Mid-semester rant, doubts, blues ....
Up until this point, I have kept my posts pretty objective concerning the whole Immersion experience. For this posting I will digress a bit. This week has been a struggle for me. In one class I was included in a group that was on the receiving end of some pretty harsh and unproductive criticism in an activity that was intended to be an open and reasonably positive peer critique of our work.
I have doubted my ability to adequately facilitate the Immersion team and move them forward in the analysis phase of our project. Even though I have tried my best in the role as Project Coordinator to not act as a leader (see post on bioteaming), during client and SME meetings as well as interactions with our instructor I feel that I am responsible for filling that leadership role. I don't mind facilitating - as a matter of fact most of the time I enjoy it. But I'm finding that in this situation I dislike the facilitator role more and more each day. Perhaps it is because I have a vested interest in the outcome of the project and cannot act as an impartial party during this process. Sometimes I feel like I am battling my teammates and imposing my perspective and sense of order on them. I don't want that to happen. So this week I was more passive in my role to see what would happen in the team meeting. A circular, unproductive conversation ensued that had the team stalled on the same topic for about 45 minutes. Not good. I suggested that we all start sharing the role of leading client and SME meetings. They agreed, but didn't jump up and down at the opportunity to take on this task. I was able to convince one team member to handle a portion of the meeting while I stood by as back up.
Then to top it off, we got an interesting perspective from another instructor who filled in briefly for our Immersion advisor this week. From his view, it appears that our whole approach to the needs analysis needs to be completely revamped so we are not considering a virtual collaboration center as an end product. This has been a concern voiced by some team members as we have progressed through analysis. I feel that there are some competing agendas here that have prompted the "do what is wanted" stance where the project is concerned, causing the "do what is actually needed" approach to take a back seat (see my fuchsia post). That doesn't make me very happy.
On a more positive note, I did get to play with Springdoo, a neat Web 2.0 tool that allows you to create quick and easy videos that can be emailed, or posted to websites, blogs, and social networking sites. I posted my quick and dirty first attempt at a Springdoo video. My partner and I hope to use this for our Performance Centered Design project that will support public speaking.