Herding Cats

Posted on June 12, 2013 by

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This project focused on the discussions at the Constitutional Convention. Within the debates, compromise had to made which was often reached after multiple drafts with changes from the opposing sides. These issues included some such as taxation and slavery, as the topics of our video. We can infer that the founding of our government has influenced the nature of our democracy based on the conversational nature of the convention and our current houses of government. Similarly, in our class, we had to bring methods of compromise and democracy to the classroom to produce the video. The collaboration between the 16 students appeared to go well, from my perspective. Sixteen is probably the largest group I have worked with for this type of project. Assigning jobs worked well to keep everyone involved, because if that was not done, people would often self advocate or purposefully seek out work to do. We encountered obstacles with time management, but these were addressed by making some very detailed schedules and calendars, which became my role in the group. When I saw a need for more organization in terms of the schedule for filming, I wrote a list of scenes to film each day and the night before I would send an email to the class with the next day’s agenda and the people who would need to be ready to film. During filming in class, I became in charge of organizing and directing which people needed to be in which spaces and with which costumes or props. I saw my role in class as a “stage manager” because I worked behind the camera to supervise  and organize the efficiency with which class time was used. Because of my control needs, this was usually a satisfying and enjoyable job to take. I learned that for this type of project, a diligent schedule is a key factor to a successful project! A lot of anxiety within the class could have been prevented with a more careful approach to time management. I was challenged to improve my anxiety when I felt as if the project was out of control or not perfect and to trust myself to give up some of the control that I had, or thought I had. My communication skills were greatly improved, especially while directing the group (which often felt like herding cats).

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http://blog.mindjet.com/2012/01/what-is-collaboration-how-to-achieve-it/

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