August 18

Mostly Harmless

Having weathered the first group collaboration for ETL504 case studies, I have come away feeling relatively optimistic. From the posts I have read so far, it is clear that there have been various levels of participation amongst case study groups.  I have seen posts crediting between two and five participants and I am assuming that the original groups were assigned with no more than a one student variance between groups (I am guessing either four to five per group or five to six per group based on my group of five).

I feel lucky to have gotten an engaged, competent and participatory group. All group members participated in both organisational and content-based interactions. This contributed to what I feel was a solid, task-fulfilling response delivered on-time and formatted appropriately.

I thought it would be interesting to evaluate the group experience through the lens of the team roles described in Roberts (2012):

  • Task roles
    • initiator/contributor
      • I initiated the team introductions by sending out a group email and setting up a wiki page where we could comment with our locations and typical working times. I also set up a page with headings to start our brainstorming on superficial and deeper issues.
      • DN also started a wiki page for superficial and deeper issues – since she populated it with her analytical content as well I re-purposed the page that I had created
    • Information seeker
      • I am not sure if anyone particularly took on this role
    • Opinion seeker
      • Everyone put taglines on their contributions inviting feedback and opinions from others
      • I certainly sought the opinion of the group on suggestions I made and actions that I took
    • Elaborator
      • Everyone contributed to the task by providing the content they were asked for, which I would think counts as “providing examples” though might come under contributing
    • Orienter
      • I think I was the main person suggesting a time line and bringing the focus back to the task, but really most people took turns with this in the comments
      • AC did a good job of taking initiative at pulling together the individual responses into a true group response (I had a go, but merely dumped them together – she looked at combining in a way to make an argument flow
  • Maintenance Roles
    • Encourager
      • I have to say my group was just chock full of encouragers, everyone chimed in to encourage each other and keep things moving smoothly
    • Harmoniser – NONE
    • Compromiser – NONE
      • As we did not really have any conflict that I noticed no one took a visible role as harmoniser or compromiser. This may have happened behind the scenes as two-way communication was possible as well as the public interaction in the group space.
  • Individual roles (counter-productive to group)
    • aggressor – NONE
    • blocker – NONE
    • dominator
      • Hopefully I did not dominate, I’ll have to see what feedback others give in the group discussion and any blogs to find that out, though.

All in all, I think my group worked together well and all exhibited the combination of leader and follower characteristics that makes for good leaders-from-the-middle.

I think I may analyse the next case study session through the lens of group/team process. Overall, I am feeling more positively about this portion of the class-work and have updated my Teacher Librarian’s Guide to the Subject Galaxy entry on ETL504 case study groupwork to Mostly Harmless.


Roberts, R. (2012, September 12). How identifying the different roles can help groups work better together [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Copyright © 2018. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International License.

Posted August 18, 2019 by marikamum in category Case Studies, ETL504

About the Author

Just another CSU MEdTL student creating a blog. When not studying, I write, teach and live with my husband and two high school children and our black Labrador retriever somewhere on the Lower North Shore of Sydney.

1 thoughts on “Mostly Harmless

  1. donna.drysdale

    Marika, what a great idea to evaluate your group’s participation against the team roles. I think I will have a go at this after Case Study 4 submission. It has certainly been an interesting process.

Leave a Comment