Tag Archives: Teamwork

1020 Session Fifteen: Team Charters and Research Issues

Team Charters:

Before work can truly begin on Project Four, even before you make a final decision on a research problem, it would be helpful to know how your team will plan to work.  With your group mates, develop a team charter.  Address the following points:

  1. Overall, broad team goals for the project
  2. Measurable, specific team goals
  3. Personal goals
  4. Method of collaborating on research, writing, and revision (you may wish to revisit Session Seven).  Be specific, here, about the means you will work together.  How will you divide up workload? Which tools (Google docs, Dropbox, email, adding each other as users of your WordPress sites, etc.)
  5. Other factors that might affect the project
  6. Statement of how the team will resolve impasses
  7. Statement of how the team will handle missed deadlines
  8. Statement of what constitutes unacceptable work and how the team will handle this

Post this on each team member’s blog page. Print it and have all team members sign a copy to be retained by me by Thursday, 10/30.

Choosing a Research Issue

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Once your team has decided how they will work, I need to know on which topic you will do research.  Please post on your blog a statement, of no more than 300 words, on the following:

  • the research issue you and your partners will be examining;
  • the specific community about or for whom you are writing;
  • your stake in that community, and thus, in this project;
  • your interest in the topic;
  • what you may already know about the topic;
  • how you will research.

Work with your team members to develop this response.  Ideally, there will be some similar responses to each bullet point.

Where to begin research?

Head to the WSU Library guides via the link to the left or by clicking here.

Use scholar.google.com, ProQuest, CQ Researcher, Opposing Viewpoints, or any of the other databases available to Wayne State students.

Your annotated bibliographies (I’ll show you the format Thursday)  are due next week, Tuesday, 11/04.  You need to have credible sources including at least two new sources not used for any other work this semester (including the ISearch) .


Homework:

Finish I-Search.  Post on blog and to SafeAssign via BlackBoard.

Read Wayne Writer Ch. 5 pp. 145-159 and ch. 6 pp. 188-215

 

3050 Session Seven: Project One Wrap-up and Teamwork 9-18-14

On Tap Today:


Hey you! Yeah, you! The team member that got “yanked”! You may be interested in this…

Vader not impressed

As we discussed, every one of these submissions could be improved.  Wikipedia submission or citation issues, formatting (links, graphics), and content issues can all be fixed. So, for a chance to redeem yourselves in my eyes, and to score a few bonus points (enough to significantly alter your final grade on the project, and perhaps the class) perform some sort of correction by 11:59 pm Thursday, 9/25. If you suspect that you may be the team member that was “yanked” (lost a point due to the evaluations of your peers) you may want to seriously consider this offer.

Teamwork Talk

As you may have discovered, there are multiple ways of working well (or not) together.

Three primary models are:

  • The Round Table

https://stablerenglish.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/f6371-37109chb-37110chb-37111chb-38247-instl.jpgPros: Quick sharing of ideas among team members; Real time debate of pros and cons of project.

Cons: Difficult to schedule time to meet; Difficult to control input if there is only one keyboard operator; Can produce conflict that impedes production.

Most effective for brainstorming, task scheduling and progress reporting.

  • Divide-and-Conquer

https://i1.wp.com/www.hermanmiller.com/content/dam/hermanmiller/page_assets/why_digital/articles/modes_of_work/WHY_ModesOfWork_08.jpg

Pros: Assigned task can be completed in the least amount of time.

Cons: Minimal collaboration; Difficult to recover if a task is not completed by a team member; Inconsistencies in tone and style; Replications or gaps in final product

Most effective for small, specific tasks that are part of a larger project.

  • Layered Approach

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Pros: Each member has multiple opportunities to provide input, critique, and revise; More motivation due to ownership of the project; Similar to professional workplace collaboration

Cons: Different roles may create inequalities; Requires thoughtful and careful planning.

Most effective for drafting and revising tasks.

Team Charters:

Before work can truly begin on Project Two (and Six), even before you decide on a research problem, it would be helpful to know how your team will plan to work.  With your group mates, develop a team charter.  Address the following points:

  1. Overall, broad team goals for the project
  2. Measurable, specific team goals
  3. Personal goals
  4. Individual level of commitment to the project
  5. Other factors that might affect the project
  6. Statement of how the team will resolve impasses
  7. Statement of how the team will handle missed deadlines
  8. Statement of what constitutes unacceptable work and how the team will handle this
  9. Decision on “rank-and-yank” (will you only “rank”, only “yank”, or do both?)

Homework:

Read Handout on Team Writing

Project Two Page and Examples

Write: “Apply Your Expertise” #3 on p.  409 by tonight, 9/18 Write a memo (300 words) to your teammates in response to “Apply Your Expertise” #3.  Consider your execution of Project One and suggest three ways your team can improve productivity heading into Projects Two and Six.  Persuasively explain each suggestion.

Team Charter. Memo format from the team to me. Post it on a team blog page and email the link to me. Print and have all team members sign/initial a copy to be retained by me. by Tuesday 9/23

3050 Session Two: Purpose and Audience 9/2/14

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Today’s Agenda:

  • Problems with wordpress or wikipedia?
  • Syllabus questions
  • Review of Chapters 1 & 3 of Technical Communication
  • Introduction to Project One
  • Team Formations

What is Technical Communication?

Essential Aspects:

  • Produced for a practical purpose (to inform, explain, instruct)
  • Directed toward (a) particular audience(s)
  • Focused on “usability” of final product and/or or persuasive power in influence the decisions of stakeholders (rather than aesthetic concerns, enjoyment, etc.)

 Common Aspects:

  • Uses several popular genres of writing/communication (memo, report, instruction set, white paper, proposal, progress report, etc)
  • Employs visuals, graphics, formatting techniques
  • Often requires collaboration
  • Increasingly produced in a digital environment
  • Deadline driven

 

Reader-Centered Strategies for Effective Technical Communication (part one)

We’ll discuss this in greater detail in later classes

  • Help readers find key information quickly
  • Use an accessible writing style

 

Defining the Objective of a Technical Communication:

 

  • What task will your communication help a reader perform?
  • What information does your reader desire/require?
    • What is your reader already likely to know?
    • What will need to be explained to them?
  • How will your reader “read” the communication (skim for key points? read from beginning to end? read in a hurry?)?
  • How will your reader use the information you are providing (as a reference? to perform a certain action? to make a decision?)?
  • What constraints/affordances are provided you as a writer, given your task and the genre of your writing and/or its delivery mechanism?

(See Figure 3.1 in Text or download the Writer’s Guide here.)

Beginning Project One

Memo for Project One:

Between now and midnight of Wednesday 9/3/14 you will compose a memo (300-500 words, single spaced) with information about the following:

  1. group membership and your group’s decision on the “rank-and-yank” question as well as any other essential information about how you plan to collaborate productively (e.g., settle problems, delegate work);
  2. the topic you have chosen for Project One and why you think this is an appropriate topic given the expertise of your group and the constrains of Wikipedia as an open-author knowledge base (see, in particular, the questions listed above under “Defining the Objective of a Technical Communication” for guidance on this question);
  3. the challenges of the assignment, as you see them, given the constraints of Wikipedia entries in general and your chosen topic in particular; and
  4. your strategies for overcoming the challenges you have identified.

You have already read a chapter on writing effective memos in Technical Communication. See also here and here for other useful information on memo writing.

Before leaving class today, please provide me with the following information by filling out the form below or on a slip of paper.

Homework:

  • READ for Thursday:
    • Markel on Writing Definitions pages 564 – 571 & 574-579
    • Using this list, or Google, find a blog related to your major, career path, or personal interest.  Read a post or two to get a feel for the blog and blogger(s). Post the URL of your chosen blog on your wordpress site.
  • WRITE:
    • Upload Project One Memo to your blog by 11:59 pm, Wed. 9/3/14
    • Write an evaluation (@ 300-500 words) describing the blog you found above.  Identify and describe the following:
      • Readers and their characteristics
      • What the blogger(s) want their readers to do
      • The ways the blogger(s) influence readers’ attitudes and actions
      • How well these objectives were met (or not).
      • Post this to your wordpress or other blog by 11:59 pm, Mon. 9/8/14