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Online Teambuilding & Collaboration

Missing Pieces

  • backup documentation
  • Books & Articles - Supporting Materials - hand-outs, talking notes, powerpoints, that support the whole learning agenda
  • collaboration norms
  • Leadership
  • Psychological safety


At the end of this workshop you will:

  1. Increase on-the-job performance, knowledge management and innovation
  2. Identify characteristics of high performing online and/or distributed teams and projects, expectations of leaders and team members
  3. Understand the benefits, challenges and uses of online collaboration and social networking tools
  4. Enable peer-to-peer collaboration for capacity building, organizational learning and cultural change
  • Takeouts
  1. Accelerate knowledge-sharing and organizational learning
  2. Enable strategic alignment and faster time-to-market
  3. Accelerate internal and external consultation and engagement
  • Extra Words
  • leadership, culture and "easier"
  • change management

Session Objectives & Introductions

(20 min)

  • Facilitator introduces the session; explains how the session is going to be conducted and gives what is expected.
  • Review of agenda (ask for feedback)
  • Review of objectives
  • Introductions - hope for the meeting - what they hope to achieve from the training session
  • name
  • 1 hope they have for the training session
  • draw on a card - what does collaboration mean to them
  • Question (self-disclosure): How many have used Facebook, Twitter; how many times a week? (self-disclosure - who's using what, and for what purpose)
  • blogs, wikis, facebook, linked in, YouTube - also learn about experience in room; starting to talk about the different tools
  • Debrief the intros - what it means to the group; level of experience; mentoring capacity for each other; support; personal investment in ICTs; what it means to them - work, career, work they do, personal relationships, career path
  • People's expectations
  • RA - Intros - who's in the room; and what expectations they have of the course, and use in business/government
  • EA - a sense of people connecting; what's their social networking identity

Media: Wikis in Plain English

Social Networking Tools

Facilitator leads participants in a five minute brainstorming session to answer the question

  • what tools to you know?
  • generate a list of ICT tools for participants to use in discussing the next questions in their respective groups
  • Puts participants into new groups (the composition of each group should be different from those of session I) to facilitate variety in collaboration. Each group should have a maximum of 5 members)

What are differences between traditional work and virtual work / distinctions between tools?

  • what's important
  • why is it important
  • evaluation - yes, I'm glad we discussed this
  • design the activities to take them into the first one...

Debrief prior activity (on wiki)

What are the benefits & challenges of online collaboration?

In pairs: Facilitator puts participants into groups of 2 people, to discuss and provide feedback to the following questions related to the concept of ICT for Virtual Teams

  • What can online teams accomplish - that face-to-face teams cannot?
  • What are the benefits of ICT for Virtual Teams
  • What are the challenges of use of ICT for education?
  • How do you think ICT help address these challenges?
  • What are the skills required to successfully navigate...?
  • fear, anxiety, resistance to change
  • quality, security, etc.
  • RA - work, personal, save time and money, improve communication, reduce time spent on developing policy, projects, etc.
  • EA - increased awareness - and peer learning and sharing; modelling the way for peer to peer learning

(Comment.gif: Books & Articles) Supporting Materials - hand-outs, talking notes, powerpoints, that support the whole learning agenda

Human Dynamics

  • RA - Identify adoption issues; resistance to change; "psychological safety"; human dynamics, technical infrastructure, security
  • EA -

Building Trust in Collaborative Environments

This takes time, especially with online collaboration tools.

Icon discussion.gif
Online Discussion Forum: Share your thoughts about collaboration and social networking tools. It would be great to hear about your experiences so far in using collaboration approaches. And also any points which struck you as interesting in the readings, or from other sources you have come across.
  • Also respond to at least one post on the email discussion forum.
  • Complete by: DATE SPECIFIED

What Hinders Effective Collaboration?

  • Identifying potential resistance to change / potential blockages
  • what hinders it?
  • recognizing the adoption challenge / learning curve
  • how can it be overcome (BY DOING THE WORK)
  • Lessons Learned?
  • RA - naming and understanding the blockages to effective collaboration
  • EA -

Characteristics of high performing teams

  1. F2F,
  2. Online
  3. Blended

Interactive session (brainstorming):

In a plenary session, Facilitator asks participants to take 10 minutes to discuss in pairs (random pairing) and provide responses to the following questions:

  1. What things are you doing differently from the way you were taught?
  2. What characteristics of today’s employee are different from the characteristics of yesterday’s student?
  3. What do you need to do differently in order to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s employee?
  4. What challenges do you anticipate to meet in teaching today’s and tomorrow’s employee?

Facilitator then discusses further the concept of working collaboratively in a virtual team, settings / environment, key characteristics and dynamics.

RA - characteristics of HPT, expectations of leaders and team members EA - becoming aware of the distinctions - new awareness a different world - differences in values, culture and norms + ADD Culture (corp.) and roles and responsibilities

  1. How will my role as team member change?
  2. How will ICT address challenges I face in the workplace?
  3. What are my fears and concerns about using the new tools?
  4. What coaching / training support do I need for using these new tools?
  5. What are my concerns and fears in this environment and what help/support do I need to overcome them?


  • what's the difference between these tools and the tools you're using now

Sorting Tools by Application

In their respective groups, trainees will discuss and provide feedback about collaboration and social networking tools for teaching and learning by answering the following questions:

  1. What ICT tools do you have access to, at the workplace?
  2. Of the ICT tools you have named (not necessarily those you have used), list the possibilities they have as tools for increasing productivity and effectiveness
  3. Analyze your list of ICT tools and possibilities they offer for team productivity. Design a simple table that maps an ICT tool against a project task / activity and the possible effect of the tool.
  • Tool, project or task, possible effect

Activity: Appreciative Inquiry / Energy

  • AI perspective, discovery, etc.

Session Review and Recap

In a plenary session, Facilitator:

  • Harmonizes all contributions from the various groups
  • Gives a detailed analysis of ICT tools and their most appropriate use in teaching and learning.
  • Identifies next steps

Reflect on Key Issues

Facilitator asks participants to reflect individually on the key issues addressed during the session. (Write thoughts.)

  1. What new ideas/concepts have I learned in this session?
  2. How will I use the ICT tools available to me to support, extend and transform my collaboration in the workplace?
  3. H ow will I need to organize my way of working in order to take advantage of the available ICT tools to enhance productivity and collaboration?


  • Culture, change, transition
  • Do's and Don'ts (handouts, wiki pages)

PM: Interactive Session

Project Focus =

Session Introduction

Introduction of session by facilitator:

  • provides objectives
  • procedures
  • expectations

Activity: What is a Wiki?

The name "Wiki" was chosen by Ward Cunningham -- the creator of the first Wiki. It is a shortened form of "wiki-wiki", the Hawaiian word for quick.

A wiki is a web site that is generally editable by anyone with a computer, a web browser, and an Internet connection. Wikis use a quick and easy syntax to allow users to apply formatting to text and create links between pages. This simple formatting syntax means that authors no longer need to learn the complexities of HTML to create content on the web.

The main strength of a wiki is that it gives people the ability to work collaboratively on the same document. The only software you need is an Internet browser. Consequently, wikis are used for a variety of purposes. If you make a mistake, it's easy to revert back to an earlier version of the document.

Examples of Wikis

Barbados user.jpg
The largest and most talked about Wiki on the Internet is Wikipedia[1]

Wikipedia is, for the most part, editable by anyone in the world with a computer and an Internet connection and, as of 2009, contained over 14,000,000 articles in more than 260 languages. Since its creation in 2001, Wikipedia has grown rapidly into one of the largest reference web sites, attracting around 65 million visitors monthly as of 2009. There are more than 85,000 active contributors working on Wikipedia articles! While Wikipedia's mission is to create an encyclopedic resource of knowledge, wikis can be used for a variety of purposes and are quickly becoming the defacto technology for collaborative group work online. They can be great social tools for classrooms, teams, and community groups, or configured to provide easily updatable web sites for organisations.

The following wikis display a range of different applications of wiki technology:

  • WikiWikiWeb[2] - the first ever wiki, it has been around since 1995.
  • Wikitravel[3] - a project to create a free, complete, up-to-date, and reliable world-wide travel guide.
  • Moodle docs - a community wiki used to develop and maintain the documentation for Moodle, the popular open source learning management system.
  • Scholarpedia[4] - a wiki project based on a system of peer review.

There are literally thousands of wikis around the web on a diverse range of subjects and supporting many communities.

Icon activity.jpg
The purpose of this activity is to introduce you to a few examples of wiki projects. In this activity you are encouraged to visit at least three of Wikipedia's sister projects listed below.

For each of the Wikimedia project sites, you should:

  1. Identify the main purpose of the site and how this differs from Wikipedia
  2. Skim through at least three representative pages on the site to get a feel for contributions from the community
  3. Determine which content license is used for the site.

Visit three sites from the list of Wikimedia projects below:

Many of Wikipedia's sister projects were initiated because the encyclopedia was being cluttered by entries that were not appropriate for an encyclopedia.

Activity: Demo of Wiki Technology

  • use screenshots
  • participants have user name, password to log in
  • content already loaded in (Group Pages 1, 2, 3, 4 - in one space)
  • small groups of 4

Activity: Live Walk-Through

  • Facilitator expounds further the concept of collaboration and social networking technologies; gives types (and hybrid applications) which may not have come up clearly from the participants; explains further the benefits of using digital content linked to theories of learning; discusses the challenges participants could have left out.

Activity: Learn By Doing

'Facilitator introduces participants to the hands-on activity. Gives guidelines of what they are expected to do:

  • Explore the space
  • Identify the content
  • Click the "Edit" menu
  • Write in the
  • Have their email account open in their browser
  • Use collaborative techniques to seek for help from colleagues first before seeking help from facilitator and technical assistants in case they need help.

Participants explore the available digital content by navigating the interface. Through exploration and discovery, participants use their mouse and keyboard skills

Facilitator and other technical staff move around workstations providing support where needed and observe how the participants are navigating the software.

Editing Content - Earning Colleagues Respect

It's easy to edit content on a wiki, especially your colleagues.

It makes sense to discuss the changes you want to make, either in your groups (i.e., face to face) or, to comment below the text (your colleague will be notified; or, to send him/her an email with the appropriate information. Then you can have a dialogue, before changing the content.

In situations where significant trust has developed, you may wish to edit the content directly. However, be prepared that someone else in your project may have another perspective.

There are No Mistakes: Only Opportunities to Learn

Activity: Other Functionality

Activity: Wrap Up & Next Steps


  • draws the attention of the participants to the main issues of the afternoon session
  • highlights the importance of digital content
  • encourages the trainees to note the various features of the digital content they have been exposed to and think of how they may use the content in their own subject delivery in the next day’s activities
  • gives take home exercise

Activity: Evaluation & Reflection

Facilitator asks participants to reflect individually on the key issues of the day. (Write thoughts.)

  1. From my knowledge of collaboration and social networking tools acquired during this session, what type of digital content can I create?
  2. What collaboration and social networking tools will I use to create this content?
  3. How will I use the content I have created to enhance workplace productivity?
  4. How do I plan to use collaboration and social networking tools in the future?

Participants continue to practice and explore collaboration and social networking tools AND digital content available in their wiki space, at their own time. Practice how to navigate, look for content, use copy and paste functions and generally familiarize themselves with the content in preparation for the continuing project activities.

Session 1

  1. Discover various collaboration and social networking tools to support virtual team performance
  2. Select the best tool for the job, depending on requirements
  3. Share experiences among peers - and and build your 'learning community'
  4. Understand strategies to overcome barriers and resistance to change

Session II

  1. Use a specific collaboration and social networking tool for an applied project (i.e., a wiki)
  2. Understand basic wiki editing skills
  3. Have an 'experience of success' in using the wiki
  4. Enable dialogues and collaboration, synergies and innovation through accelerating sharing of employees' ideas and knowledge.

Resources II

  • Project as Community
  • Team Charter, Norms - pp, how diff. in online
  • 2x - use as activity
  • Roles
  • Complexity, emergence & self-organization
The Secret Power of YouTube (video), TED Global Talk (July 2010), Chris Anderson, TED Curator. Retrieved September 19, 2010 1:21 p.m. EDT from
  • ideas and innovation; "cycle of crowd-accelerated innovation"
  • Change and Transition
  • Complexity, emergence and self-organizing behaviour
  • Control Paradox
  • Distributed leadership, Ownership & Buy in
  • Fear, Anxiety & Resistance to Change
  • Human Presence - real-time and asynchronous communications
  • Interventions
  • Language (power of) - see Informed Science
  • Learning Community
  • Measurement
  • Monitoring & Evaluation
  • Social Media

(Languages are)..."a flash of the human spirit....Every language is an old-growth forest of the mind, a watershed of thought, an ecosystem of spiritual possibilities." - Mark Abley in the Ottawa Citzen, quoting Wade Davis, The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World (orig. 2009 Massey Lectures), Anansi, $19.95. Retrieved April 25, 2010 from

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