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1 Comment

  1. rebeccanesson

    November 16, 2006 @ 7:50 am


    Nice work Art. You do a good job explaining why the ability to meet productively in a group is important and you clearly lay out what your group project is. Although you don’t speak directly to the audience that you are trying to convince, I hear a little bit of an attempt to empathize with those who would oppose what you are doing. You identify the griefers as people who would be against groups establishing ways to interact. I think you can go deeper in terms of exploring the “other side” of the argument. First, since the types of things that I expect your group will come up with will probably be most like a set of best practices for meetings, I’m not sure griefers would have a problem with it because they have little regard for best practices and will probably be ever more happy to disrupt people who care so much about order that they have established rules for interaction. Second, I think there are some more subtle interests at play. In the abstract the idea of setting up rules for how to interact effectively seems like it would be great, but when you get down to any specific set of rules it is likely to rub some people the wrong way. People who actually wish to participate in a meaningful, constructive way may still not like the particular rules of interaction that are established in his/her group.

    For my part, I think what your group is doing is extremely important. We’re all learning this semester how to adapt to a new environment of “virtual classroom” learning. We often begin by trying to use the norms that we’re used to from RL classrooms. Some of these work and some don’t. And we have the big task of establishing a new set of norms. What these norms should and will be will almost certainly depend on the size and purpose of the meeting, whether the group meets regularly and has a consistent membership, and other factors of that sort. If your group can come up with some proposals just for the specific situation of trying to have small group meetings to work on a joint project, that would be a wonderful contribution.

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