The Great DivideI am taking an on-line class and have been assigned a partnered project. I have created a group and have had a classmate join so that we can begin the assignment. In the standard...

The Great Divide

I am taking an on-line class and have been assigned a partnered project. I have created a group and have had a classmate join so that we can begin the assignment. In the standard classroom setting I would normally have an easier time evaluating what would appear to be a solid group partner based on their apparent academic level. With the lack of face to face contact there are no facial expressions or body language to be read, and therefore we are attempting to communicate simply by text passed back and forth. Without meeting my partner I don’t know if they have the same since of urgency. Even if my partner wanted to meet and review how the assignment should be completed I live over 100 miles away from the school hosting my class.

Can anyone suggest me solutions?

Expert Answers
literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I recently had a very similar project for my on-line Master's program. Given that the project was heavily weighted, I was very worried about my partners (either they would not pull their part, or I would not be at their level).

In order to make sure everyone was happy with the progress, we set deadlines, reviewed the work of everyone, and spoke a lot about what needed to be done, revised, and completed.

One can easily tell about another person's commitment to education, even if one does not meet face-to-face. Email the person, discuss the plan, ask for input. Depending upon their response, you will be able to tell how "urgent" he or she is as well.

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You might consider directly asking your partner how he or she feels about the project, about his/her sense of urgency, etc. 

Going into a project knowing so little about the other responsible party is difficult and nerve-racking, but your partner could end up being very dedicated and timely in his/her work. This may be a chance for you to test your patience, put in the work on your own end, take a deep breath and wait to see how well your partner holds up the other end.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First, I guess I don't see why you need to gauge their sense of urgency.  If this is your partner and you're stuck with them, just do your part and see what happens.  As far as meeting, I suppose you guys could do Skype if you both feel comfortable doing that.  Or you could just trade the text back and forth, perhaps using the features on Microsoft Word that allow you to collaborate.

rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with the answers above. Communicate with the person. Do your part and let them do theirs. There is no reason to assume that they are not as committed as you are, and it is best to give them the benefit of the doubt, even if that seems a little nerve-racking. If you are very nervous about it, perhaps the 100-mile trip might be worth it. 

shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree that setting definite deadlines are important, as well as making sure that is very clear who is to do what. It is very easy to misunderstand each other in a situation like this. Create a document that actually spells out what each person will do and when they will do it.