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Online Teamwork

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Oh Keane

on 14 September 2015

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Transcript of Online Teamwork

Online Teamwork
Critical Thinking is very important for effective teamwork. It is a self-guided and self-disciplined way of thinking. Critical thinkers believe and understand that thinking and reasoning abilities always have room for improvement (VanBaren, 2015). They are good listeners, rational, honest and open-minded. These qualities allow them to think clearly, critically and constructively based on reason, not emotion. They perceive the issues from different point of views, not jumping into conclusion prematurely and are open to change.
Communication and Collaboration
When producing work online in a team environment, communication is vital in the success and wellness of the assignment. Communication can be undertaken in different ways online whether it is via email, blogging, discussion boards, instant messaging plus many more. Strang (2013) states useful information in her article such as 'Decide how and when you will communicate with one another. Establish meeting times and determine what modes of communication you will use'. Effective communication will ensure all parties are on the same page, roles of individuals are understood and will allow you to delegate through any obstacles or challenges.
Digital Literacy
Digital literacy for online teamwork is the ability to exploit digital technology and appropriately apply that knowledge in order to achieve the team’s task. This is one of the key elements of online teamwork since technology is also the main mean of communication and collaboration between team members as well as obtaining information. Digital literacy is not only about knowing how to operate computers, but also how to use technology effectively and constructively, according to their needs (Briggs, 2014).

Problem Solving
Problem solving is an important part of working together in team, yet it also needs teamwork to solve the problem. Team members will need creativity, analytical and logical thinking in order to demonstrate problem solving skill (University of Kent, 2013). Communication, persuasion and negotiation skills are also essential in reaching solutions to the problem.
Self Management
To ensure teamwork online is successful, it is very important to have a self-managed team. To elaborate on what a self-managed team is, it is when someone allocates a goal/task for the online team to work on. Once the online team is presented with the goal/task, they then allocate their goals amongst themselves and define their own individual goals.

A smoothly ran self-managed online team is where there are only a few requirements of external controls. The online team requires organising schedules, procedures and requires making and accepting adjustments.
Benefits of Teamwork
As discussed by Maughan & Webb (2005), there are a range of benefits associated with online collaboration:
• Common goals and aims
• Collective knowledge and "consciousness" (various skills and resources are able to be contributed dependant on age, and experiences)
• Mutual focus and collective interests
• Cohesion and communication
• Positive interactions, respect and involvement
• Variation of personalities, experiences and roles in the group
• Formation of interdependence and mutual trust

Critical Thinking
Briggs, S. (2014). informED. 20 Things educators need to know about digital literacy skills. Retrieved
from http: //www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/digital-literacy-skills/

Collaborate. (2015). In Merriam-webster.com. Retrieved September 2, 2015, from http: //www.

Hay, I., Dungey, C. & Bochner, D. (2002). Making the grade: a guide to successful communication and
study (2002). Retrieved from http: //www.law.unimelb.edu.au/lasc/professional-skills/tips-for-effective-teamwork

ITS. (2014). The skills of problem solving. Retrieved from http: //www.itseducation.asia/the-skills-of-

Maughan, C., & Webb, J. (2005). Lawyering skills and the legal process (2nd ed., p. 113-117). Cambridge,
NY: Cambridge University Press.

Strang, T. (2013). Success strategies for teamwork in the online setting. Retrieved September 2, 2015
from http: //blog.cengage.com/top_blog/success-strategies-for-teamwork-in-the-online-setting/

Swinburne Online. (2015). COM10003: Learning and Communicating Online. Week 3: Contributing in
the digital age. Retrieved from https: //ilearn.swin.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-5052343-dt-content-rid-25966344_2/courses/2015-SO2-COM10003-208766/UnitLearningMaterials/week-03.html

The Critical Thinking Community. (2013). Defining critical thinking. Retrieved from http: //www.

University of Kent. (2013). Problem solving and analytical skill. Retrieved from http: //www.kent.ac.uk/

University of South Australia. (2013). Problem solving. Retrieved from http: //w3.unisa.edu.au/

VanBaren, J. (2015). Critical thinking skills in a team. Retrieved from http: //www.ehow.com/
In conclusion, as previously discussed, there are numerous benefits to online team work. In order to achieve success, it is imperative to begin early, establish goals, deadlines, expectations and individual roles of group members. An interdependence and good rapport is able to be achieved if members of the team agree on subtopics, distribution of the work load and are able to properly manage discrepancies, miscommunications and conflict. This will result in a symbiotic relationship between members, as well as the production of quality work!
Teamwork is the process in which all active members of a group cooperate and work together to achieve a common goal. It takes dedication and commitment by all associates to produce quality and effective work. Learning in the digital age is vastly becoming increasingly common, thus combining the two provides a contrasting way of producing assignments. In this presentation it will go into further information of the topic 'online teamwork' for use as an informational resource.
Although there are many positives to group work, there are also many potential problems:
• Difficult or ineffective communication between members
• Difficulty collaborating or coordinating
• Difficulty to attain adequate conflict resolution
• Variances in opinion and personalities
• Variances in workload and active involvement
• Deadlines not being met
• Slow start to the assignment
• Misunderstandings of roles
• Confusion regarding objectives and responsibilities
Skills for
Online Teamwork
Critical Thinking
Digital Literacy
Problem Solving
Self Management
In terms of communication and collaboration, you cannot have one without the other whilst achieving a specific task. When team members are effective in these areas the production of online assignments are highly achievable and often more desirable.

Through good social organisation, designated deadlines and adequate respect between group members there are very high success rates in group assignments. Individual contributions clarified through group consensus are able to produce work that is reflective of a range of contributions.
To collaborate is 'To work with another person or group in order to achieve or do something' (Merriam-Webster,2015). Without collaboration, there is certainly no team therefore playing a significant role in the process of online team work. Collaboration involves the team having the same end result/goal, close cooperation and participation by each of the members. An advantage of having the ability to collaborate online is diverse student cohort. We are given the opportunity to work with people all over the country, with different beliefs, backgrounds and cultures and with individuals who have a different way of thinking.
Critical thinkers will ask dynamic questions and provide interesting opinions which can encourage effective conversation and positive results in teamwork (Defining Critical Thinking, 2013). People with critical thinking skills are excellent problem solvers and valuable team players.
Obtaining information on line, team members need to be mindful of the credibility of the sources in order to consume, produce and share information (Week 3: Contributing in the digital age, 2015).
University of South Australia (2013) suggested a seven steps problem solving cycle. This cycle consists of:
• Identify the problem
• Explore the problem – use different angles to learn about the problem
• Set goals – what needs to be achieved
• Look at alternatives – brainstorm for ideas with team members
• Select a possible solution
• Implement a possible solution – teamwork effort needed to achieve this
• Evaluate the solution – the problem is solved according to expectation
Team members are expected to view the task as a team, however then dissect the task into subtopics. Ensuring each member is thoroughly involved throughout all aspects of the task, including having regular input and positive feedback on the team’s performance.

‘Despite the talents of individuals within a team, teams that work best are those that are cohesive;’ Maughan & Webb (2005)

Together Everyone Achieve More

Critical Thinking http://mayfairconsultants.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Critical-Thinking-Skills-Tuition-and-Courses-London.jpg
Problem Solving https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSyk-LZ74WouqQ2zXohsUvI0masyencqcHwtdp3QlODGytXshElRw
Digital Literacy https://janetnguyenliteracyrocks.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/media12.jpg
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