Comparing ties that bind team work with the theory



We had a very enlightening and thought provoking talk from Sitearm Madonna,on teamwork and roles in the virtual environment.  We listened and followed a slide show

After talking about leadership, we took a look at the slide below, which breaks up the roles needed for a successful team into 9 categories

Two things I found very interesting about this are:



Seemingly the assumption was made by other classmates that I was the ‘leader’ of our project group.  Not something I saw myself, but can understand why that assumption was made.  Firstly I have had experience in the virtual world of Second Life, and each group was set up with one person with experience in each – therefore language like “you three go with Inish” can lead us to believe automatically that I have some responsibility to ‘lead’ the group.  Secondly I could possibly be accused of having a rather big mouth, am pretty vocal and have an opinion on most things.  Lastly I have green hair and could be heard in twitter threatening the group to meet up or feel the sharp blade of my sword!!!! – this may make me stand out a tad at times.  In all honesty, the only things I have done in terms of leadership is to provide a place to meet, and to put the groups ideas and concepts into a 3D visual – this is entirely down to my experience and skills built up from time in Second Life.

So how to put that into Belbin’s theory? (modified 25th November 2012)

So far I can place myself in a few of the categories:

Plant –   I am good at solving problems in creative and unconventional ways – but I would also say that all of us are that way in our team.

Co-ordinator – Up until now I have been the one to focus on the team’s goals, facilitate team members, and give choices on tasks based on skills and abilities in the team.  I can see this role being taken on by others in the team, as the tasks ahead of us change.

Implementer – There is an agreed plan in place, and each team member has some work to complete.  Again this is a role that all four of us agreed on, based on skills, IT capabilities, and experience.

Teamworkers  – This is the role I most identify with.  I believe we ALL fit into this one the best.  We have  bonded well because of all our  different personalities.  The lads are boisterous and noisy where the girls are serene and ladylike (there is no link or citation to prove that last remark – so form your own thoughts on that!!).  We have all also identified our own skills, and are completing work individually, on behalf of the team to present a final project together.

Shaper – I have a sword – what can I say??   I would have prefered to have this role named ‘team nag’ – as it is something I do very well.  It comes from years of experience of parenting alone and learning quickly that a virtual ‘ear twist’ has more impact than gentle persuasion.  That said, I have passed a virtual slap animation to all team members to use on each other – including me, should the need arise.  This has been used on me several times when I pronounce’s name wrong (said like BEEEEE roe, not Bro.)

The group is still fairly new, and still jumping around from forming, storming, norming, and performing.  I am pretty convinced that by the end of the project we will see all nine points of team roles be apparent in all four of us equally………… though I will always be best with the sword!

My progress on the project so far

I have built a 3D piece that represents the concept of things we have learnt in this module. Textures have been made and shared between us in the group and I have included them in the build.

Sometimes this has involved visits to shops that have the perfect textures that we need to portray the ideas.

Out and about

I have tried to take the ideas from the group and change and adapt  the build to represent the different inputs.  This can be a tad frustrating when I don’t have instant access to group members to ask if things work or not.  It is important that we all feel ownership of the project, so I have to be mindful not to ‘race’ ahead without the rest.  Our intention is to take the final build, and display it at various ‘sandboxes.’  We are hoping to get some discussions going with others – on our group build.  We will film these interactions, and present our experiences for the final presentation.

Sometimes skills are stifled by technology. This I discovered when Ace, who can make films, had problems when trying to download software that will work in second life.  We will try to all film some pieces and pass to Ace for editing, but this may not work as we all have different operating systems and such.  We may need to call upon a Specialist (HIDE SITEARM!) to help us out with this one.

Project build

Evolution of build

Evolution of build

Many thanks to Sitearm not only for the lecture, but also for the chance to dance like a professional dance group after class – and also for the solid ideas and advice.


Until next time Inish 🙂


Posted on November 25, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. A nice summary and reflection on the progress and roles as your group works; verbally complete, but the visuals add interest and emphasis!

  2. @Inish; Nice post!

    Re filming is Ace on a Windows PC? If so he can download FRAPS ( to take SLfootage.

    Video file sizes are HUGE – I’d suggest he do all filming so all files go straight to his hard disk for putting together and editing.

    Site 🙂

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