Despite the usefulness of self assessment in an online group, it is well known that discussions made from these meetings may be tiresome and not understandable. The overall idea achieved from these discussions is undesirable because many people are not willing to help in information sharing others are lazy, and some group members are not willing to participate due to minimal supervision. This makes a group leader in this self assessment online group to carry a lot of responsibilities without the assistance of any member. On the other hand, each skill a member has may benefit the group at large despite no one knowing each other. This paper presents a study of various dynamics on a certain group and how online group discussion works.
Self Assessment in an Online Group
One of the main responsibilities needed by a leader while conducting group works and online projects is correct planning of the tasks to be handled by the entire group. It is essential to use activities and functionalities of the group in order to make plentiful opportunities used in the online group-based interaction. Despite that, I was not ready to be in charge of a project to be done online with people I did not know. This paper will, therefore, talk about some of the roles I had to do as a group leader and the dynamics I put into effect.
One of the strengths I had as a leader was effective planning. When doing online group work with anonymous people, one needs to be social and motivated. The group leader should provide instructions with clear tasks to be handled and expectations from the group. On the other hand, the leader has to create an opportunity for each group member to associate with others and create their relevant identities as members of the particular online group study. As the online group leader, I created an opportunity for every member to know me, prepared the tasks to be carried in the group, and explained the expectations needed from each other (Brown, 2000).
Within the online group project, it is necessary to create interactive spaces like simulated student lounge (Brown, 2000). This will enable the online participants to take part in conversations that are off subject, such as talking about one’s family, favorite teams, and personal concerns among others. In addition, as a group leader in the online project, I had to collect all the biographical statements of every group member even though I did not recognize them. The group leader also needs to create a photo bank for every member, and then combine each member’s biography with the photo so that they can be used for any reference by any member.
Another strength I had as a group leader was my ability to be a pacesetter. This quality helped me to provide time to be used in interactions and reflect on the issues to be discussed on the projects handled. I had to prepare topics for discussion early and be more committed than other members. Therefore, the online group members were satisfied with me and considered me to be an outstanding leader. I am one of those who value discussions as key devices for instructions. This is viewed by the other group members as a positive contribution to their learning.
One of the things I came to recognize as a pacesetter was that conducting of online discussions requires a lot of time and, therefore, one should give other members time for reflection. Consequently, avoiding content overload would be vital. In addition, I extended the time of the instructions given in a project so that the other group members might have time to read the project to be carried out and reflect on it. According to Brown (2000), another thing to do as a leader is using measured responses patterns in discussion areas about the project. As a good leader, I did not dominate in group conversations. I enabled everyone to be active in groups and made myself a regular group participant.
As a group member, I had various strengths that everyone in the group admired. The first one is that I was proficient in communicating. One should listen carefully what other group members suggest and pay attention to tasks carried out by the group leader, as well as the members. On the other hand, I was good at asking questions despite the group work being online. Another strength I had as a group member was being an excellent planner and having quality planning skills. Planning is one of the vital things needed in a group discussion either done online or face to face. Before starting the online group projects with members, I am not familiar about; I have to consider what is to be accomplished on that particular online discussion (Brown, 2000).
In addition, I considered the skills of other members despite not knowing them. I assisted other members in evaluating and executing plans given in the online projects. This is because as a leader, you must ensure that you offer support where it is needed.
For the little time I have spent in the online group work project as a group member, I needed more improvements in seeking and giving information, and opinion to other members. I am not good at asking for suggestions or ideas that mainly concerns the group discussion. This is because I am rather poor in brain storming. In fact, other group members complained that I did not participate in any discussions they gave. I was not ready for group argument and I only gave them the points needed.
In conclusion, as a group leader, I had difficulties in controlling the performance of the group. This area requires a lot of improvement because a leader influences group performance by the action done. At some time, the members told me that I was not directing the topics to be discussed properly. On the other hand, others accused me of having no control on members who were active. So the reason why various group roles in online discussions are difficult is that they are not defined properly, and the relationship among members is not acceptable.