unit resources unit activities & timeline  

To explore and experiment with electronic communication tools and techniques.

Collaboration can happen in face-to-face and voice-to-voice situations. However, as individuals and organizations shift the way they are accomplishing their work, workplace communication is changing. Increasingly communication takes place via electronic tools.

Email has become one of the most popular ways of communicating in workplace. Many of us tend to use email as a purely transactional mode of communication; we view it as a "two-way" process and use it to send and receive information or to broadcast memos. However email can be an effective tool for collaboration: a way of sharing and building ideas. At Training Innovations we see "e-collaboration" as an effective way to complete projects, invite a number of individuals to contribute, and produce results as a team.

As a communication tool email has many benefits. When used by individuals and work teams to facilitate the collaborative process, the result can often be surprising. Learning to use email in this way can result in richer conversation and more productive face-to-face meetings with your colleagues and co-workers. e-collaboration can help you capitalize on the individual strengths of your work team and produce results more efficiently than you would otherwise.

This activity will give you the opportunity to participate in a collaborative email experience with your co-learners. On July 30 the e-Facilitator will send you an email to provide content for a discussion as well as some questions for you to consider. The purpose of the questions is to create a forum for you to share your thoughts while building on each other's ideas.

This email activity should be completed by August 7, 2002.

  • Some things to keep in mind during this activity:
  • When replying to the email, please ensure that you reply to the entire group.
  • Insert your initials at the end of your contributions. This enables others reading the email to easily identify your response.

Click here to access Online Communication Tips. This PDF file will provide additional guidelines and tips for your participation in this collaborative exercise. To download the Adobe® Acrobat® Reader® plugin required to view this file please go to Tech Support.

Email is not the only electronic tool that can be used for collaboration. There are many other ways of connecting in the workplace. Click here to access Tools for Collaboration. This PDF file will give you an overview of some of the communication tools that are currently available through the Internet and can be used to foster collaboration electronically.

Take some time to explore some of the tools listed. Connect with one of your co-learners to "chat", or share a file that you have created. If you use an additional tool that is not listed here, feel free to share your knowledge. Consider how the various tools are designed to connect with others. What kinds of applications do these tools have for your own workplace?

Tools for Teamwork by Fred Hapgood

  • How can communication technologies be used in your organization to foster collaboration?

After reflecting on your experiences, login to the Interactive Community under the heading Tools for Collaboration - Tips for Using the Tools and post any tips or tricks for you have discovered using the collaborative tools by August 8.

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