Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Future of Collaboration

The Future of Collaboration hackathon was held intercontinentally in Silicon Valley and India on July 12 and 13, 2013. While demos necessarily focused on technical solutions (using communication-based APIs from WebRTC, Media Network Services, vLine, and Twilio (most of which do not yet work on most au courant wearbles computing platforms)), several other interesting qualitative considerations arose.

E-labor Marketplaces for Teams or Groups 
One team proposed the idea of elabor marketplaces for teams or groups. This could engender a new conceptualization of ratings regarding qualitative factors (for dating, friends, employer recruiting) – to develop a more specific understanding of how teams work well together. New dimensions and metrics could be articulated to provide detail about team forming, storming, and norming steps, group dynamics, how people develop affinity and respect for each other, and intrinsic and extrinsic reward systems.

Live Interaction MOOCs (massive open online course platforms) 
Another team suggested the next wave of functionality for online elearning environments: live interaction with two-way video for group discussions. Similar to elabor marketplaces for groups, the concept of the new functionality brings the underlying activity into sharper relief. Here the underlying activity shifts to ‘what it is to be a good discussant’ - the different qualities and roles that discussion participants may exhibit, become explicitly aware of, and improve. Some examples of good discussant skills are restating the issue, extending the topic in useful ways, bringing in resources and examples, empathizing, engaging in active listening, encouraging others to state their views, peer acknowledgement, and topic closure. One can imagine the ‘Top 10 Discussant Qualities’ certificate that could be peer-evaluated and useful to list on a resume or sought by employment recruiters.

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