Groupware Failure

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Log of D2L Discussion: 10/9 to 10/10 Subject: I am so sorry, guys.

Authored By: Michael Edwin Lewis Bird (Oct 9, 2007 3:12 AM) Attachment: Previous Wiki Experience- I (Michael)....doc

I have no good excuse as to why I haven't posted before now. It just kept slipping my mind, and other midterms loomed as this got closer.

At any rate, I've screwed around with the wiki scrappage, and I have a page here: 

Check it out and see what you think!

I've enclosed the text in the file here.

Subject: I should elaborate. Authored By: Michael Edwin Lewis Bird (Oct 9, 2007 10:06 AM)

I should explain a bit further. This isn't really a waaaaah poor me post, but just an explanation.

I work about 30 hours a week, plus five doing a service learning volunteer thing for one of my classes, take 9 credits, and on top of all this, have been preparing for graduation this december and have been travelling around interviewing for jobs. What this has meant is that my routine is pretty hectic, and I've developed the habit of not worrying about future projects until teh current one's done.

In this situation, I haven't posted before today because this trend led to me never actually finding this group discussion forum until a few days ago. I know it sounds stupid, but that's the God's honest truth.

At any rate, I know you guys are probably getting into the synthesis of your work and uploading it to a website; is there any any way I could help you out with that, Nikki?

Subject: Re: I should elaborate. Authored By: Nikolas Ann Glazier (Oct 9, 2007 3:54 PM)

the website is pretty much done, I've managed to squeeze it in while working 60 hour work weeks, taking 9 hours, and traveling 3 weeks out of every month. I'll leave it up to the rest of the group as to what they want to do.

Subject: Re: I should elaborate. Authored By: Michael Edwin Lewis Bird (Oct 9, 2007 8:35 PM)

I understand you all have been working hard at this. I would not say that I deserve the same grade as the rest of you. At the same time, I obviously don't want to get completely screwed here because I did not break the routine I have set for so long.

I am proposing no extra work on the part of anyone else. Let me upload my work to the website and I'll do it on my own. Anything else that still needs to be done, you can put it on me, and it'll get done.

In about a half an hour, I'll be heading home, and then I'll be on d2l chat all night. If anyone catches this and can spare the time, please contact me on there so we can talk about this.

Subject: Re: I should elaborate. Authored By: Nikolas Ann Glazier (Oct 9, 2007 9:18 PM)


I'm not trying to be a hardass here but my point is that the project is done. There is (or was) nothing else that needed to be done because we've been working on this for a month. I emailed you 2 or 3 weeks ago to find out if you were planning on participating. I included Dr. Fricke on the email to even see if you were still enrolled in this class. Please understand that I don't feel like being "busy" is a valid excuse. I get maybe 4 or 5 hours a week to spend with my family and I compromise that time to get my work done. The groupwork has been on the syllabus since day 1 (August) this assignment is due in five days and we all agreed that we wanted it done tomorrow for final editing and it is done. I will add your name to the assignment but I think it's incredibly irresponsible and unfair for you to try to jump on to our project right before the deadline with the excuse that you were too busy to do what is expected of you as part of the course assignments. That behavior is fine for individual work but when a team is involved and 30% of our grade is hanging on it, this is absolutely not okay. What if we would have turned the assignment in today or tomorrow as originally intended? Because I have been in contact with them I know that Kathy will not have access until Friday, we're all planning on getting together on chat on Friday for final group approval. If you are actually invested in legitimately contributing to this project you can go check the chat transcripts tonight to gain some knowledge on some of our discussions. I will not speak for our group but I will add you if they're okay with it.

Subject: Re: I should elaborate. Authored By: Michael Edwin Lewis Bird (Oct 9, 2007 9:30 PM)

I understand this. I checked the previous discussion threads and I noticed that you said you were emailing me; honestly, I never got it. I've checked my d2l email, my university email; every email I have, and I never got it.

I feel terrible about this. I honestly do. There's no excuse. This is a graduate level program, and I should be trusted not to make such a silly oversight as to not be able to find/not be aware of this private discussion forum. Given that, I understand that you're angry about it and you have every right to be. Still, please understand that it IS 30% of the grade, and I can't simply let it slip by when I AM willing to put in the work to get caught up.

I don't deserve the same grade as you guys; evidence of that is in this forum, perfectly available for Dr. Fricke to see. If you like, you can mention it to him yourself. I'll corroborate it. But please, if I can't get into the work at this late hour, any work I DO do (and I have every intention of presenting the best work I can do) will ultimately be pointless.

I know your stance on this; you want to leave it up to the rest of the group. That's fine with me. I'm writing this for you, however, as you're the only person yet to respond to my plea. If you see this, please come to d2l chat so we can talk about it. I'm begging you.

Subject: Re: I should elaborate. Authored By: Susan Joann Ditch (Oct 9, 2007 11:33 PM)

I understand that you don't want to lose your entire grade. I checked chat and you weren't in there. I'm ok with you doing work to the extent you can to catch up, but you have to understand that it isn't really groupwork if you're belatedly adding things that we, as a group, aren't able to discuss and edit and work over--the group process we've been doing for a month and which was the basis of this assignment.

SO: my proposed compromise would be letting you add, but in a way that uses these unfortunate events to add to our discussion and understanding of groupware dynamics and groupwork processes. I lwould like this entire thread--from "I am so sorry, guys," through our responses--to be copy/pasted onto our group wiki. Then you, Mike, could discuss these events in your contributions in a way that contributes to our overall discussion and analysis of groupwork and groupware. What do you ladies think?

Subject: Re: I should elaborate. Authored By: Michael Edwin Lewis Bird (Oct 9, 2007 11:50 PM)

You know, I was actually thinking the same thing. This class, after all, is as much about the failures of HCI as the successes.

Reflecting on this experience, the disadvantage to all these methods of online communication is that they are incredibly passive. Emails don't do me much good if I don't get them, and wikis and chat, similarly, require a base level of contextualized information that can quickly be missed if you don't get in at the start.

This all, of course, is the same as analog communication, but online communication has the added problem of being so filled with white noise from other sources. Take d2l. I missed some crucial information about the private group discussions (I was actually periodically checking the "group discussion" forum, waiting for new information about it), and while I will be the first to admit it was a pretty major detail, it was a detail nonetheless, and with the constant stream of new topics opening in the discussion forum, I consistently missed ours as I posted in active class topics in the midst of my other responsibilities.

Most importantly, the biggest lesson I've taken from this is that digital communication of this sort places a huge onus on the user to keep up. There's no doubt in my mind that it's certainly valuable, but these passive technologies cannot remind a person to keep up.

Sound reasonable?

Subject: Oh, and also: Authored By: Michael Edwin Lewis Bird (Oct 9, 2007 11:52 PM)

I'm sorry I wasn't in chat when you looked. I've been periodically switching to check this thread for responses, and after two hours, I figured everyone was asleep and I was going to wait for tomorrow. If you like, I can be in d2l from 10 to 4 (d2l time) tomorrow.

Subject: Re: Oh, and also: Authored By: Susan Joann Ditch (Oct 9, 2007 11:59 PM)

If Nikki agrees about removing the parts referencing personal lives, such as why you weren't keeping up with the assignment, I'll defer to that. But otherwise I think it is part and parcel of our discussion of how this technology interacts with people and people's lives. And this is of course subject to Nikki and Kathy agreeing to this whole idea in the first place. Talk to you more tomorrow after they get a chance to comment. Good night.

Subject: Re: Oh, and also: Authored By: Michael Edwin Lewis Bird (Oct 10, 2007 12:13 AM)

Fair enough. I don't object to using mine, since it is certainly important to the lesson as a whole, but I was thinking Nikki might, as it obviously wasn't her problem anyway.

Two other things, though (administrative, really):

First, I'd like to request that the content I've posted here still be included in the final project. Your point about the shared experience and conclusions is certainly well-taken, but what I've put up isn't really a group portion of the work, honestly; my personal experience with the technology coming in to this is definitely not, and from the looks of it, you guys divided the history/current uses among yourselves. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on that, but it really does seem to be a solo project.

Second, feel free to call me on my cell phone at any time: *******. Yes, it's a Tucson number; the whole reason I put myself in this situation of d2l-based classes this semester, when I prefer face-to-face classes in which I've never had a problem staying organized, was that I honestly didn't know if I'd still be in town by the end of the semester.

Subject: History and Current Trends in Blogs Authored By: Michael Edwin Lewis Bird (Oct 9, 2007 10:35 PM) Attachment: Blogs- History and Current Trends.doc

Looking over the website template, I took the liberty of writing up something about blogs as an education resource, since it didn't look like anyone had tackled that. Hope you don't mind, and that you like it.

Subject: Alright, before I go to bed... Authored By: Michael Edwin Lewis Bird (Oct 10, 2007 3:14 AM)

I just wanted to upload my personal reflection page in the HTML format you've used so far. Save some work.

Subject: Re: Alright, before I go to bed... Authored By: Nikolas Ann Glazier (Oct 10, 2007 6:33 AM)

lost wireless (STILL on travel) I like Susan's proposal. I apologize Mike but we all agreed awhile ago to not include blogs as part of our experiment as we all felt due to our already busy schedules that experimenting and reflecting on chat, email, message boards, and wikis would be sufficient. I actually really like Susan's proposal a lot. I think working this (in my mind) very big negative into an element of our assignment gives us credit for the last 4 or 5 weeks we have been working on this project and shows that you at least made an attempt, depsite it being a ridiculously late one. I would ask that you take ALL the threads from the last 48 hours on this message board and work them into a document to either post on wikis or include as a separate project. I will be at a conference from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. tonight and will come back to my hotel and add your work to our page at that point. I will do all this but none of it will be definitive until Kathy has a say as well. We have worked and made decisions as a group and it will remain that way.

Susan, that was a fantastic idea. I will take another stab at editing the wiki tonight too, you've already done so much. I'm waiting to post it to our site until it's complete but I've updated our site to reflect the changes. (thanks to 25 minute lunches at Starbucks!)

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