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Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years ago
Participants need help in becoming a group. Shared interests are not always enough to bond the individual members. Too much diversity within the group may cause them to get off task by moving to debate over the topics and to abandon the structures of the activity. Since there will probably be more than one interest group attending a Web 2.0 conference, the presenter should take into consideration how the small groups will be organized in order to facilitate different points of view. Many different methods for group selection will need to be considered. In group selection, two criteria should be consider, specified group selection or random group selection.
  • Specified Group Selection
  • Random Group Selection

Group Decisions
 Group size is also important. When Web 2.0 groups get too large, some members are excluded from the interaction. It is usually best to subdivide large groups into working groups of three or four. Pairs are the most problematic grouping configuration. If one member of the pair does not have his/her energy focused on the task or presentation, he/she can easily distract the other. Larger groupings avoid this problem by spreading the energy and interaction to more people and possibilities.
There are no hard and fast rules for deciding how long to keep small groups together. It depends on many variables related to both the overall purpose and the nature of the large group. Changes in small-group composition during a Web 2.0 collaboration can add energy to the session. However, if the plan is to switch groups during a Web 2.0 collaboration time, this intention should be communicated in advance so that the participants will be mentally prepared for the transition. Some people enjoy the switches, but others resist them. The presenter’s attitude and explanation of the rationale for the regrouping will make a major difference in the participants' responses. Sometimes the best practice is to establish home teams, regroup for specific activities, and then return to home teams.
The exhibit (F Strategies for Unifying Groups) will help the Web 2.0 presenter to make effective grouping decisions, based upon topic selection, activity design, and time constraints.

Specifying Group Roles
Specific to grouping strategies is identifying how each group member will process information and come to a consensus within a collaborative setting. (See Specifying Group Roles Document SideBar) If the group is to accomplish its task successfully, each group member must be aware of their specific responsibilities.


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