So with the mention of my “Group Blog” in an earlier post, I want to elaborate now on the inner workings of the behind-the-scenes communications that go on.
In class we did a communications exercise which was EXTREMELY fun! We were told very vaguely what was going to happen, and given a few minutes to decide how we were going to communicate (cell phones was our method of choice). We were sent all over campus to get distance between us that we needed for the exercise and the game begun! Once in place we were told this was going to be done completely on Wikipedia and the game was going to be called “Find Your Way to Dallas”. The object was to navigate through Wiki pages given an ‘origin’ page and the end goal was to find the “dallas” wiki page in the fewest number of clicks, ONLY by clicking on links in each Wiki page. Example: Start on Jimi Hendrix Wiki, and find your way to the Dallas Wiki in as few clicks as possible. The twist was that we had a really short time to complete this in; 3 minutes to be exact! Wow 3 minutes went by quick each time.
In the end my team didn’t win, but I honestly didn’t care because we all learned the value behind quick communications and resourcefulness. The decision to use cell phones was great, but could have been improved with using some sort of IRC chat since it’s instantaneous and able to be viewed by all who are participating. That was one half of the reason the winning group came out on top. The other reason was one that my group completely didn’t think about; the ‘Find’ feature on your browser window! Those two factors allowed them to literally blow past us as competition.
I used copy and paste shortcuts which gave my group a slight edge. I also used the ‘group text’ feature on my phone to send messages quickly to the whole group. These both came in handy but with only 3 minutes on the clock I see now how the IRC chat could have made things much more simple!
As group leader I was set up to coordinate and therefore my duties were slightly different and emphasized the beauty of delegation. I had 4 group members who were all doing the Wiki searching, so I tried to focus on collaborating more and preparing for my group members answers, and assisted with the Wiki searching as a secondary task. As I type this blog, I’m realizing now how much our hierarchal form of communication emphasized trust between the group. I was forced to trust that my group members would do their part in quickly searching and they would only submit correct answers, while the group trusted me to explain everything so they could understand what I needed them to do and represent our answers as quickly as possible. Once answers came pouring in, they also had to trust that I would choose the shortest answer which would hopefully lead to a victory.
All-in-all this was an awesome experience and I think it pulled us together as a group! Let’s see what our professor has up his sleeve next!