Category: Collaboration

Advantages of Using a Virtual Team

Online collaboration tools such as IMs, email and video conferencing enables workers to team up with anyone globally. In order to gain success, all the virtual team members including the manager need to work in a meticulous way.

Essence of Trust
Three factors such as integrity, communication, and performance are the essence of trust. Using collaboration tools such as emails and Instant Messengers (IMs) the team members are not aware of each other’s intention due to the absence of visual and aural signs. At times, cultural differences may lead to conflicts at some point in time.

Online Collaborative Tools
Without the availability of proper tools, the project gets affected as there is a loss of communication. Not having a visual image of a person can lead to communication gaps. Video conferencing tools help in eliminating misunderstandings, as team members can see others.

Building Trust via Teamwork Training
It’s easy to build trust through effective teamwork training on using online collaboration techniques. Understanding the cultural differences provides a more amicable atmosphere in the virtual team. Those who do not have experience working in a virtual team before will not be familiar with using the most commonly used collaboration software such as instant messengers, video conferencing software etc. Certain people hesitate to learn anything new if they are resistant to change. Letting them know that the management will offer support for enabling them to adapt to anew and virtual work environment. This will help in eliminating any fear that the employees may have.

Advantages of Using a Virtual Team
Using online collaborative tools to build a virtual team is useful. Unlike traditional teams, virtual teams have a huge range of ideas and skills that can be utilized. Building an efficient and successful team consumes time and requires planning, efforts, and money. This ultimately brings good results.

The Ability to Collaborate with Other Students via Online Education

Online collaborative learning efforts were promised to provide everyone with access to the best teachers available. When the concept rolled around, digital learning was still a reasonably new idea, but the implications were far reaching. No longer were students limited to the teachers that populated their school of choice, making selection of a school the ultimate limiting device.

With digital collaboration, the best teachers from each discipline were available to the best and brightest students, who would presumably seek them out. And the system has delivered on the promise. Qualified students are now able to learn from a professor of Harvard rank, while they live in Lincoln, Nebraska, far from the hallowed ivy covered school’s buildings.

It is now possible for the best and brightest to remain in a comfortable and familiar home setting, retaining their own cultural flavor, while collaborating with folks of a similar caliber from across the nation. No longer does coming from an area as remote as Lincoln mean that one’s opportunities are limited to whatever is available in the Midwest. Now, the best minds in physics, for example, can come together and learn about one another’s regional differences as they problem solve. For example, the physicist from South Central Los Angeles and the physicist from Bloomfield, Indiana can now appreciate one another’s cultural nuances while still getting a project completed.

Successful projects and collaborations lead to further unions, and online learning resources such as allow talent to reach across the nation. Video chats put your project partner right there in the room with you, so collaborative efforts are more convenient. After this fashion, the best minds quickly learn that remaining at the top of a field of study necessitates remaining amongst the best and brightest in that field. Whether it is in person or via technology, that is no longer relevant. Specific personal traits can also be sought, so the group remains cohesive and highly productive.

Benefits of Peer Facilitation

Peer facilitation is an active learning technique that is often found on college campuses.  During this setup, a group of students works together on a problem set, lab, discussion, or other challenging problem.  This group, which is usually a small group of less than ten students, is not led or taught by an instructor, but rather facilitated by a peer.  The peer facilitator does not lecture, present, or even deliberately teach; instead, he or she guides the group through the workshop.  This method can benefit students in several different ways.

  • Increased participation
    Having a student lead a workshop will increase participation all around, as the other students will be more motivated to contribute.  The setup of the peer facilitation class is geared towards teamwork and problem solving, rather than note taking and listening to a lecture.
  • Leadership
    Rotating which student is the peer facilitator provides each student the chance to improve his or her leadership capabilities.
  • Active learning
    Students are actively involved in their learning, as they must be the ones to find the answer by working through the questions.  In traditional methods of instruction, the teacher provides the answers or works examples in class, while in peer facilitation, the peer facilitator does not provide the answers but guides the group.
  • Problem solving skills
    Learning in this manner provides students with additional problem solving skills that they might not otherwise develop from a more traditional, lecture-based class format.  Additionally, the peer facilitator will develop a new set of leadership and problem solving skills, as he or she must direct questions back to the group, avoid giving answers directly, and avoid too much explaining.  Instead, the peer facilitator should be helping the other students figure things out on their own.

The value of peer facilitation is gradually becoming recognized as more and more institutions begin implementing this technique.