Thursday, 11 June 2009

M253 Milestone 0


Well what can I say, it's certainly different from anything else I have studied with the Open University. The course ultimately revolves around a team of 6-7 people spread out across the UK coming together online to work through tasks following a weekly schedule towards each milestone.

The first 4 weeks leading to Milestone 0 were a bit strange. Picture 7 people turning up in a FirstClass forum, with the goal of evaluating a selection of websites which sell flights and deciding on a team standard to come to an overall ranking for these sites. You have the keen person kicking up a bit of a fuss from day one because they want to do all 4 weeks work by the first week so they don't get behind, you have the people who turn up in week 4 when the first milestone is due with their introductory posting about themselves and then you have everyone else sort of in the middle. Its err entertaining to watch! I'm not sure about anyone else out their studying this course, but I thought there would be some personality clashes judging by some of the posting that were flying around.

Fortunately it all seemed to calm itself down, with the exception of the people who just don't bother to do anything of course! We managed to get the work done and get our milestone submitted but purely because a few people put in extra work. I think it was because nobody thought to take the time to decide on roles and responsibilities for team members from the outset, however we have agreed on this now with a bit of democracy and a little less coup d'etat than I was expecting. Each member is taking turns as team leader to ensure everyone gets a chance to develop this skill and also so that nobody gets the unfortunate job of e-mailing the people who aren't bothering all the time.

To be fair the course has not been as bad as the reviews on the OU website however I don't know what to expect going forward. I'll try my best to keep you updated.

P.S. It does seem to take a lot of time for a 10 point course, so bare this in mind if you intend to study it at the same time as other courses.

1 comment:

Daniel Stenning-West said...

Very interesting... my experiences so far are almost exactly the same for this course!

The only difference between our teams is that we haven't had any personality clashes (yet). However our team does seem to be divided into those that put in the effort to get work done and those that don't.

I've written a post sharing my thoughts over on my blog: A look back on 5 weeks of M253.