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Communication Strategy

If your team includes students from other schools, you must agree on how you will communicate.

At times, it's hard enough to get people in the same room to communicate effectively. Add in the idea of collaborating over the Internet, and the chance for misunderstanding increases exponentially.

Side Bar

"For a Virtual team to succeed they need a common language and way to communicate."

Jessica Lipnack
Virtual Teams

Side Bar

If students are working collaboratively over the Internet, how clearly the communication strategy is defined will determine the success of the project. It's that simple.

The first thing that your team will need to identify is the type and frequency of their communication.

Type- How will the students be communicating?

  • Will students be using the same software to
    share documents (Word, Excel)? Team members will also have to be aware of different versions of the same software. An older version of Microsoft Word will not be able to read a newer version of a Word document.
  • What type of communications software will the team be using
    • e-mail
    • conferencing software like Microsoft's NetMeeting Live Internet Connection Required
    • IRC (Internet Chat Software) applications like mIRC Live Internet Connection Required, Visual IRC Live Internet Connection Required, or ICQ Live Internet Connection Required (highly recommended) which allow participants to communicate real time, while being able to share documents.

Frequency- How often will students be communicating?

  • At the very beginning of a project, "virtual teams" need to agree upon the frequency of communication. Without this constant communication, some projects fall apart due to lack
    of interest. Others fall apart because of misunderstandings that arise from lack of communication.
  • How frequent each team communicates will need to be determined by the team, but a good rule is to not let a week go by without some kind of progress report or update.

The essentials are in place, you've built your team and agreed upon a method of communication. Now comes the fun part. Now is the time to take a tour of other Web projects to determine what makes an effective Web project.

Next Section: Characteristics of an effective Web Project

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