Summer 2011

Team Protocol Memo

Your first team-based project is to use the course Blackboard-site Team Discussion Area to share introductions, contact information, to practice sharing files and collaborating via the discussion board, and to appoint a Team Coordinator.

After introductions and info-sharing, post examples and discuss with each other both productive and non-productive team-based collaborations that you’ve encountered in the past — in either academic or in professional contexts. Your project is then to create a Team Collaborative Protocol Memo.

To plan and compose your memo:

  • Discuss individual productive and non-productive team-based collaborations that you’ve encountered in the past — successes & nightmares — in either academic or in professional contexts
  • Synthesize details from each team member, looking for notable trends
  • Negotiate collaborative strategies that will ensure positive, productive teamwork
  • Compose your collaborative memo: you can assign one person to write it for the group, giving others time to offer revising, editing, and proofreading feedback, or you can each write a section, giving one person time to complete any necessary revising, editing, and proofreading before submitting the memo

Assignment Background
This is a low-stakes project that will help you to practice (and to predict) your success in the upcoming higher-stakes projects in this course.  You can practically guarantee your success by deciding right away what your internal, discussion-forum deadlines will be and how you’ll stick to them; by deciding who will draft, revise, edit, proofread, and submit your memo; and by including in your memo specific and agreed-upon protocols that your team will follow this term. For now you can think of a “protocol” as the team-based procedures that your team members agree to.

I recommend that you include some good, practical rules for your team to follow, and that you all agree to them together, and in your memo:

  • Response times to email and forum posts (24 hours? 36 hours?), and attendance at any planned F2F or instant-messaging meetings.
  • The “Plan B” problem: what if a teammate’s laptop is stolen or broken? How will she or he be in touch? A computer lab? Phone? FAX? Something else?
  • Unplanned absences: what to do if there’s a death in the family or a free trip to Vegas, or an unplanned business trip? How will she or he be in touch?

Make some rules. Agree to them. It’ll help later, I promise.

Comments? Questions? Concerns? Feel free to post them on the Week 2 Forum. Don’t be shy.

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