I think this project gave me more insight into working with a virtual team on an international level. It taught me how to deal with language barriers, timezones, events happening in other countries, as well as how other people collaborate together and what standards they adhere to. Skills I developed were learning how to use Google Hangout and Drive.
As written before, my team really didn’t have designated leaders. I served as “project manager” for my group since I reached out to my UCF group first. Peter, our editor, made sure they did things on his end. He kept the project together. We just all kind of checked up on one another to make sure we were on task and meeting deadlines.
The communication tools (Google Hangout, Google Drive, e-mail, WhatsApp, MS Word, and others) we used were always on hand so if we had any questions or concerns, we were only a text or e-mail message away. We started dividing up the work and started writing our portions of the document right away.
We didn’t have too many difficulties except for helping with translations in some areas of the document, but other than that, all went smoothly. I think the most creative part of the document was being able to design it with photos and being able to make additions to our document and selected topics.
Honestly, there wasn’t much I would have done differently, except maybe had a group discussion on the topic. Since many of us came into the group later for whatever reason, the topic may have been selected, and by the time all of us came together, we already had a topic and divided it up. So, I didn’t worry about it too much.
My teammates had some similar experiences. Here are several: from the Ireland team, Clara stated that she found the experience to be very positive and everything went smoothly with the team. She was appreciative of all of our contributions, and couldn’t find anything negative to say, didn’t find any difficulties, or faults within the group. Communication went smoothly and kept to deadlines. Most group expectations were met. She concluded that she would want to work in a similar collaborative project in the future.
Charles from my group (Team 3: UCF) stated that: “This experience in both education and professional collaboration was quite eye-opening for me, as I’ve never worked with foreign students or classmates on a project like this before; I can also say my outlook has been expanded toward the usefulness of applications like Google Drive, WhatsApp, and Google Hangouts as far as professional communication for a project goes.”
Despite, that everything was great. There was no added pressure and everything was complete in a timely manner. My teammates were great people to work with. Best of all, I made one or two friends along the way, so we’ll probably get a chance to talk and stay in touch after we complete the class. I would love, love, love to work with a team like this again in the future. This is my last technical writing course at UCF, and I’ve had nothing but great experiences from my professors and fellow students. So, hopefully my next collaboration will actually be working in a workplace setting. I’m looking forward to my future as a technical communicator. 🙂