Session 4: Growing and Managing Teams (October 2022 B Cohort) Summary and Project Updates

Hello, @oct22-b-cohort. I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow for our session on Growing and Managing Teams. Here are the slides and handout .

Nudge reminder: As you wrap up the Week 3 Storytelling and Communications tasks, remember to post your progress in the Session 3 thread, along with any questions or issues you may have run into. If you weren’t able to get a task done, you can use your response to talk through that as well. Feel free to touch on time constraints, etc. We can talk through those issues at the beginning of Session 4.

Hey @oct22-b-cohort, thanks for such an engaging conversation this afternoon! Here’s the chat transcript to today’s session. Before getting to the key links, session recap, and homework, I want to draw your attention to instructions for next week’s 1:1 meetings:

Next week, your teams will meet with me 1:1 for 20 min each. This will give us the opportunity to talk about your projects in more detail, and for me as your facilitator to more clearly understand what you are working towards. I will spend some time reviewing your submitted materials in the forum, to guide your team in the next steps. Please make sure to book a slot with me using the 1:1 sign up sheet listed below and please answer the questions included in the sheet. Your answers will help me prepare for my interactions with you. If these time slots absolutely do not work for the majority of your teams, please let me know and we can find a time slot that works for your team!

To prepare for your 1:1 with me, please ensure that:

  • Everybody in your team understands who is holding what responsibility,
  • Your team has set up a transparent organisation and documentation system,
  • A draft of project summary exists and has been shared on the Project Forum pages,
  • Your team has set up a regular meeting schedule,
  • Your team started to identify and review OER for your project,
  • Your team identified and addressed challenges within teams that have come up so far.

Key Links

This session was all about the importance of collaboration and teamwork in the Textbook Success Program (TSP) and OER creation as a whole. As we see it, collaboration is at the heart of open work - when we share & work as a collective, we can have more impact and do more good in the education sphere. The learning objectives and activities in this session will prompt you to think about your role and contributions to the OER project and about how to effectively work in your teams through the rest of the TSP.

Many of our TSP graduates noted that the commitment of their team members to the OER creation process and the identity as a group have deepened over time, especially when rooted in a “shared power.”

We acknowledge that collaboration takes time. But who says it’s less efficient in the long run? Of course, in the short-term, meetings take time. We think shared ideas, feelings of being respected and being on the same wavelength, are a good investment for the future. It will enable everybody’s growth and connection on multiple levels, including institutional capacity and greater contributions to society. We, your cohort, and your teams learn from those collaborations, and all of us learn to collaborate better in the process.

The following activities were part of our fourth session (find session materials linked above):

  1. Individually reflect on your role and contributions in your team [slide 8]
  2. Indicate to cohort whether you can commit to the TSP team approach [slide 10],
  3. Discuss with your team the roles and responsibilities in your team [template linked above]

Homework Activity
Please continue your conversation around your project roles and responsibilities when you next meet with your team. These roles and tasks may shift over time, but it’s critical you begin your project work with clear expectations on who joins your team and what contributions they bring as humans and professionals. The session template [linked above] can guide you in your discussion.

Homework Checklist
I understand the values of collaborating with my team and want to model being an active, engaged team member.
In my team, we have identified key roles and decided who’s going to take on specific responsibilities to ensure the success of our project.
In my team, we have identified gaps (technical expertise, instructional design, subject matter voices, industry experts, etc.) and we discussed how to fill them.
In my team, we are in the process of setting up an effective project management system that helps clarify expectations, document the project’s progress, or resolve challenges within the team.

Have a great week ahead, and look forward to chatting with you all next week! :slight_smile:

Hi @oct22-b-cohort ! Thursday I had a chance to watch the Session 4 video from Tuesday, Nov 8. I feel like I’m a little behind on watching the video, but I don’t see any activity in the forum or on the worksheet where we have to sign up for a time slot next Tuesday. It looks like we have to begin working together to answer these questions and make progress in the project.

Hi @kaitlin -

We spoke about the Roles and Responsibilities document in our November cohort meeting. I gave each cohort a deadline of Sunday, December 18 to have all comments made on the document being shared in our Google Drive).

It was discussed up in the meetings that everyone would access the link provided (chapter: Roles and Responsibilities) for Part 1 A: Roles and Responsibilities and that these roles may be adjusted as the project begins. A few of the roles (author and contributor, for examples) may be duplicated by all cohort members.

There is space for each member to provide their comments for Part 1 B: Questions to consider and Part 2 A: Identifying Gaps.

Would you please provide more details on Writing a Role Description, maybe even an example? It seems like for this project, the timeframe and compensation are the same for each member of the cohort, but things like responsibilities and motivation may vary.

Thank you!

1 Like

Hey @jeusea ,

Thanks for providing an update! These are great questions that I hope to provide some additional context around. First, let me preface this by saying all these templates are flexible. They are really meant to be a guide for your team discussions, so if there are pieces of any template that do not relate to your teams, not a problem!

With regards to Roles and Responsibilities, there will be roles that will be duplicated and that’s a-okay! There will also be team members with multiple roles. For example, during my TSP experience, I was responsible for formatting in Pressbooks, finding images for the resource, and a lot of the administrative tasks (keeping our templates and forum updated, scheduling meetings and taking notes, keeping track of project progress). You do want to make sure no one on the team is being burdened with all the work.

Part 1B: Questions to Consider are good questions to think about now and revisit again when teams begin to start really getting into their project work. Again, if some of these questions do not apply to your groups, feel free to disregard them.

Part 2A: Identifying Gaps: this section may be trickier to fill out right now, as teams are still early into scoping out project work and assigning roles. Keep this section in mind as we move through the publishing process and teams notices gaps. When we mention “gaps”, we don’t necessarily mean with content. Think about gaps in roles such as accessibility, instructional design, technology, formatting & design, research, etc. These gaps may be able to be filled by team members in addition to their authoring roles.

Lastly, when it comes to writing a role description, I encourage you to take a look at the Recruitment Guide section of the Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (so far) - in particular the “Define What You Need” piece. Feel free to include tasks, expectations, and/or responsibilities (as these may vary between subject matter experts), as well as timelines (if you know them). Here is an example of a role description for an editor, but note that your role descriptions do not need to be this long.

Let me know if this clears things up or if you have any additional questions!