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EDTEC 700: Engagement
Context and Project Description
The project for this class was to design a make-over of an existing eLearning asset and then present it in class. The proposal included a description of the make-over, the strategies we proposed to use, the rationale for our choices and the possible tools we might use. I worked with Gerry de Ocampo and Richard Dysinger in this project. I was in the Philippines at the time of the project, Gerry was in California and Richard was in Japan. The project we chose was called DIBELS, an existing asset used by teachers at the school were Richard was teaching.
How The Artifact Demonstrates The Standard
This artifact illustrates how we successful worked on a project in spite of being in different parts of the world. Because of our different time zones, we decided to use email as our main means of communication. In instances where we needed to “speak” to each other to clarify certain areas of the assignment, we used Skype to chat, setting up schedules via email in advance at a time convenient to all three of us. Richard, having provided the existing e-learning asset (a Word document sent via email), was our de facto subject matter expert (SME) and was assigned the task of explaining the background of the project and providing the initial needs assessment. Based on this, I provided the first draft outline of our presentation including the objectives, introduction and overview. The rest of the presentation was divided among us and assigned by volunteering. Gerry created the PowerPoint presentation while everybody contributed to the final editing through email exchanges of comments. For our oral presentation, we divided the PowerPoint slides and chose the parts we wanted to present. We recorded our presentations separately using Wimba, listened and commented on each other’s recording before submitting them individually to the teacher.
Challenges and Opportunities
I worked with both Richard and Gerry on separate projects prior to this class so I was comfortable with working and interacting with them virtually. We were able to successfully complete the assignment through our volunteer efforts and willingness to accept each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Notwithstanding our different time zones, we effectively used technology such as email and online chat to professionally share our opinions and eventually come up with an excellent end product.
What I Learned
My experience as a virtual assistant helped me be more understanding of the challenges one faces when working with a team at a distance. I was aware of the limitations of our virtual environment and willingly made allowances with regards to schedules, availability and other personal or professional commitments. I also learned that it is possible to successfully work in a project, even when there is no leader assigned officially, as long as each member acts professionally and respectfully and works toward the same goals. Communication is very important.
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