Friday, August 14, 2009

Peer Assessment

When participating in peer assessment, I believe it is important to have a clear understanding of what we are supposed to look for in each other’s work to be able to offer constructive feedback. To do this, the instructor must explain the expectations clearly before we can begin. This could be done through practice, rubrics or checklists to guide the assessment.

In our 6707 class, our instructor has been preparing us for peer assessment since the first week. We have been building trust by interviewing each other, working in small groups on our project, giving feedback to each other on our midterm and building our community through our interactions in our blogs. All of these reflect important elements to successful peer review and assessment and they are all working together to create a supportive environment. The more students trust each other the more honest and constructive feedback will be received

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Apprehension and Publication

Apprehension and Publication

I have had a few articles published in a local paper but I have never had to solicit publication in a professional resource where it will be viewed and analyzed by my peers. Our assignment did give me a brief apprehensive feeling but I realized that pursuing this would allow me to overcome this trepidation and quite possibly allow me to become more comfortable. It also makes me more willing to consider taking the time to get our group project published if we decide to go that route.

Writing is not a single draft attempt. There are no universal instructions for good writing. It is messy, complex and often difficult, requiring many revisions. As individuals continue to learn and stay involved in their chosen field of interest, they will become more knowledgeable and more proficient, leading to confidence and writing success.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Elicit Change

What change would you like to elicit from the readers of your final paper?

I would like our final paper to be not only an educational and informative paper but to also encourage the reader in becoming more culturally aware. The readers will be learning how to Twitter and the steps they need to take to create their own community. These are important elements of our group project but it is the cultural variation aspect that interests me the most. As the online learning environment continues to expand, I believe it is important for people to realize that their circle of influence is reaching outside of their communities. These new learning situations are creating a new depth, breadth and value to our online communities (Khalsa, D. 2009) and are becoming more globally interactive, which I consider to be very beneficial for us as individuals and to our future of creating positive and beneficial global relationships.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Team Preparation

I believe that to prepare professionals for an online group project, I will provide a set of suggested group guidelines and expectations on communications. This will be very important because I believe a majority of people will be used to working independently and it will take some time for everyone to get into the groove. Therefore, I would start the group process right away, allowing the teams to work out some kinks before the core of the project starts. I think it would be beneficial to have each team post their team guidelines because it would help initiate the conversation. I would also have a "checking in" with me at some point in the middle of the timeline to make sure they are on track and the team is running smoothly.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Midterm and Team Update Week 4

In previous classes, I have had such clarity on narrowing in on topics. I am not sure why I have been having such a difficult time defining what I want to focus my midterm paper on this time around. Is it being unfamiliar with using Twitter as a tool? Is it because social capital is difficult to measure and can be such a broad topic? Whatever the reason is it has been a long road this week.

The good news is that I have been given valuable insights by my teammates and from Professor Khalsa that have helped me to clarify. (Or at least I think so) As of now, I am developing my midterm around the topic:

Diversity in Social Capital: How it relates to Twitter Networking

The team process has been a learning experience in the role of both a student and as an instructor. It was interesting to see how our professor handled the group situation because sometimes it is important to intervene. I think it was especially difficult because the midterm assignment and the final group assignment have been difficult for me to understand and frankly a little bit confusing. I wasn’t the only member who felt that way and throw all of that into the mix and it was hard for our group to establish a starting point. Maybe that is the whole point about group work, you learn about things as you go. Maybe there are no “right” answers for every group but suggested guidelines that each group can tailor for their specific needs. Anyway, we are focused now on a course of action, full steam ahead!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Individual Progress

I have narrowed my individual topic down to focusing on the cultural impacts of social capital and how the learning ecology evolves from this. I will be utilizing some of the research on Twitter that we are working on in my group project and will also look at other tools such as Facebook and blogging to discover the most effective tools for building collaboration and knowledge sharing in communities.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Team Process

Members came together from a variety of backgrounds in our group and each member contributed valuable ideas. We met on Skype twice and communicated via email in-between meetings. There has definitely been a difficulty in coming to a consensus but are keeping the communication lines open and allowing everyone to defend and debate ideas and opinions. We are still working on a consensus.

Lately, I have been thinking about trust and the online environment. I have been having discussions with classmates about this topic. This group collaboration is a perfect example of the importance of trust in social capital. Our group represents a small social network and creates value for the members connected to it. “Trust, reciprocity, information and cooperation” (Khalsa, D. 2009) are some of the elements. Our group is experiencing the exchange of information, the mutual aid offered to each other and the “we” mentality of working together towards a common goal. Trust is a huge part of this process. We have to trust in each other to be able to give and receive information, to follow through and to come together for mutual aid. This process is not always easy but collectively it can enhance the outcome of the project. (At least that is the goal).

Khalsa, D. (2009). Social Capital Primer

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Project Interest

I would be interested in working on a program that focuses on improving cross cultural social capital skills for collaboration and knowledge sharing.

I believe that our online communities are so diverse and include a variety of learning styles both individualistic and communal. Bridging networks by connecting individuals who are diverse is an important part of both educational and corporate environments. It is important for individuals to understand these differences and make adjustments and I am willing to tackle any of the tools or elements that relate to this.