This semester I am instituting a new structure for our classroom organized activity: THE VIRTUAL ORGANIZATION.

Goal: I have two reasons for moving to the virtual structure.
    First, many, if not most, modern organizations are doing much of their business via computer. This cuts down on the time required to gather people together and allows people in different places to work interdependently. I want our classroom experience to be consistent with this world reality.
    The second reason for this move is that I have never been happy with the manner in which students have used the traditional in-class "workday." Students have too often just "hung out" and wasted time only to be jammed-up at the end of the semester with tasks that should have been completed ages before.


With all of this in mind, this is how the virtual organization will work:

For the first several weeks of class we may need to meet as a full group on Wednesdays.

As soon as possible, students will submit and I will post student profiles on our web site
      (I think) so that we can break the classroom organization into working departments.

Once this initial work is done, we will no longer hold regular in-class sessions on
      "Workday Wednesdays." Rather--

Students will coordinate meetings as they wish: coming to the classroom, meeting at other times        or places, or corresponding over the computer. This is your choice.

Each week, each student should check e-mail for updates from me and other work groups.       Also, each week, each work group must submit an e-mail to me (CC the entire class) telling:

    a) who is in your group,
    b) what was accomplished that week in the group,
    c) what you plan to do next,
    d) what information/ help you need from other groups/individuals
    e) other information you want to share.

In addition to this "open" e-mail (#5 above), you will also send a private e-mail (only to me)      that distributes 100 "quality" points to group-mates based on their level of participation in the      group for the week. Four times per semester, quality points will also be given to members of      other work groups as desired. At the end of the semester, the % of points received by each      person will be averaged into their group grade.

In addition to open (#5) and closed (#6) e-mails, group feedback papers will be e-mailed to        me by the due date given. Each feedback paper must first be e-mailed to all group members        for their "signature" before forwarding to me. Any group member who has not signed off on        the submitted paper will not receive credit for the paper and will have to submit an individual        feedback paper.

NOTE: Despite the fact that we will be using the "virtual" arrangement for group work, the WEDNESDAY class time is set aside for this class. Should your group leader, the organization leader or I call an in-class meeting for a work day and an individual does not attend, she or he will lose one point from the next paper or examination (or previous one, if all papers and exams have been turned in). Check with me, group leaders and your e-mail for in-class meeting times and dates.

Related to the virtual organization, be aware that all classroom materials
(syllabi, schedules, paper assignments... even an extra credit question from time to time)
will be made available on the classroom web site.

Finally, I know that many of you know more about electronic communication than I do-- I will be counting on your help. This can be fun and can help you as you move to work after graduation.

We are all in this together. Let's make it a success.

Anita F.

Organizational Communication