Collaboration - Activity Plan
- Recognize team dynamics that affect collaborative learning.
- Propose strategies to support collaborative teams.
The focus this week is on team dynamics in online collaborative learning activities, so you will be setting up teams. Use the Case Study Scenario (located in Week 4) to engage participants in exploring issues and developing problem solving recommendations.
Your team task is to support effective facilitation responses and you’ll also have the opportunity to explore beliefs / perspectives on the impact of conflict in collaborative learning groups.
Activity 1 – Introduce your team, topic and activity schedule.
We recommend you use the pre-designed FLO learning activity to maintain your focus on practising facilitation skills vs. digressing into design tasks. However, if it helps illuminate your topic, you may choose to personalize your mini-session with a brief intro activity/icebreaker to 'set the scene.' Hint: Keep that "thing" time-manageable for the participants.
Because you are setting up two teams, in your “launch” message, tell the participants what team they are on and how to use the team forum.
Team Forums: These have already been set up in the Week 4 area for you. You will have to let your FLO facilitator know who you want on each team so that they can add people to the appropriate team behind the scenes in the course.
The forums have been set to 'visible groups,' which means each team will only have access to post in their team forum but they can also see (and learn from) the other teams' discussions. You may choose to explain how 'visible groups' works, if you think it will support deeper peer learning.
Activity 2: Provide structured activities to encourage reflection and discussion.
Ask participants to read and reflect on the Case Study Scenario. Suggest they imagine they are an instructional team who the Dean has asked to problem solve and recommend strategies to defuse the immediate conflict and prevent future recurrence.
Specifically, the Dean wants to know how do you plan to:
- Facilitate peer conflict negotiation now to help the cohort move forward; and
- Support collaborative learning teams to work more effectively in the future.
You will assign Team A to the the first "first steps" perspective. They should suggest strategies that an instructor/facilitator could implement to address the conflict situation that has occurred and help the group move forward.
You will assign Team B to the second "in the future" perspective. They should suggest strategies that an instructor/facilitator might use to prepare to work more effectively with collaborative learning teams in the future.
Both teams will have these discussions in their team forum.
Activity 3: Invite teams to facilitate problem solving.
- Invite teams to practice collaboration skills in their forums
- Ask each team to develop their "Top 5" recommendations for the Dean.
You can suggest the teams use their assigned Team Planning forums to develop their Top 5 creative recommendations and then post them in the Collaboration class forum. Or, you can suggest they use a Google doc, if they prefer, and then post a link to their recommendations document in the Collaboration class forum.
Note: If they choose to use a Google doc, one document for each team has been set up for you at the links below. You will need to share access to the link and editing rights to each set of team members once you have assigned the teams.
Activity 4: Prompt participant reflection - ask thoughtful questions!
Towards the end of the week, invite participants to comment on the role of conflict in teamwork in the Collaboration class forum.
Remember: Providing brief facilitator wrap-up posts of discussion themes can help participants think more critically and creatively about their own problem analysis.