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Emerging Technologies that Drive Online Collaborations - #SMSociety15 Work in Progress Presentation

Technologies are constantly changing. In recent years, we have seen disruption in education caused by mobile and cloud technologies (Johnson et al., 2014). These new technologies are making it possible for scholars to collaborate in new ways. The NMC Horizon Report: 2015 Higher Education Education suggests that one of the long term trends in higher education is increased cross-institution collaboration (Johnson et al, 2015, p.10). One of the challenges that prevent increased collaboration is the near-term need for increased digital literacies. Several groups of scholars associated with the 2014 Rhizomatic Learning MOOC (Cormier, 2014) have demonstrated successful cross-institutional and cross-cultural collaboration in the form of collaborative academic papers and conference presentations.

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Emerging Technologies that Drive Online Collaborations - #SMSociety15 Work in Progress Presentation

  1. 1. EmergingTechnologies that Drive Online Collaboration Presented by: Rebecca J. Hogue (@rjhogue) Jeffrey M. Keefer (@JeffreyKeefer) @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15
  2. 2. Necessary selfie @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15
  3. 3. Purpose We will describe how an institutionally, culturally, geographically, and philosophically diverse group of people, many of whom never met offline (physically in- person), came together to collaboratively create conference presentations and write academic papers. • This study focuses on the technology that supports our collaborations @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15
  4. 4. @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15 @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15
  5. 5. Scope of Study The study began with an attempt at mapping of collaborations between each of the authors. Collaborative technologies (e.g., Google Docs, Google Hangouts, Email, andTwitter) were then used to further explore the technologies that enabled or disabled our collaborations. Not all attempts at using technologies were successful = Dissonance! This collaboration itself became a collaborative lens included in the study. @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15
  6. 6. Collaboration Matrix @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15 Collaboration Name/Person Name Rebecca Maha Keith AK Sarah Jeffrey Ron Len Paper (WIP): Writing as a swarm: How Google Docs are enabling new forms of collaborative writing Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Paper: What Is It Like to Learn and Participate in Rhizomatic MOOCs? A Collaborative Autoethnography of #rhizo14 Sent for review Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes How the Community Became More Than the Curriculum: Participant Experiences in #rhizo14 Sent for review Yes Yes No No Yes No No No Paper (Hybrid Pedagogy): Writing the Unreadable Untext: a Collaborative Autoethnography of #rhizo14 Published Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Conference Presentation (#et4online): #rhizo14 Collaborative Autoethnography - challenges and joyes of unwriting the untext Presented Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Conference Presentation (Alt-C): A herd of freely associating, autonomous cats: how a Facebook group helped turn a bunch of cMOOC participants into a learning community Accepted Yes Yes No No Yes No No Yes Conference Presentation (WIP - SMSociety): Emerging Technologies that drive online collaboration Presented Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Conference Presentation (WIP - dLRN): Pioneering alternate forms of collaboration: Technologies that support and sideline #rhizomatic learning Accepted Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes interview with Dave Cormier for JPD (published) Published No Yes No No Yes No No No Confessions of a MOOC swarm - lived experience in a variety of MOOCs (EMOOCS 2016) Started Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
  7. 7. Google Docs Our current work-in-progress focuses on Google Docs, which is a central component in our academic collaborations @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15
  8. 8. Methodology Actor-NetworkTheory (ANT) is a research strategy that treats everything in the natural and social world as continuously generated effects of the networked connections in which they exist. ANT is useful to examine the multiplicity of ties within networks and attempt to make sense of the “difficult ambivalences, messy objects, multiple overlapping worlds and apparent contradictions that are embedded in so many educational issues” (Fenwick and Edwards, 2010). We use ANT to dissect and describing how different technologies influenced our collaborations and our community. @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15
  9. 9. Story of a Google Doc – A Semi-Fictional Narrative 1. AK writes a blog post that speaks to Rebecca. 2. On her Mac, Rebecca creates a Google Doc, adds some text to contextualize the idea, and includes the text fromAK's blog post. 3. Len jumps in with his thoughts on how this might be presented. @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15
  10. 10. Story of a Google Doc – A Semi-Fictional Narrative 4. Maha, using her phone while commuting to/from work, adds her thoughts to the conversation. The mobile app doesn't show the comments in the same way - they are not part of the document but rather an interruption in the flow of it. @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15
  11. 11. Story of a Google Doc – A Semi-Fictional Narrative 5. Sarah tries to use her tablet to access the doc but it hides comments till one is clicked on, which makes it no good for swarm writing where the comments are important. @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15
  12. 12. Story of a Google Doc – A Semi-Fictional Narrative 6. Jeffrey at times misses strands as alerts or notifications are inconsistent, creating a discussion on notifications in the margins. This is just a brief overview of the complex interactions. @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15
  13. 13. SwarmWriting – A Collaborative Process • It has been called "rhizomatic collaborative writing" (Hamon et al, 2015). • Involves multiple authors collaborating and working together, like a Swarm, on creating a single document. • Multiple writers in different countries and timezones, using this method while working on tasks that have not been readily defined in the literature, benefit most from free, cloud-based tools. • While collaborative (like a wiki), it is messy, and thus allows for (invites?) unexpected bouts of creativity and shifts in direction. @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15
  14. 14. Collaboration and Cooperation - Different modes of working together Collaboration is often elicited and expected, though it can be challenging when cooperation is a goal without a clear road map or strategy. This often leads to Divide and Conquer: I will write this section . . . . . . and you write that one . . . . . . and who does the rest?! Swarm writing promotes a blurring of boundaries, with cooperation coming as part of a group, rather than a pile of individual authors. @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15
  15. 15. Enablers - Check your Ego at the Door … allows our words to be re-written many times, such that we can identify facets of the ideas in the text, but the words no longer belong to an individual ... ... they belong to the swarm! @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15
  16. 16. Leadership and Authorship Order • Different leaders for different projects • Leaders role is to ‘herd the cats’ and also ensure that all voices that want to contribute have a chance to • After the leader, there is no authorship precedence – we talk about who needs to be where on the author order • Crossing disciplines, authorship order means something different (e.g. last author in sciences is a prestigious position that goes to the leader of the lab) @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15
  17. 17. Challenges - Costs Costs vary by collaborator - especially with international collaborations and unaffiliated / unfunded collaborators Philosophical differences among authors over willingness to pay for collaboration tools @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15
  18. 18. Challenges - Bandwidth • For the most part, Google Docs performs well in low bandwidth situations • Other tools, especially those with video, are challenging to some co-authors – serving to silence rather than enable collaborations • In addition, not everyone is setup for (or comfortable with) voice / video communication @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15
  19. 19. Challenges - Language • We are all strong English speakers / writers. • We are aware of how Google Docs (asynchronous and written medium) helps to enable English as a foreign language speakers. • “We feel the enthusiasm for audiovisual synchronicity often comes without sufficient discernment, and without deliberative consideration” (Bali & Meier, 2014). This is an area we will be exploring further … @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15
  20. 20. Challenges - Navigating new processes and spaces • We are collaborating in different ways • External forces (conference deadlines) • Messiness of swarm interfacing with individual needs/requirements • Pragmatic issues (need for presentation to be in PPT on a stick – not in Prezi) @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15
  21. 21. What’s Next? Tools: • Email • Google Hangouts • Twitter • Facebook Messenger • Doodle • Prezi Processes: • Language requirements • Transitions (from swarm writing to presenting) • Transitions (from swarm writing to article submission) @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15
  22. 22. Discussion 1. Have you ever experienced this phenomenon that we have termed "Swarm Writing?” 2. What benefits or challenges do you envision? 3. How is your version of swarm writing different from what we have described? 4. What next steps can you consider for us to continue to develop this work? @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15
  23. 23. Contact Us Twitter #rhizo15 - ask for the swarm! ANT Project collaborators: • Rebecca J. Hogue • Jeffrey M. Keefer • Keith Hamon • Apostolos Koutropoulos • Maha Bali • Lenandlar Singh • Sarah Honeychurch • Ron Leunissen @rjhogue @jeffreykeefer #rhizo15