NOTE: This is a full archive for the Project Community: You & The World (2012) please see the main site for the most up to date information.

Archives Tagged ProjectCommunities

Blog Reflection: Week 6

I think so far I have contributed a solid amount to my team’s project. I have attended every class so far, and I feel like in every class our group gets a lot done. I think I make contributions in class time by actively participating in our discussions, giving feedback and opinions, and working together with the group on what needs to be done for our project. Outside of the class time I contribute to my team by commenting on their blog posts every week to give feedback, and by also doing my assigned work. This was actually difficult at first without having a clear end goal, but as the end goal has gotten more clear I have found it easier to contribute more to the project outside of class time. A few weeks ago I was in charge of researching the website Kiva.org, and I made a word document containing a summary of what the website is about, and how it works. This is probably my most tangible contribution up until this point. In the coming weeks one of my tasks is to help summarize our theory of change for our NGO, this will be my next tangible contribution. As far as intangible contributions, I will brain storm how our team can create/share our final product in 8 minutes or less, and what tools we can use to do this. 

I think the best way to evaluate my learnings so far is my application of them in the group work. Everything I have learned in the lectures I have been able to apply in the group, especially in terms of the online networking and platforms, and online facilitation. Our group has done a large portion of our work on the online platforms, and we have learned a lot about how to use these in the lecture. I think this is also a good way to evaluate the group’s learnings as a whole. Our learning is pretty clear to see as a group, because every week we have a clearer picture of what we need to do, and our work output increasing week by week has demonstrated our learning every week. As far as the class’s learning I think it is actually quite difficult to assess, but in my opinion it is easiest to assess the learning in the class’s use of the online platforms. In a previous class each group did some presentations on what they had been doing, and I thought this was a nice overview of the class’s learnings. As well as this, the spider diagrams which were drawn on the whiteboard in the classroom were also a good evaluation of what the class has learned so far and how they are applying it. 


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Posted in All Students, Group 2, Support Raising
This was originally published at Sylv!e C.

Personal Blog Reflection: Week 5

I believe both my instructors and my peers play a huge role in facilitating my learning at the university. I have actually been amazed in the ways the instructors have created learning opportunities within the project communities class. Learning in this class has been facilitated through organization of online interactions consisting of google hangouts, skype, and facebook, and by using these tools in action learning experiments. I think the important thing the instructors are doing here, is allowing us as students to have the freedom to explore and discover the web on our own terms, within our groups. Because we can do this in groups during class time, it has facilitated learning to work in teams, and how teams can work independently towards a goal. This has definitely opened my eyes in the ways that different platforms can be used as well. One of the things I find very awesome, is that one of our instructors is living in the United States! Yet she facilitates our learning by logging onto skype every week and talking with us, as well as communicating with us in various other ways. This can be by posting in the facebook group, or sending us links, or any other method of online communication! Through doing this, we have access to an individual who can share a huge amount of her knowledge with us, and we do not even have to be in the same country! That is true facilitation of learning. 

As far as learning from my peers, they can be just as useful in facilitation of learning. I find this to be especially true via the facebook group. A lot of students tend to post interesting links and share their findings from the web on the facebook group, and this allows our entire class to have access to new knowledge and information. Furthermore, I know all my peers have different online preferences and knowledge about online tools/communities, and this has also been very useful. I am learning to use new tools that I have never used before from my peers, which I probably would never have used if they had not shown me how that tool works. 

It is hard to actually name some things that I would like to see and experience in the facilitation of this course, simply because I think the facilitation has been so fantastic so far. If I were to say anything, it would maybe be to have more facilitation that isn’t so self directed. When I say this I mean that a lot of the facilitation from instructors simply allows us to personally discover and learn, and although useful at times, it can also lead to a lot of confusion about the task at hand. So in this sense, I think that students may also benefit from more one on one facilitation from instructors, opposed to facilitation within the group. For example the other day our group had a google hangout session with Nancy, she did a great job at facilitating our learning by giving us clear instructions and feedback, and it didn’t hurt to get a more personal connection with her either :-) So I think some more of that would be GREAT! As for my peers, I would just say better communication at times between groups, and between group members, though Facebook is a useful tool at times, it can also be distracting and unclear, and sometimes not everyone is sure of what they need to do! 

What I can contribute as a peer facilitator in my opinion, is making sure to always ask questions, be involved, post frequently, and help spread any knowledge I have that is useful to other people in the course.


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Posted in All Students, Group 2, Support Raising
This was originally published at Sylv!e C.

Week 3 Blog Reflection

 What is working well for you in your group? What is challenging you? What is one thing you might do differently in the coming weeks to improve your experience and the group’s work? 

Working in groups has its ups and downs, and sometimes it can be challenging, and at other times very helpful. This is common in any group work, and the key is finding ways to work with one another in an effective manner, and identifying what is going well in the group, and what is not going so well. I personally think team evaluations can be an important part of achieving a successful outcome. For example, every week the group can get together and discuss how they are feeling, what work they have done, and if they have anything of importance to discuss with the group. For example one thing that might be discussed is one team member’s behavior in a certain situation, or maybe that someone is falling behind on their tasks. Other things that could be discussed could be things that are going very well, such as the groups ability to communicate. Identifying both positive and negative points in group work can be hugely helpful to making sure group members work well with one another. 

In our group I can identify several things that work well: for the most part everyone keeps up to date with their personal tasks within the group and gets everything done on time, there is good communication between group members on what needs to be done, and everyone tries to contributes a portion of their time, even if they are busy, to come to most group meetings. I find that our online work as a group that is “individual” is what is most efficient in our group. The problem is that when we come together some members may be less active in conversation, and don’t seem to be contributing as much to discussion and insights as others. As well as this, I think some members need to work on their ability to communicate their criticism or ideas in a more positive way. For example when you don’t like someones idea, it is easy to say “that sucks, I don’t want to do that” or simply saying “No”. But something more constructive might be “Well I am not too sure on that idea because __________, what if we changed it to do it in this way instead?”. In this way you can give someone constructive criticism on how to improve their idea or help work with it. I think something our group could do weekly is discuss each individual’s performance and give one another feedback on how they are working in the group. If everything is going well we could even meet just to give one another compliments on their hard work, because that always feels good and is positive reinforcement too!

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Posted in All Students, Group 2, Support Raising
This was originally published at Sylv!e C.