International Documentation Project Reflections: Week 1

First blog post! YAY!

When I entered this class I was just expecting to learn about working with international groups and technical communications. We had touched on several things in previous courses about gestures, gender roles, etc. However, I was surprised to learn that we would actually be getting real-world experience working with technical writers in other countries. And by this being an online course, I think it makes it even worthwhile and exciting. I was enthusiastic because this would be a good way to learn more about communicating and editing/working on technical documents with students in different countries and who have different cultures (in this case, Ireland and France), various work practices, and languages and dialects. This approach would not be as personal, but more so on an academic level, so that was interesting and a bit intimidating at the same time.

So, this week we officially got the ball rolling in my ENC 4262 International Technical Communications class on our documentation project. I turned in my Country Report (got an “A”) and then I contacted my group. I had introduced myself to them the same week as we had to select our groups, so I reached out with a follow-up e-mail discussing group roles, my pros/cons, things I’ve done with past groups, experiences, etc. My teammates followed suit. Earlier in the week, I received an e-mail from our teammates in France and Ireland, and my teammates and I were welcomed with opened arms. We’ve already chosen a topic (A Guide to Identity Protection When Creating User Accounts) and decided over the weekend to think about it, our roles, how we’re going to divide up the work, how we’re going to communicate, etc.

There was an event that occurred on Friday, and after this had happened, it gave me a lot to reflect on as far as working with groups. On Friday, there was a machete attack that was deemed as being investigated as an act of possible terrorism at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. Our French group was close to where the event happened. We’re all connected to the WhatsApp app and I had read back and forth about what had happened between the French and Irish group. They were okay and not in harm’s way, but it just goes to show you how things can somewhat affect you even if you live thousands of miles away, and only know people from a business/academic standpoint. It had me worried even though I’ve only known them for a short period of time.
This made me think about how would an event like this (if God forbid, it did get to a point where people were injured and killed), how would it affect the relationship within our group? How would it affect communication? Would the project get completely halted? I wonder sometimes in real-life situations how students and business people collaborating with others in places where war or political troubles is always constantly happening deal with these issues. I’m not saying that this will happen within my group, but it still makes me wonder about the “what ifs…?”

That’s it for this week!


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