Final Entry – Brief Wrap Up

  • Your impressions of working in a virtual team (including whether or not you would wish to do so again)

I loved working with virtual team.  It’s a great experience because it gives each team an opportunity to communicate in a convenient, comfortable manner.  There’s nothing I hate more than to be working on something in person that always conflicts with my time schedule.  It’s very much a nuance, because you can’t think as freely and you feel more restricted.  I love the freedom and comfort that working virtually offers, and I would definitely love to do it again.

  • The most valuable things you learned from doing the project

The most valuable things I learned from this project are some of the major differences in cultures when writing, and how much similarity there is as well.  There’s a great deal of difference in technical writing in terms of culture, and the intercultural experience this project offered really taught me how to better communicate on a more universal level, and interact with others who don’t aren’t very fluent in English.  While there are some differences in culture, there are also some great similarities.  I was surprised at how closely related English students are with Irish students, in terms of their communication skills and writing abilities.  I was happy to learn about how they write in their daily lives technically, and to apply some of the techniques they use to my own.

  • New skills you developed during the course of the project

Some new skills I developed were the skills to communicate abroad, and take part in the overall structure of intercultural communication.  There’s some great communication values to be taken from here, especially in terms of writing.  I also developed the skill to read things in a totally different language, but be able to notice the structure of the document and see if it was structurally sound.  It’s a great skill to have, because even if you can’t read the language, you can at least see if things are being communicated correctly in terms of design elements, which tend to be a universal foundation in writing.

  • A brief description of the leadership structure in your team and an evaluation of how effective the team leadership was

I’m not sure who our leader was to be honest.  I think it was Elizabeth, but I’m not entirely sure.  She seemed to have taken the most responsibility in terms of leadership, so I’ll have to say she did a great job.  She didn’t really have any problems in addressing information or conveying ideas, and she really was active throughout the project.  Although this project didn’t really require much in terms of leadership, Elizabeth still did a great job.  Kendra did too, and she was great to collaborate with.  The team as a whole was good, although I don’t really like to rate myself.  I enjoyed working with both of them, and I hope I get to do so in the near future.

  • Things you would do differently in future projects, if any

The only thing I would do differently is try to find a better communication tool for the French students.  They seemed to have had a lot of trouble communicating with us and sharing documents on Sulis.  They recommended we use Google drive with them, which seemed to have worked out a little better.  Sulis may not be as applicable in terms of intercultural communication for French students as it is for those who speak English.  The Irish and American students who used Sulis had no problems.  Other then that, I can’t think of anything different I would do, and I hope I have another opportunity like this again.  It’s always a pleasure to be a part of Dr. Flammia’s classes, I thoroughly enjoy her teaching, and I can honestly say I enjoy her teaching the most.  There’s always something new and exciting in her classes.

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Technical Challenges on WordPress and the Remainder of the Project

It seems I’ve done it again.  I’ve somehow mustered enough time to not learn how to correctly use wordpress. This is the second time I’ve forgotten to hit “publish post” instead of save draft.  Only this time I had one post that I had saved versus the several others I posted all at once due to the same issue.  It’s very difficult to adjust to word press’s technical tools, because they are definitely not in the best idea of the user.

We turn in our collaboration project tonight, and I believe it’s already turned in on Sulis, so there’s no need for me to really do anything as far as I know.  The only other thing is the reflective diary which you are reading right now.  I just wish that I had more to talk about during the course of this diary, because it’s hard to create twelve posts when there is virtually nothing to reflect upon.  I’ve posted a couple of entries before that seem almost useless because they don’t offer any relevancy or substance.  They’re very dull sounding, but I tried my best to give a reflective narrative on the progress of our project.  There will be one more post tonight that I’m working on right now, and it will be the final one for this reflective diary.

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Collaboration Editing

Well, I just checked the Sulis discussion board, and it looks like our french team has definitely done their share of work.  They’ve really done an excellent job in terms of technically editing a document in English and turning into a usable document for the French culture.  I don’t know how to read French, or even speak a couple of words for that matter, but the syntax looks great and it looks like they spent a lot of time developing it.  Great job, French team!

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More Progress and Getting Back To Work

After a good break here in Florida, I know that the Irish and French students have been hard at work on their end of the project.  I just checked Sulis again, and I didn’t see any new information concerning our document that requires us to really attend to, but I did see where the French students have translated the document into their language.  I haven’t actually seen the translated document as I am still awaiting for them to add me to their Google Drive network.

 

They did mention a piece that they needed help translating, but I believe Kendra and the rest of the team already attended to that.  Right now we’re kind of waiting around in limbo during the translation phase, as we have completed our instructional phase.  I guess we have another week of the translation phase to see if the french students have any more questions regarding the document and the exact translation of things for the audience.  Will have more to blog about as more information arrives!

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Spring Break

Currently on spring break, but I find myself playing catch up with all my work.  Now, I had no idea that I was doing this, because apparently I’ve lost the ability to read, but I had been hitting save draft this whole time instead of publish post.  You see, as a technical writer, that’s faulty on the part of word press.  The user’s eyes are more drawn to the links and buttons the left hand side of things, not the right.  The save draft button is located directly below on the left, and the publish post is located on the right.  That’s not efficient.  Maybe I’ve been taking too many technical writing courses, or maybe I could get a job with word press and teach them how to make their stuff more efficient.  I’m probably blowing this out of proportion, but it’s still quite annoying considering that everyone’s wondering where all of my posts are.  And they’re just sitting there waiting to be posted.

Anyway, back to the project.  As I mentioned just before, we’re waiting on the communication links in google groups and sulis before we move forward I suppose.  It shouldn’t be too long I’m guessing.  We’re also each writing in our reflective diaries, and still reading the modules provided by Dr. Flammia.  They’re always very helpful, and they help bring insight to our intercultural communication course.

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French Students are in contact!

It’s great to hear from the French translation students.  They seem very nice and adequate to complete this project.  I’m impressed with how great their written english is, considering how hard it is to translate from French to English.  They seem like a great crew to work with, and I’m sure they’ll do a great job on their end of the project.  It’s unfortunate that they had such a hard time getting in touch with us because of issues with Sulis, and I hope that doesn’t hinder them from further endeavors with our project.  It’s very understandable that they couldn’t get in touch with us sooner, because I know they were having a hard time with the communication links on Sulis.  I’m glad it’s resolved for them though; they seem like they enjoy it and are excited to be a part of it.

I also enjoyed reading their introductions as well.  It’s very interesting to see where all walks of life come from, especially places like France and Ireland.  I’m enjoying learning about their cultures through the way they communicate with us, because you can really pick up on a lot of different intricacies.  For example, I had no idea that the sun was always shining in the south of France like it is here in Florida.  I’m not a big geography person, but it’s interesting to hear how these different areas of the world are so interconnected with with us.

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Still awaiting the French translators

Well, not much to blog about right now.  I believe last time I wrote it was concerning the issues I had with being concise and what types of context to include with the facebook instructions, and I believe I also mentioned that we had sent it off to the French students for translation.  We’re still waiting to hear from them, but I’m sure they’re just busy and are going to get in touch with us soon.  Hopefully we’ll hear from them in the next few days.

Meanwhile, we’re still communicating as a group, and I’ve offered to help out with anything else they need in the meantime.  I’m not sure if there is anything else that needs to be done.  Nonetheless, I think the overall effectiveness of the document looks good so far, and I think we’re making great progress in these early versions of the draft.  Hopefully we’ll hear from the French students shortly, and then we can make more progress from there.

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Editing and Context

After reviewing other’s posts on the facebook instructions, I don’t feel like mine were up to par.  Maybe it’s just because I hold such high standards for myself, but I just like things to be absolutely perfect.  But then again, what is perfect in this world, right? Nonetheless, it looks immaculate after it was edited, and I think it’ll go nicely with the rest of the document.  I suppose I should’ve included more pictures in there so that it’s overall effectiveness could have been higher, but I didn’t want to make it where it was like some sort of pictogram, or the inside of some Ikea furniture instructions.

The editors did a nice job ensuring the document as a whole looked good.  They also sent it off to the translators, whom we are still waiting to hear back from.  Hopefully they’ll get in touch with us soon, and we can discuss where to go from here in regards with the document.

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Finally posted my section

So I finally posted my section to the board.  I’m really not that late on it, it’s just hard to balance a full time job and school at the same time.  It was a tricky section for me to complete, because I had to find a concise way to explain how to change the settings on facebook without sounding redundant.  That’s the hardest part with something like this is to not sound redundant.  For example, the majority of settings can be changed by  “click on the settings you want to change.  Select and modify any information, and then hit the ‘save changes’ button.”  That’s the main basis of everything on changing settings within facebook.  It’s hard also to not go over that 900 word count for the document, because I’m really not sure how much I want to elaborate on it.

Nonetheless, I think it looks fine.  I’ve just posted it and emailed it to the editors, and I think they’ll make changes accordingly. That’s why it’s good to have editors, because they usually see things you don’t, and in my circumstances, that’s always a plus.

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More progress

So we’re in the progress of completing our sections.  It seems we’ll be doing a piece on how to set up a facebook.  I’m in charge of how to modify settings, and I think there’s only two other writers along with me.  It’s coming along nicely though.  This sure seems a lot easier than what I was expecting.  After this, we’ll submit it to our editors for their final word on it, and then we’ll hand it over to the translators for further evaluation.  We haven’t heard from any of the translators yet, so hopefully soon we’ll be getting in touch.  I’m not sure what to expect with the language barriers between us, but I’m sure I’m sure it’ll work out fine.

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