I've recently completed an assignment for uni that was conducted solely online. This was my first experience working solely online with a group of people I didn’t know. There was a period of displacement as I came to terms with the fact that I would never see these people face to face and that all communication, particularly that for solving of problems had to be conducted electronically. While my own personal preference with regard to electronic communication is email, the other methods, particularly the online chat provided an opportunity to sort things out synchronously. This was a huge benefit, particularly during the initial planning and the final organisational stages. In many ways the chat replaced face to face communication. It gave a perfect opportunity to chat in real-time and to get to know other members more fully than asynchronous communication allows. This helped with the operation of the team.
Over the next few weeks I'll share other experiences of working with this team.