Roles and Responsibilities During Online Collaboration: the Student

Student comment:
Face to face communication is faster than the online sending waiting, explaining what you meant and then getting a response. If you work with people that log in frequently and are diligent, online postings and e-mail works fine.... Online real-time chats were most effective between our team members. We were able to clarify thoughts and concerns immediately, so that we could get on with our work. [emphasis added]
~Kimberley Burron

Student comment:
In initial stages of the project, our team communicated via the Learn forum and personal email. However, when it came time to begin putting elements of the presentation together, we elected to meet face-to-face. We found this to be most effective, as it isn’t always easy to get ideas across electronically and waiting for replies to emails etc. can take up valuable time. Additionally, meeting in person allowed us to feed off each other and develop our ideas more succinctly.

Student comment:
A concern I have is that many of our conversations take place on MSN or other places outside of learn, as a group we took the liberty of posting synopsis’ of our conversations so you knew what we were doing and were aware of our efforts, but this isn’t “required” of us, and I wonder if you should make it a requirement…

Re this above comment: in Rhetoric and the WWW, students were asked to post the gist of their "off-Learn" meetings or plans in their team planning forum. Here is the excerpt from the Team Preparation learning module:
Use your team forum to summarize "off-Learn" activities. If you'd like to use other means to communicate during this project (see above), or collaborate in ways other than exchanging attachments, please post the gist of your exchanges inside this forum for the record.

While no grade or participation score came with this request, teams who didn't post summaries found a point or two deducted from various stages of their collaborative assignment (with an explanation as to why). Thus, such a student response to what seemed at the time to be a clear course parameter always begs questions like--should this have been stated more clearly, posted more prominently, repeated more than once, or stated explicitly as a collaborative assignment requirement?

Student comment:
... we used all forms of communication - e-mail, Learn posting, F2F and even text messages were sent reminding others of due dates. It was fun and convenient to have a place like Learn to work...and I missed it during group projects in different classes. I think it is a very useful educational tool that all profs should try to incorporate, even if the class takes place IRL. We could have Learn forums instead of class websites. Or the students in one of my other classes have formed a Wiki for exam prep. This could also be accomplished through Learn.
~Jani Sorensen