Google+ and group assignments

We experimented using Google+, results were a mixed bag. For classes it worked very well, however as an informal meeting space for grouping researchers it did not work well.

As a tool in class I was very impressed by Google+. It was implemented in Creative Practice and provided a great digital meeting spot. Both teams used it extensively with very little encouragement needed. Both teams seemed to enjoy Google+  as it afforded them a simple way to keep in touch. A great example of this  is one student was not present for a month of classes. He was able to keep in touch with his team in the class and ensure that his team was on track and contribute. For the other students they used this ability to delegate tasks and both ask for and give feedback throughout the week, rather than having to wait for class to roll round. Also as a lecturer this was a handy tool for distributing knowledge quickly.

Where I encountered issues with Google+ was when I tried to establish a group for students currently doing research within honors, masters, or PhD studies. As there are no classes and I am not the supervisor for these students it is very difficult to encourage people to not only join but sign up for what some students perceive as “another Facebook”. I had encountered some resistance from students in the past signing up for such services based on these perceptions.

Overcoming these perceptions is difficult if you are not in contact with the students, and makes me wonder if Facebook would actually be better as there is, in my experience, higher student by in. Another consideration is buy in from practitioners. Inviting people from industry to be involved with groups suffers the same problem. It seems what makes Google+ strong as a tool for education  the fact no-one uses it, also seems to be one of its greatest limitations.  It warrants further investigation.





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