CIC #6 – Best and Worst Collaborations

bene e male

  1. Write a short story about your own “best” and “worst” collaborations.

A) My best collaborative situation was about five years ago. It was when me and other five Italian teachers, attended the Open Educational Resources MOOC. We leaned together for three months, using online tools. At the end we produced a document in collaborative writing, distributing tasks and roles and we also met together a day in Firenze to talk about our experience.

B) Instead my worst collaborative situation was last years. The school where I teach has been destroyed by a big earthquake and all we PE teachers had to work together in one place. Throughout the school year was marked by a great confusion, we could not find organization, someone said he needed some space to carry out the program, others were unhappy, unable to work peacefully.

  1. Next, analyze these experiences based on the principles of CENTER, Creative Diversity, and Intelligent Fast Failure.

BEST

  • Were your motivations for the project different (Character)? We were all strongly motivated to understand how a MOOC works, we also passed difficult tests, especially for language difficulties on big books to read.

  • Did you have a different sense of what “high quality” means (Excellence)? I think we had the same sense of high quality.

  • Were some members more reliable and structured than others (owNership)? One member, in particular, was structured but also capable of challenging the structures.

  • Were some members more willing to try new experiments and take risks (Entrepreneurship)? Yes, one had the idea to do the task together and non individually.

  • Did some members have different listening skills (Relationship)? It was on the same level for all.

  • What similarities and differences did you see in how group members exhibited these qualities? We worked ever online, so the differences were about what each wrote.

  • Were people of different or similar creative levels? It was quite the same level for all.

  • Were their creative styles similar or different? Certainly it was not identical, but very similar.

  • If they were different – how different? Someone was more critical on existing structures and also on the course, others were more cautious about the innovative effect.

  • Did people manage the cognitive gaps well? Yes, finding summaries of the books we had to read.

  • Why? Because the readings were disproportionate the time available.

  • How did the Paradox of Structure influence what happened? The new structure of an online course was based on a strong interaction on social networks and the use of new media such as online conferences.

  • When/how were the creative differences within the team enabling and when/how were they limiting? There were no particular differences of style. We gradually adapted to the demands.

WORST

  • Were your motivations for the project different (Character)? Yes, someone thought to continue what he was doing before, others to leave a lot of freedom to students.

  • Did you have a different sense of what “high quality” means (Excellence)? Yes, someone had to adapt to the needs of all, for others to carry out its own program.

  • Were some members more reliable and structured than others (owNership)? Yes, someone has shown a too rigid structure, others have abandoned it.

  • Were some members more willing to try new experiments and take risks (Entrepreneurship)? Yes, to rearrange the organization of the spaces, but it was useless, all continued to do what they wanted.

  • Did some members have different listening skills (Relationship)? Yes. Do you know to speak to the deaf?

  • What similarities and differences did you see in how group members exhibited these qualities? We were all very nervous and this was not good for students.

  • Were people of different or similar creative levels? Very different. This was the real problem.

  • Were their creative styles similar or different? Different. (Just among the people who understood each other.)

  • If they were different – how different? Who fitted their previous experience and who created new situations.

  • Did people manage the cognitive gaps well? It was not possible.

  • Why? Because there are selfish people and they don’t see beyond their own needs.

  • How did the Paradox of Structure influence what happened? Someone has changed the structure of their work, others do not.

  • When/how were the creative differences within the team enabling and when/how were they limiting? The problem was not the difference of style, but of level.

  • How did failure impact each experience? In the A experience there were any failure. In B was an all bad experience.

  • Did every group member have the same view of failure, or did they approach it differently? The approach was very different.

  • Did the people involved experiment and learn from their failures or not? In the B we learned that is better to organize our work with a structural planning.

  • What kinds of experiments did people try? In B we’re trying to structure otherwise our work.

    3. Finally, list 3 things you might have done differently in each case if you had known then what you know now about creativity, innovation, and change. How will you approach collaboration differently in the future based on what you have learned in this course?

In A I should propose a better distribution of tasks in order to help with synthesis the other members of the group. In B planning better the organization of the spaces of work, with listening moments and shared agreements, moreover proposals for different ways of working. The daily adaptations required to each situations, both were stressful, in the first case productive, not in the second. I think that to collaborate in a team there must be something shared: level, style, motivation, interest or goals; otherwise it is very difficult to find the agreement.

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