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, PhD, currently serves as associate dean for online higher education in the School of Distance Education at Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, MI. She and her team support over 200 online courses, provide training for faculty teaching online, and work with the campus infrastructure support of online learning. Her department also provides educational technology and Moodle support for faculty and students. In addition, Janine is responsible for the faculty and courses of the Consortium of Adventist Colleges and Universities. Janine has taught over 15 unique graduate educational technology classes online numerous times over the past 15 years, with some classes attracting participants from all over the world. Her undergraduate teaching includes social media courses for communication and digital media majors. Janine has served on the board of the United States Distance Learning Association since April 2015. Prior to her work at Andrews University, Janine coordinated distance education for 22 K12 school districts in southwest Michigan for 14 years. In that position, as one of the co-founders of TWICE, Michigan’s K12 Videoconferencing Organization, Janine has spearheaded popular international K12 videoconference projects such as Read Around the Planet and MysteryQuest. While still serving on the board of TWICE, she was instrumental in designing and implementing the CAPspace website for collaborative videoconference projects. Janine also served on a team of Michigan educational technology trainers providing a workshop called ATA Technology Academy. Her current online learning research interests include successful teacher behaviors, quality online discussions, and student activity patterns in self-paced courses.
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