of Your TV.

Video Tutorials on Working in Teams

Establish Ground Rules

Group of peopleThis involves agreeing on how the group will work together.

For example:

  • How will you make sure communication stays respectful?
  • How will you deal with problematic interactions, on- and offline?
  • How will you address conflict or deal with disagreements in the group?
  • How will you make sure that everybody participates equally?
  • What are the rules for dealing with a member who hasn’t been communicating? How frequently should group members communicate/check in?
  • How will you ensure that everybody participates meaningfully? How will you make sure everyone’s contribution is valued?
  • How are decisions made in the group? Do you operate democratically, by the use of roles, or something else?
  • What technologies will support your group meetings? IM programs, Connect discussion boards, Skype, etc.?
  • What’s the group’s primary goal? Getting an ‘A’? A good learning experience? The chance to try something new?

Designate Roles and Tasks

A checklistIf you feel like your group could benefit from some structure, you might want to assign roles to each individual: these help clarify what everyone is responsible for. Here are some suggested roles, with brief descriptions of what each role is responsible for.

  • Facilitator: organizes and facilitates meetings. The facilitator sets the agenda and makes sure everyone’s voice is heard.
  • Summarizer: summarizes what was discussed in each meeting. The note taker also outlines the next steps for the project after each meeting, including who’s responsible for what.
  • Note taker: takes meeting notes. The note taker is responsible for posting the notes somewhere group members can access.
  • Progress chaser: follows up with group members to ensure that things move forward. The progress chaser is responsible for making sure everyone stays on track.
  • Timekeeper: the time keeper is responsible for making sure everything happens according to the schedule. This includes reminding everyone how much time is left in meetings, as well as the project as a whole, and what’s left to be done.
  • Presenter: presents the materials that are created by the group.
  • Mediator: helps resolve conflicts where they arise, making decisions when necessary.

Create a Schedule

scheduleIt’s important to create, agree on, and stick to a meeting schedule that works for everyone. You’ll need to consider:

  • Assignment requirements and due dates.
  • What you need to do face-to-face, in real time, as opposed to what you can do online.
  • What you have time to contribute to, given your individual schedules.
  • What constitutes satisfactory participation: how much time members have to spend a week, what happens if deadlines are missed, etc. Reference your ground rules.
  • Set your schedule and post online for everyone to view and refer to.

Once you’ve answered those questions, set your schedule and put it online somewhere everyone can access it.

Choose Your Tools

ToolboxIt’s never been easier to collaborate on documents together, or to communicate online. The work you do as a group will be supported by the communication tools you select, so choose wisely! Here are some options: