While attempting to complete my first group assignment as an external student at University, I realised how much harder it was than while I was an internal student. If you’re an internal student you see each other at least once a week, making it hard to ignore the fact you have an upcoming assignment. Also you actually get to meet and talk with people and elect to be in their group (if the group selection process is left to the students). Being external, I had to post a random post on the discussion board and hope I was choosing the right people. And then hope they didn’t ignore my emails or wait a month or so to reply.
Google Wave would have been one of the best tools for this group assignment. Email meant a group of four people were all individually emailing each other and also at times emailing all four of the group. I ended up with snapshots of what was happening, who was having what role, and what the plan was. With Google Wave, all the communication would have been in one Wave, or even multiple, but it would have been available for the group to read and to add and edit. The plan of the assignment, of who was writing what, and how we were writing it could have been kept at the top of the wave, and edited as needed. The parts assigned to individuals could have been put in the wave and the group could know exactly where the assignment was up to, and edit other’s parts as we went.
The two main features of Google Wave which would have positive affects on a university group assignment, would have been the real time editing and the ability to highlight. Real time made it more like conversation, without having to wait for emails to be sent, or having to work out who could possible meet in the City to catch up. Highlighting would allow those edits to be prominent or for individuals to reinforce any point they needed to make.