During the time we spent working on different group assignments, we had to respect rules that
are called norms. Norms define and “establish standards of appropriate behavior” (p.80).
Social and tasks norms were completely defined by our teacher. The syllabus that all
students are asked to read before starting the class mentions the policy and is clear: “you
are required to demonstrate tolerance and respect at all times in your postings”. During the
quarter, either on the discussion board or on the group discussion section, nobody showed any
disrespect toward another student. This is a very good point because everybody could express
his/her own ideas and share experiences, as long as it met the teacher policies but it did. In
group, we never had to fight for tolerance or respect, it was always natural. About the tasks
norms, both the syllabus and directions were clear enough about assignment description. We
knew what to do, how to do, and when to post it.
Procedure norms were more challenging because it was not written anywhere but we had to
set it up in group. There are two types of norms: explicit and implicit.
The explicit procedure norms we had to respect were to produce consistent work to achieve
the group goals that is to complete the class with the best grade: connect as often as necessary
to the online system, work on the chapters of the textbook to acquire new communication
competences and to apply these news skills on group assignments that we had to post on
time. We usually shared the job between all members as equally as we could and agreed on
the way to meet online. It was not always easy because everyone had his/her own life with a
lot of obligations. We had to insist on the necessity to respond to emails when a member did
not reply (for the first group assignment), then he perfectly understood the problem and was
much more reactive for the following assignments. We also missed a deadline,...