Day 7: I Posted a Collaboration and Got 500 Responses

One of the fun challenges of collaborations on CAPspace is the large number of interested people. There are 5000+ active videoconferencing educators (ever noticed the count on the front page when you login?).

This past fall, I heard that while some people found the perfect match and only one person responded, many collaborations quickly gathered much more interest. These fall into two types:

  1. You post your project and you need 1 partner; 20 people respond.
  2. You find a cool collaboration; 3 teachers want to do it; the person who posted it has found a partner already.

Now what? Let’s talk about how to handle these situations!

Too Many Responses
So what do you do when you post a project that’s clearly a popular idea; 20 people respond. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Wait. I prefer to wait a bit and see what responses I get in the first day. Sometimes the people who respond have very little to contribute; other times they have additional ideas to make the project better. Read them over and choose from among them.
  2. Save all potential partner information. Save the contact information for everyone who responded as you may be able to use them as a partner for future projects.
  3. Check with your other teachers. If you think other teachers might want to do it as well, you might want to add another session or two, but don’t feel obligated to connect with all twenty partners.
  4. Email each potential partner. Thank them for their interest. Let them know you’re keeping their contact information for the future. Don’t just ignore their email. Make a nice little “no” template and then copy & paste it to respond to each one. This will save you time, but will also courteously let the others know that you no longer need a partner.
  5. Close the collaboration. Once you’ve selected a partner, log back into CAPspace, and mark it filled. See: My Projects, Collaborations, My Current. This way others will know that you are no longer looking for partners. When you are finished with the project, login and mark it Past. Don’t delete it, as this builds your reputation in the site. Others can click the stars on your profile to see the collaborations you’ve created.
  6. Don’t forget to Say No Nicely!

Tomorrow we’ll talk about what to do when a collaboration is already filled.

Your Turn:

  1. How do you handle collaborations that get out of hand?
  2. What tips do you have these situations?

If you are totally new to collaborative projects and/or would like step by step assistance making a collaborative project happen, from start to finish, sign up for Kid2Kid Videoconference Connections, a six week online course beginning January 25.

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About Janine Lim

Janine Lim is an Instructional Technology Consultant at the Berrien Regional Education Service Agency in Berrien Springs, MI. Her main focus is on distance learning via videoconferencing and online learning. She also trains teachers in technology integration in the classroom and maintains the SouthwestNet Distance Learning web site. Janine is a past President of TWICE, a Michigan K12 videoconferencing organization, and maintains the TWICE website. She is also the TWICE Read Around the Planet Verification Coordinator for 2007. She also writes a regular column for the MACUL newsletter and was a member of the MACUL board of directors 2001-2003.
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