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CRITICAL ANAYSIS/ REFLECTION PAPER

WILLIAM RUSSELL
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
FALL 2013
NURS 340


Group number, 4 which I was fortunate to be a part of was outstanding in many ways. First and
foremost was the dedication of each of the members. Communication in an online group is difficult.
One of the difficulties online courses is the loss of non-verbal and real time communications. (Doerr
2013). In my estimation, and based on reviews from my colleges, this group did a great job with
communication. During this project, one of us had surgery, one of us needed to be out of town for a
short period of time and unable to focus on school work, one of us needed to ask several clarifying
questions to make sure he was providing the information that was best for the project (me). Each group
member also works full time and 3 out of 4 of us have small children. Three out of 4 of us are all similar
in age. I was the outlier as far as age is concerned. The reason I mention the age difference is because
I do not feel as cyber savvy as my younger colleagues. . Group 4 also encountered some difference of
opinion in a few parts of the construction of the final Power point. Frequent communication was also
the key to success in resolving this instance as well.
Towards the completion of the project one of the group members was concerned about one of the
main aspects of the project. Lengthy and frequent discussions were posted on the group discussion
board. Some posts got slightly heated. It seemed 3 of 4 group members were satisfied with the
presentation the way it was, the 4
th
was not. Since each of us had our final grade in mind at all times,
we knew we had to solve this issue together. Much communication ensued by all of us to take care of
this issue. Two of the members discovered they worked for the same hospital and were able to meet at
the hospital and discuss the matter to determine what to do. Fortunately, the four of us were
successful in resolving the issue and were able to make the final presentation something we all agreed
with and felt good about. Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge. Kahlil Gibran. (DeMarco, 2012).
The reason I think this quote is appropriate is as discussed previously, on-line group projects present
challenges traditional classes do not. It is perplexing to work as a group with e-communication as the
only way for group members to communicate. One thing that is defiantly difficult is not having face-to-
face communication. Sometimes the written word can be misinterpreted without nonverbal and body
language to help in the message delivery. One key learning for me was that when being a 25%
shareholder in a project, the other 75% is more important to the %100 than an individuals %25. We all
had the same investment in the project and all needed to be accountable for our own work and each
others.
The group leaders, Sarah and Jen, did a fair and equitable job with the division of labor and roles from
the very beginning. Again, the communication in this group was outstanding. The number of posts
from each of us was numerous. I very much appreciated the feedback I received when I posted
questions. The feedback was helpful and very timely. One thing that sticks in my mind is the discussion
board posts that began with Lets get started on the next section. These messages really gave me the
confidence that this group was not only just on time, but ahead of schedule. These messages were sent
by the group leaders early in the project and carried through until the last day. One group member
posted to her evaluation of me that my communications were rather brief at times. This is a perspective
I can take with me to future group projects. I feel this group had great leadership and influence on how
well we did on the total project. I suppose Im making an assumption on the final grade will be an A.
As mentioned above, I and other members of the group had questions on our assignments s the
projected was being worked on. The middle of the project had several posts dealing with clarifying what
the group felt was the best way to present certain information. Again each of us had the final grade in
mind and wanted to make sure we all agreed on the best way to do things. Our motivation was clear.
We all wanted to do very well on the project and wanted to make sure we all contributed what was best
for the group on an individual basis. Another key learning I had was that with good leadership and
attention to deadline management, ample time is afforded to not only ask clarifying questions, but time
for feedback as well. This attention to detail was, I think, one of the keys to this groups success.
According to the evaluations my group mates completed on my performance, it looks like my
participation was on par with the groups expectations. As mentioned above, one group member
commented that she felt my responses were sometimes rather brief. Even though the two others in the
group did not make such comments, a good thing to remember is that not all member of any particular
group intemperate messages in the same way.
Key learnings for a future action plan are as follows:
1. When participating in group projects, I will communicate often and early and ask clarifying
questions of the group to make sure I am communicating according to the standards of the
group.
2. I will set or inquire about assignment deadlines.
3. I will meet or exceeded deadlines.
4. I will continue to ask for and follow feedback from group members.
5. I will encourage other forms of communication among group members when possible.
6. I will continue to ask clarifying questions of group members and the instructor to assure I am
providing the necessary information to make a project successful.
References
Doerr, M. Syllabus, Nursing 340, Ferris State University. www.FSU.edu
Harkness, G., & DeMarco, R. Community and public health nursing: evidence for practice.
(2012) Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Philadelphia, PA