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Kylie Jones

on 29 January 2017

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A - J
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Peer evaluation provides many advantages regarding effective online teamwork. Peer evaluation ‘allows students to work together while determining each other’s areas of mastery and weakness” (Board, 2017). Receiving feedback from a peer in a similar position can be easier to process and accept than receiving feedback from a teacher who is at a higher educational level.
With peer evaluation, there is a possibility that the feedback received from peers can be deceiving. Many people do not wish to be one hundred percent truthful with their peers as it could upset them and result in conflict. Peer evaluation can “create doubts about teaching abilities and is not helpful for individuals” (Articles, 2012). There is also a possibility that a peer may purposely target another person with hateful, negative feedback due to past or current conflict amongst themselves, resulting in adding tension on the team.
Peer evaluation allows students to provide feedback in a less intimidating fashion, meaning the outcome is more likely to be a positive experience.

In taking on the responsibility of assessing ones peers, their experiences and feelings should also be considered in the matter.
Some disadvantages of communication and online communication that can sometimes play a part in sending mixed or misleading verbal messages are that tone is difficult to convey in writing (Vulcan, 2015). Each person comes with differences in values, such as time (deadlines). There are also differences in culture, language or geographic location.

Some advantages of online communication are speed and ease of communication, global connectedness and availability of information. Online communication provides a unique opportunity to learn through social constructivism, not in isolation (Swinburne Online, 2016). Learners and groups of learners have quicker access to people from differing backgrounds and experiences and are not limited by their physical location.
By making individuals accountable for the performance places the onus on them. Individual accountability allows each member of the team to provide any improvement to members and effective use of social constructivism enhances one’s understanding of the chosen topic.
Indvidual accountability allows each member of the team to provide any improvement to members and effective use of social contructivism enhances one's understanding of the chosen topic. By making individuals accountable for the performance places the onus on them and prevents individuals from having a free ride.
Some may conform to peer pressure and the unwillingness to "rock the boat" (Kreitner, Robert 200). The loudest and biggest voice may sometimes take control of the team which decreases the creativity of individuals in the team.
Cognitive presence must be maintained to have and confirm an understanding (Garrison, 2015). Regular online collaboration must be maintained to achieve the team goal and build trust (Jacques & Salmon, 2012). Team members should ask for and receive help if required (Jacques & Salmon, 2012). Feedback must be timely and appropriate.
Technical difficulties can create issues for online collaboration (Palloff & Pratt, 2010). Lack of social presence, where the input can be misunderstood as tones and expressions are not seen or heard (Kear, 2012). Collaboration is difficult when consistency in online dialogue from group members is not maintained (Stodel et al., 2006).
A team can keep track of projects through online discussions (Warren, 2016), actions are immediate and a team can monitor each member’s performance (Watson, 2011). There is also an ease of reporting and providing feedback anytime and anywhere and contributions can remain strong (Warren, 2016).
Online collaboration is a group of people working as a team collaboratively online to achieve a common goal, without the need to physically be in the same location (What Does True Online Collaboration Mean?, 2012). This can be done in real-time and when each individual is free (Warren, 2016).
Communication is the way in which in which we connect with others. Online, this can be done through email, discussion boards or forums, chat rooms, websites and social networking sites (Edwards, 2015). It has been argued that we communicate to inform, to meet our need for and develop friendships, to cause action and to defend our actions (Hartley, 2006).
Evaluation is an important aspect of effective online teamwork. Peer evaluation is the process of evaluating a piece of work by someone of the same educational level as you, otherwise known as a peer. This process “works best where the process is reciprocal between peers.” (University, 2016).
The effectiveness of technology in online collaboration can be seen to be dependent on two design factors;

Sociability - the extent that the application facilitates a sound social space for users

Visibility - which refers to the mode of access (Koh & Lim 2012, p.481).

'Web 2.0' encompasses online collaboration platforms such as blogs, wikis and collaborative projects such as Prezi's. (Kaplan & Haenlein 2009, p.59)

A presentation by

Ben Mascione
Erickson McNarn
Erin Gibbon
Joshua Rodriguez
Natalia McNally
Wiki Group 2,Learning Group 8

Advances in technology and the internet have provided new ways in which collaboration can take place amongst professionals and students. Online collaboration allows groups to work together without the need to be in the same physical location. Communication is constantly recorded and care must be taken to maintain an active online presence, with regular contribution to group work. Peer evaluation focuses on utilising strengths of team members with regard to personalities, previous experience and backgrounds. The most effective technical platforms that facilitate these collaborations feature high levels of sociability and visibility - being technically reliable and fostering a sound social environment.

Cohesion is the measure of success through the efforts of individuals. As cited by Johnson: “The purpose of cooperative group is to make each member stronger “(Johnson, 1998).
For online communication to work effectively, each team member needs be an active participant in group discussions (Morrison, 2014). This involves sharing of experiences and knowledge, where appropriate, keeping the team informed of progress and challenges and meeting group deadlines. This allows each to work and learn, as a team, to achieve a corporate goal.

Traditional written documents and information delivery systems are typically one dimensional, now comparatively they are brought to life through dynamic and flexible platforms like Prezi, video and imagery.

Advances in user friendly software open the door to allow a wider audience to publish their own content whilst the Internet is more available and accessible via mobile devices, allowing quicker collaboration turnaround.

An additional benefit for amateur users is an improved technical skill set obtained as a result of the online collaboration experience.
Consideration needs to be made for technical capabilities and characteristics of the user. High sociability and visibility levels are characteristics that continue to define the nature of online collaboration technologies in the 21st century (Koh et al 2012, p.492).

Focus needs to be on developing user friendly applications with appropriate levels of support for participants whilst encouraging users to engage with other participants via social platforms within the application.
Some countries prohibit social media, e.g. China banning Facebook which can limit exposure for some users. Technical issues with software and hardware often occur and cause frustration and delays in project completion.

Limited technology exposure and skills can disadvantage some users. Applications higher in sociability often result in idle chat and lower academic performance (Koh et al 2012, p.491) and participants in a ‘public’ mode vs. ‘private’ mode visibility, may limit communication and divulge less information (Koh et al. 2012, p.485)

Articles, P. (2012). What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Peer Evaluation Method for Teachers? Retrieved from Preserve Articles: http://www.preservearticles.com/2012011320615/what-are-the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-peer-evaluation-method-for-teachers.html.

Board, P. L. (2017). What are the benefits of peer assessment? Retrieved from Professional Learning Board: http://k12teacherstaffdevelopment.com/tlb/what-are-the-benefits-of-peer-assessment.

Edwards, M. (2015, March 17). How social media has changed how we communicate. Retrieved January 9, 2017, from http://millennialceo.com/social-media-changed-communicate.

Garrison, D. (2015). Thinking Collaboratively. New York, USA: Routledge.

Hartley, P. (2006). Group Communication. In Jaques, D., & Salmon, G. (2007) Learning in Groups: A Handbook for Face-To-Face and Online Environments, London: Routledge, pp. 32-44.

Hartley, P. (2010). 'Who does what? Structure and communication'. In H.M, Donelan, K.L, Kear, & M.A., Ramage, (eds.), Online communication and collaboration: A reader [EBL ebook library]. Retrieved from http://SWIN.eblib.com.au/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=987934.

Jacques, D. & Salmon, G. (2012). 'Studies of group behaviour'. In H.M, Donelan, K.L, Kear, & M.A., Ramage, (eds.), Online communication and collaboration: A reader. Retrieved from http://SWIN.eblib.com.au/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=987934.

Johnson, D., Johnson, Roger. (1999). What is Cooperative Learning: An overview of Cooperative Learning retrieved from http://www.co-operation.org/what-is-cooperative-learning.
Stodel, E., Thompson, T., & MacDonald, C. (2006). Learners’ perspectives on what is missing from online learning: Interpretations through the community of inquiry framework. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 7(3). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/325/743.

Swinburne Online, Melbourne. Retrieved January 9, 2017, from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/lib/swin/reader.action?docID=165723&ppg=17#.

Swinburne Online, Melbourne. Retrieved December 18, 2016, from https://ilearn.swin.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-5929562-dt-content-rid-31661108_2/courses/2016-SO3-COM10003-217601/UnitLearningMaterials/week-02.html.

University, F. (2016). Flinders University. Retrieved from Flinders University: http://www.flinders.edu.au/teaching/quality/evaluation/peer-review.

Vulcan, N. (2015, March 31). The disadvantages of online communication. Retrieved January 9, 2017, from Techwalla, https://www.techwalla.com/articles/the-disadvantages-of-online-communication

Warren, G. (2016). Benefits Of Online Collaboration Tools. Retrieved January 15, 2017, from https://www.lifewire.com/benefits-of-online-collaboration-tools-2377228.

Warren, G. (2016). FAQs About Online Collaboration. Retrieved December 15, 2016, from https://www.lifewire.com/faqs-about-online-collaboration-2377250.

Watson, K. (2011). Online Teamwork and Collaboration. Academia. Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/613099/Online_teamwork_and_collaboration.

What Does True Online Collaboration Mean? (2012). Retrieved January 5, 2017, from http://www.calgaryscientific.com/blog/bid/191265/what-does-true-online-collaboration-mean.
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Kaplan, AM. & Haenlein, M.(2009). Users of the World Unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business Horizons, 53, 59-68. Doi10.1016/j.bushor.2009.09.003.

Kear, K. (2012), Collaboration via Online Discussion Forums: Issues and Approaches. In H Donelan, KL Kear & MA Ramage (eds), Online Communication and Collaboration, Taylor and Francis, London.

Koh, E. & Lim, J. (2012). Using online collaboration applications for group assignments: The interplay between design and human characteristics. Computers & Education, 59, 481-496. Doi10.1016/j.compedu.2012.02.002.

Kreitner, R (2009). Management Eleventh Edition, Retrived from https://books.google.com.au/books?id=kQn081qAYZ0C&pg=PA220&lpg=PA220&dq=disadvantages+of+individual+accountability&source=bl&ots=Dr8WCYqRYh&sig=KQziS1UVFAS53EKMOR9sSRYxtWk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwikgJjPusrRAhVBI5QKHXvFBrUQ6AEIHjAA#v=onepage&q=disadvantages%20of%20individual%20accountability&f=false.

Morrison, D. (2014). Online learning insights. Retrieved December 20, 2016, from https://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/tag/team-work-online.

Palloff, R. & Pratt, K. (2010). Collaborating Online. San Francisco, USA: John Wiley & Sons.
Technology combined with collaboration equals maximum output. Swinburne University (2015) believes that; “Collaboration on a project has the potential to greatly enrich the quality of the project’s outcomes”.

The value of teamwork should never be underestimated (Swinburne University, 2016).

Here we explore the foundations that make up Online Teamwork: collaboration, communication, individual accountability, peer evaluation and technology.
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