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Reflection

EDTEC544
Artifact:
ED544 Map Reading Skills

Related Artifacts:
Design Concept; Prototype Evaluation; Design Notebook
Go to EDTEC 544 Assignments website


I worked with four team members to co-design a self-paced training course while enrolled in EDTEC 544. We used several tools for synchronous and asynchronous communication and finally were able to complete the project successfully.

Project Description

The purpose of the assignment was to provide an opportunity for practicing functional context education, a contextualized training and education theory. The project required conducting an initial analysis, defining system specification, describing design concepts, developing a prototype and writing a report after a pilot test. System specification, prototyping and pilot testing were results of teamwork; others I was required to performed in solo. The topic of our team was Map Reading Skills for Delivery Driver, an asynchronous web-base course for individual self-paced learning. My responsibilities in the group included the following tasks:
  • Co-defining scope and objectives of the course with my team,
  • Co-defining content performance matrix based on Merrill’s content display theory with my team,
  • Gathering information about map legends and sample map teaching lessons,
  • Drawing a diagram to visualize our system specification and being responsible for presenting this portion of content in the final project presentation, and
  • Co-creating the prototype with my team.

  • We defined the instructional objectives for Module 1 of this course as follows:
    Given various maps, the student will be able to accurately complete the following tasks:
  • Point out the cardinal/ordinal directions
  • Use the street index to locate a given street
  • Explain the meaning of scale
  • Use the legend to locate a landmark
  • Demonstrating Interpersonal Standard

    Among the five team members, two in the Pacific time zone, one in the middle east time zone, and two in the eastern time zone. Communication had been an issue since the first day of the project. The following evidences prove that the team demonstrated interpersonal standard, “Interact effectively with others as peers, subordinates and leaders to accomplish goals”:
  • Using Skype as the tool for group conferences. Voice transmissions via Skype are clear and the service was free.
  • Keeping communication records, including graphics, on a blog. Whoever was absent from the meeting could check the information on the web and leave his/her comments. This ensured that the information and conclusion be disseminated timely.
  • Drafting report on wiki collaboratively. Wiki automatically recorded all changes made to the previous passages and when the modification was made, and by whom. In this way, a team member living in a different time zone, would have equal opportunity to contribute.
  • Defining roles and responsibilities at the very beginning of the project. Each member knew what to focus on and when the tasks were due; thus, we were able to deliver work results on time, even when some team members could not participate in group communication.

  • Problems & Opportunities Encountered

    It is not easy to complete a project within a tight timeframe while five team members were located in five different cities with different time zone. Although we were able to complete the project with an A score, some problems occurred:
  • Workload from real life limited the opportunities for synchronous discussion. Team had to rely on asynchronous conversation sometimes.
  • The Internet access capability was not always satisfactory. When someone talked fast, her voice would be broken and we had to repeat the conversation.

  • On the other hand, completing this project with partners at a distance allowed me to test new technologies in a real project and recognize their strengths and weaknesses. I am sure I could use the knowledge and skill in the globalized working environment today.

    Lessons Learned

    I learned the following valuable lessons from this project:
  • To work in teams, you have to support the weaknesses and learn from the strengths of other team members. This is especially true when team members are from diverse culture and language system.
  • Sense of responsibility is important for teamwork. If someone dropped the ball, the project would be difficult to continue.
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