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Appendix E

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Associate Level Material

Appendix E

Collaboration Worksheet

Write a 100- to 150-word response to each of the following questions:

• What are the advantages of having diversity in a collaborative learning environment?

I believe that the advantages of having diversity in a collaborative learning environment are endless. I think that it is really enlightening to have someone with completely different social and cultural identities- we all need to be “taken out of our box” at times. It is too easy to generalize opinions of others and other things, and not acknowledge others thoughts and opinions. Throughout everyone’s differences, we are all surprised to learn that we really aren’t all that different. I also like that in an online setting; we aren’t able to judge people prematurely, which gives us a more open experience. As much as we all hate to admit it- we do judge people. I have learned to take all aspects of someone into consideration, and I enjoy learning and understanding people in their own different ways. I was once challenged with an assignment on reflection- the idea was to look at everything and everyone as grey- kind of like watching television on an old black-and-white set. I remember initially thinking, “This will be so easy!’’ and how silly it seemed. Once I started, I realized that we subconsciously narrow things down in our minds before they are even considered. When everything appears the same, it is treated with a different attitude and open-ness. Everyone is different, and has taken their own different path to get here- and it is awesome to be able to share experiences and opinions throughout the learning environment.

• How might factors such as diversity, attitude, learning, and work styles affect collaboration?

I think that with all the factors mentioned, it is up to everyone how they interpret and handle the situation. If someone has a negative attitude off the bat, they can potentially turn the situation into a direct reflection of the mood they are in. When people are positive, it seems to radiate to all. I think that our learning and work styles will begin to vary slightly as we progress- due to enlightenment and the diversity we are surrounding ourselves with. I believe that if a person has a better grip on their effective styles of learning and working, they can use them accordingly to help themselves (and others) gain the best experience. Also, I believe that diversity is what makes collaborations so much more interesting. When we are linked with someone that we thought we could never get along or work with, and end up collaborating with really well, it helps open your mind to more endless opportunities with communication.

• How does personal responsibility influence the work and success of a group? Personal responsibility influences the work and success of a group in many different ways. It can be positive, for example: if the person is responsible and upholds their end of the assignment, it helps everyone do the best they can and be confident with their assignment when it’s due. When someone is not responsible, it causes ill feelings, and more work on others- potentially causing them to not have such focus on what they were initially expected to do, and lack of confidence when submitting their assignments. I think that it is up to us all individually, and that we should be honest from the beginning. If someone has certain issues and doesn’t feel comfortable with the portion they may be expected to do, they should express it at the beginning, so others can accommodate accordingly. I know that we all have high-hopes, and that sometimes we just struggle, and we shouldn’t feel embarrassed or overwhelmed. I also believe that it is everyone’s personal responsibility to look out for their best interest, and that if someone isn’t being responsible and potentially causing harm, it should be addressed maturely so that it is fair at the end of the assignment. One bad apple can spoil a whole bunch- especially if we just let it sit there and rot.…...

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