This week marked the final week for our team to complete our document for the virtual team collaboration assignment. Apart from a couple of queries about the translation, all had been pretty quiet in our Facebook group for a while now.
I know that on my part, I was completely overrun with other assignments in the past few weeks: the XML document, the storyboard for digital learning resource, the proposal for the dissertation project, and organising an interview with a professional technical communicator. In fact, I became so preoccupied with these other assignments and deadlines that I began to see this collaboration project as more and more of a nuisance, especially since it is worth so little in comparison to all the others. I could only assume that everyone else in the team had similar problems with coursework and encroaching deadlines.
So I spent most of last week frantically trying to put together the finishing touches to my research project proposal. And, as usual, it took far longer to complete than I had anticipated. Therefore, it was not until Saturday that I found myself clearheaded enough to post a reminder on Facebook that the deadline for the collaboration project was on Monday.
This action reminded me that I had actually promised to finish off formatting our document with page numbers, contents, and a cover page. I kept thinking that this was relatively straightforward and could be done at any time. But then someone in the group pointed out that the French students would need time to translate all that as well, and I felt awful for not having considered this. Unfortunately, I was away from internet access all day Saturday, so the only thing I could do was to post the completed document first thing on Monday morning. Thankfully, most of my teammates responded positively to this, for which I was immensely grateful. Timely feedback such as that is a vital part of team communication and helps to inspire greater positive feelings.
Another outcome of this posting was that people in the group began communicating with each other again almost immediately. I think at this stage our team has built up a good degree of trust for each other. We are able to discuss tasks and objectives comfortably with each other, and even talk about other more personal issues. Trust is one of the primary prerequisites for any successful team, and can easily be encouraged over time.
It almost would be nice for this project to go on a bit longer so that we could continue this engagement with each other. However, I think I will get greater satisfaction in crossing off another assignment from my list for this semester.