Are Time Zones Really a Problem?

Working in group projects is always a challenge.  There are students who would rather work alone so they can do all the work their way, and there are others who appreciate group work so they can push the work on to other group members.  Either way working with others towards a common goal teaches students how to respect others opinions and how to work with different types of personalities.  Group work also provides individuals with perspectives and opinions form other students, and that can help broaden the learning process.

Half of my group members live across the Atlantic Ocean, which can be a large communication barrier due to the vast time change.  Prior to the Akron area springing forward an hour, we were five hours behind Dublin, Ireland, but now I am not sure how far we are off from each other time wise.  With that big obstacle hindering our group, I think we are still continuing to communicate effectively.  In fact, I feel that the reason sometimes our communication is off is due to our busy schedules, not the time difference.  As I have stated before we typically discuss our project through our Facebook page, so we get online at our own convenience to give out input.

We never discussed this thought, but I think we decided to not meet up in Second Life to discuss issues because of our time difference.  It was too confusing to decide to meet at a time based on Akron, Dublin or Second Life time zones.  By alleviating a time frame to meet it allowed us to communicate based on our free time in between class time or in the evening.  This method is a slower process because we have to wait on everyone to reply throughout the day, but trying to settle on a time would have caused unnecessary stress. Besides, group projects are challenging enough!

As the weeks go by our communication has gets better.  More of us are able to get back with one another about an idea quicker, which means we can act on our ideas more quickly.  I think if we were all located within one time zone and still worked on our project just as we do now (meaning we do not meet in person), I feel our communication tactics would be the exact same as they are now.

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4 thoughts on “Are Time Zones Really a Problem?

  1. I agree with your comment about not meeting in SL because of figuring out when Akron’s time and Dublin’s time is the “same time.” The time difference is definitely a issue, but like you stated it is not the only factor in the communication issues and problems that we are all noticing.

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  2. I think if we met in person that would give us a set amount of time where we could offer opinions back and forth with one another, but the part of actually finding a time that suits everyone (if everyone met in a time zone of course) would still be the hardest part.

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  3. You seem to have reached a useful accommodation around communication. It is never easy to collaborate across time zones but, I suspect it will become more common in future so the experience you are getting now should prove useful!

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