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Team Mercury A 2A

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Paula Smith

on 22 January 2017

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Transcript of Team Mercury A 2A

Online Teamwork
Macbook (Ainslie, 2017)
By Team Mercury

- Rae McDonald
- Asia Melabow
- Sam Prentice
- Paula Smith
- Matthew Stocks
- Geoffrey Weinberg


- Technology used in online teamwork may include – PC’s, Macs and mobile devices (Hardware), it may also refer to the programs and systems involved
– One of the main benefits of technology when it comes to online teamwork is that people can be connected and collaborate with distance being less of an issue. Technology allows people to collaborate in a more time flexible manner, for example - outside standard business hours, as well as asynchronously (Wiki). The use of digital technologies is part of the Australian School Curriculum (ACARA, 2010).

– Bandwidth. Australia’s internet speeds are generally slower compared to analogous countries (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2016). Poor upload speeds can place limitations on things such as video conferencing etc, where higher bandwidth is required to make such activities viable. Cost and access for remote communities may also be an issue.

Knowledge Gained

– In terms of technology there are some layers of complexity involved. Cost, correct software and hardware and various cloud service options can interrupt the efficiency of online teamwork viability. However, these issues can be ironed out if the 'asynchronous wiki' is accessed by all team members regularly, and backup mechanisms (such as Skype) are in place.
Online Teamwork

- Asynchronous communication is being able to communicate online in a group setting not situated in the same location and still be able to collaborate with peers at a convenient time for the user (Kear, 2012).

- Asynchronous communication allows an individual to work as part of a team, yet have the flexibility of being based anywhere in the world and communicate when it is convenient to them. It also allows everyone within the group a chance to join in the conversation (Keller, 2012).


- With the issue of time lag, it can take people days or weeks depending on the type of forum for a response to a question that has been asked (Keller, 2012). Tuckman (cited in Kear, 2012) also found that lack of social presence can be a difficult limitation; not being able to see facial expressions, body language, or hear the tone of voice can be frustrating when in the early stages of collaborating in a team online.

Knowledge Gained

- It is important to have thoughtful and planned responses (Keller, 2012) and to have patience when working in this type of environment as everyone has different schedules (Kear, 2012).
– Collaborative strategies are computer based support tools designed to help widely dispersed groups work together. These strategies are pivotal in providing the ability for all the team members to work productively together and to drive engagement including demonstrating presence as a member of a virtual team (Institute for the Future, 2011).

- The benefits are responsible for effectively moving the group towards its set goals. When a team of people are collaborating effectively, and are able to communicate effortlessly and openly share information via technology, they yield extremely effective results. Coupled to this, a greater level of flexibility is obtained, as many users are able to work from home or whilst traveling. This in turn provides greater efficiency, effectiveness and takes advantage of real-time collaborative capabilities with remote users on different time zones (Ingram Micro, 2017).

– limitations would include not having access to the internet, not being 'digitally literate' and perhaps that most critical issue of ‘time allocation’ could crop up which is not always well defined when operating within a remote online environment.
Knowledge Gained

– The most notable being the promoting of open communication with others, so that together, a higher level of thinking can be obtained (Collins, 2014).
– Digital literacy is a fundamental skill required to effectively utilise technology as a key component of online teamwork. Whilst the concept of digital literacy is a fluid term, capable of encompassing different meanings in different contexts (Hagel, 2015), it is generally seen as essential in consuming, producing and sharing information in a digital world (Edutopia, 2013).

– In examining the future skills required in the workforce in an increasingly digital world (Institute for the Future, 2011) digital literacy provides benefits to ‘future-proof’ skill areas, such as computational thinking, new-media literacy and virtual collaboration.

– Perhaps one of the largest limitations to digital literacy, is related to the 'digital divide' between generations. Whilst students of today seem innately digitally literate, those of older generations may struggle with competency in digital literacy, having come to know technology later in life (Prensky, 2001).
Knowledge Gained
– Can be demonstrated in the context of digital literacy in relation to online teamwork at a tertiary, Bachelor Degree level. The Australian Qualifications Network (Australian Qualifications Framework Council, 2013) skills of reviewing, analysing and synthesising knowledge, combined with technical and communication skills are well catered for in the development of competent digital literacy (Hagel, 2015).
References Continued:

- Managing a team effectively can create successful team members ensuring that each team member willingly participates in team contributions. To develop an online collaboration, teamwork managers should provide access and links to online teamwork resources and provide different materials, such as texts, articles and links to videos and websites. A team should be able to monitor team progress and processes, which should also be accessible to students and instructors. The team manager should provide agenda and meeting resources, contact details and time management tools to identify significant dates and output (Einon, 2010).

- Once management procedures have been made, the team can easily decide what roles are required, and to allocate them. This encourages group members to participate whilst it allows the teacher to see who is or not contributing to the activities. Which makes the online study process faster and more manageable (Kear, 2012).

- Managing online teams can have serious limitations and can take some time to decide the interests of the team, their skills and preferences. People tend to have different styles of working and there is likely to be a diversity of approaches within any team. The team therefore requires finding a specific way of working that suits them (Hilt and Turoff, 1985).
Knowledge Gained

- A higher level of education assists one to gain abilities in evaluating team progress and conflict handling in team environments (Kear, 2012).
References Continued:
In 2009, a research team led by Frank Siebdrat assessed the performance of 80 software companies around the world. His research found that dispersed virtual teams outperformed office bound teams. (Jarrett, 2017)

That is Incredible!

However, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link (Reid, 1786).

To achieve virtual online success, collaborative online teamwork relationships dictate success or failure. Therefore, it is critical that teamwork methodologies are constantly evaluated and monitored for efficiency through technology, digital literacy, collaborative strategies, asynchronous communication, managing teamwork and team building strategies.

Let us take a look at these:
Online Teamwork
Online teamwork continually proves to be a prevalent component of collaborative work in an increasingly digital age.

As shown in this presentation, the use of multiple collaborative strategies involving technology, digital literacy, asynchronous communication, team building and team management, combine together to determine how successful a team functions in an online environment.

Whilst each of the areas discussed have their benefits and limitations, each provides efficient acquisition of knowledge that is vital for success for an online team.

Ultimately, the ability to work collaboratively in an online environment, paves the way for success as a 21st Century work skill.
Digital Literacy

- According to Salas et al (2008), team building is a collective term for various types of activities, used to enhance social relations and define roles within teams involving collaborative tasks. Team building exercises aims to address interpersonal problems within a group. Activities are intended to improve performance in a team based environment.

- Team building increases levels of communication and camaraderie between a group of people, in order to increase productivity and morale, as discussed by Soanes (2015). Team building can boost positive spirits in the work place, which can be seen as a reward to employees. It allows employees to bond, and communicate positively, and will enforce the notion that work is a positive thing and that each employee is valued.

- There are certain limitations in team building. Kwan (2010), argues that team building cannot solve deep rooted resentments among specific individuals. Team building cannot streamline work processes. Team building cannot change corporate culture. Team building needs to be an ongoing process because team cohesion can be temporary.
Knowledge Gained

- The team gains trust and respect for each other according to Goodwin (n.d.), that cannot be gained in a nine to five office environment. Team building can result in a more dynamic team that want to make a difference in the work environment.
References Continued:
Asynchronous Communication
Collaborative Strategies
Managing Online Teamwork
Team Building
Grandmother (sasint, n.d.)
Community (OpenClipart-Vectors, n.d.)
Hands (geralt, n.d.)
Teamwork (Ben_Kerckx, n.d.)
Team (geralt, n.d.)
Desktop (Clipart Panda, n.d.)
Team meeting (geralt, n.d.)
Background Music: Bathed in Fine Dust (Cohen, 2016)
We would like to thank Liza Warwick for the opportunity to work together and present this online resource.
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