Are the participants of NGL a group, network, collective or something else?
Similarly to Natalie’s post (“Groups, Networks, Sets, Collectives”, 2016), I believe that participants of NGL (a university subject I am currently undertaking) are a group. I will justify this statement by addressing some of the criteria laid out by Dron and Anderson (2014).
“Each can play a role in the learning experience for anyone affected by them.”
Our experiences in our shared journey to better understand the topics we are studying influence one another. The postings and responses that each of us make have an influence on all other students who take time to read them. Assessment activity 2 requires peer review, which will directly influence the decisions each student makes when developing their final essay.
“Groups often have formal lines of authority and roles.”
Each member of the course has a designated role as either an enrolled student or, in David’s case, the teacher. These roles govern our behaviour and responsibilities.
“They (groups) are structured around particular tasks or activities.”
Our course is structured around successfully completing the two assigned assessment tasks. Upon completion of these tasks, our goals will have been achieved and the group will disperse. Does this mean that groups are time based? Does each new semester of this NGL course mean a new group is created or that the same group continues as members change? I believe the latter is true. The purpose of the group is what defines it, not its members.
“Groups often have schedules: members frequently use and create opportunities to meet face-to-face or online through synchronous activities, and their modes of interaction are typically many-to-many or one-to-many.”
This too, is true for the NGL participants. Assignments have specified due dates and postings need to be made frequently. A Zoom session has also been conducted to allow real-time communication.
Dron, J. & Anderson, T. (2014). Teaching Crowds: Learning and Social Media. Athabasca: Athabasca University Press.
Groups, Networks, Sets, Collectives. (2016). Nat8117. Retrieved from http://nat8117.weebly.com/teacher/week-3