In our blended and online programs, RRU students are asked to work virtually in teams to complete a variety of team tasks and assignments. Virtual teamwork can offer flexibility and a range of communication options, but can also present unique challenges such as, coordinating across time zones, limited opportunities to connect socially, and digital misunderstandings.
We have identified some “top tips” to ensure team success in a virtual environment
- Create time and space to get know each other. For example a virtual coffee hour or wine and cheese for your first meeting, an assessment tool to learn about people’s personalities and/or strengths, sharing some “fun facts” about your personal lives.
- Establish and clarify ground rules and expectations regarding communication, roles, accountability, grade expectations, decision-making processes and managing conflict. Visit our team charter section for some suggestions.
- Identify what communication platforms will work for your team’s needs. Do you want to see each other’s faces? Would you like to be able to record your meetings? Would you like to be able to use instant chat/text between meetings? (Eg. What’s App, Slack, text).
- Identify a project management approach. Would you like to use software to help you manage your tasks? (Eg. Asana or Trello). How will you share documents? Where are your internal deadlines and milestones recorded so they are visible to everyone?
- Break into sub-groups or partners to support each other’s’ learning, increase collaboration and lower feelings of isolation.
- Celebrate your successes!
List of tools:
- Brainstorming: Linoit, Padlet, Mindmup
- Document Sharing: Google Drive, Dropbox
- Project/Time Management: Google Calendar, Asana, Trello
- Communication: Moodle Forums, Google hangout, Blackboard Collaborate, Skype, Slack, WhatsApp