Flat Connections

Transforming learning through global collaboration

Collaboration is not a new concept or even a new skill that it is valued in the education system and other professional organizations. The skill demands have however evolved because of the platforms in which people can work in order to accomplish goals. For example, the tri-blogging assignment places three people who live in different locations of the world in a platform (the Wiki) where there is one goal. Another that hasn't changed is the confusion of cooperation with collaboration. It is possible and common for people to accomplish tasks/goals in cooperation with others without having to actually work with them. This happens when delegation become of the method of the group and/or when members just go along with the ideas of group members instead of working with them to identify shared ideas for accomplishing or excelling goals. From my experience, this happens when the focus is completion and/or compliance versus production of something that all participants can be proud to sign off on. Cooperation is much easier because you only have to worry about what you contribute instead of worrying with the contributions of others. All this to say, that as facilitators of collaborative work, we must design work that requires and excepts nothing less than true collaboration. And in this program, ti means we should not accept anything less than that from ourselves and our group members.

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Comment by Julie Lindsay on January 28, 2013 at 11:12pm

Edna, appreciate your points about encouraging true collaboration - and being able to recognise it in learning and support it. Well written! I scooped it also!

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