This is part of a pre-program activity for WIT Cohort 2. Learners may use this thread to post their thoughts.
[WIT Cohort 2] We do not encourage DMs to reach anyone int he Rethink Collective. Why do you think that is?
The aim of WIT , to the best of my knowledge, is to promote and encourage girls to come forward and learn new things in tech and build their confidence. Whenever a particular task is being put up, it is very natural for us to have a number of confusions regarding the same. If the doubts are asked in an open forum instead of DM, others may also get a chance to know the possible doubts. The possibility of the doubts being repeated can also be avoided. The time of the mentors can be saved if the questions are asked in open forums. Asking questions in open forum can also boost the confident of students.
Rethink Collective is a community-driven organisation. It’s primary aim, I believe, is not just individual improvement but that of the whole community. Having discussions in an open forum goes a long way in helping everyone.
DMs are limited to a conversation between two individuals. When doubts are aired in an open forum, everyone gets the opportunity to think and have a healthy discussion on it. The doubt might get solved even before the mentors have a look at it.
We’re all here not just to move forward in life but to move forward with the community as a whole. Helping each other out, brainstorming ideas and solving each other’s doubts are all an integral part of it.
As far as I know, the Rethink foundation is aimed at increasing learners’ exposure and capabilities. It is a learning platform which encourages collective learning i.e people attempting to learn something together. So if they encourage DMs it doesn’t help the student to uplift their skill. Messaging or clarifying doubts with a mentor directly, makes them stay within their comfort zone which will never help them to improve. So discussing and clarifying doubts openly is important as it can also share knowledge to others working on a similar goal. Collaborative learning also helps in binding people as they learn to solve a problem together.
I think that the participants in the Rethink collective are encouraged not to contact anyone through DMs for various reasons. Firstly, since the program welcomes a large number of people to ensure that any advice that is given or any problem that is cleared is done on a group chat platform as there could be others with that same concern. Peer-to-peer learning is really encouraged, so by posting doubts or concerns in the group helps those who are shy to build confidence as well as understand that asking questions is totally okay and that there are loads of people willing to help out. Secondly, it ensures that everyone is respectful of someone else’s privacy. Not everyone is comfortable with someone unexpectedly approaching them and as well as there is no way for the volunteers to keep a check on the progress or concerns. Lastly, in case of any disputes it is easier to clear it up and sort it out on the group itself instead of the volunteers having to speak to those concerned to get an idea of where the problem lies.
The reason for which why DMs are not preferable would be that talking directly with someone gives the individual the tendency to depend . If they find the solution their own firstly, it would be a great plus . Dependency or guidance is suitable at a situation where no other countermeasures are possible. Moreover Rethink community encourages peer to peer communication which is much more possible in groups or else such discourse threads. Communicating only through groups makes us to rely upon our own confidence and boost our skill to express and stick on to our own ideas .
DMs are not encouraged so as to preserve the contact numbers as private and also to make students get use to the email system, as emails are a professional communication medium and the professional world runs on it.
In my views, I think the reason why Rethink collective do not encourage DMs because of,
- It’s an organization which encourages learning collectively. It’s clear from their name. That is they encourage students to learn and work by corporating and helping each other. We know that group study is more effective than individual study. So open forum discussion will be efficient than DMs.
- Using DMs will increase private conversations. Sometime it will make an inconvenience to a particular individual when everyone DMs for the same thing, and disturbing for silly reasons. We should respect every person time.
so when we do not encourage DMs it will enhance each participant to think and work on it their own and open forums will help them to get the best answers for their questions.
Most of the points have been covered by my fellow participants in the thread above. One more point that I would like to add is that many a times individuals may not be able to reply to DMs due to unavoidable circumstances and our query remains unanswered. Moreover, we often message the wrong person in an organization. For example, I might want to know about finance and message someone who is into arts !
The goal of rethink foundation is so far as I know is the overall development of the society.For that purpose DM is not prefers.It doesn’t encourage the thinking capacity of the student because he or she is getting the direct answers. Then the learner will go on that answers he got. But through mail or discussions the student will go through various technologies and also from that time trying to find out the mistake by own.
Knowing how to draft professional emails is one of the very important skill you acquire at Rethink, because Rethink’s goal is help in overall development of the participants.
DMs are not encouraged so as to make students get use to the email system, as emails are a professional communication medium and the professional world runs on it.
DMs are discouraged, can be due to multiple reasons. With so many people DMing , it might get difficult for a person to keep a track of every message popping in and it might get missed. Also, networking, when we DM, we just connect to one person, but when we do a reply all or post a query on the group we connect to everyone. Also, when we post a query on the group instead of DMing, if someone else has that query or might have in future, they will receive a solution as well or if someone knows the solution, we can help each other too!
“Rethink’s WIT Program is a 4 week online learning experience for female engineering students to develop 21C skills and equip them to leverage Professional Development Opportunities”. The aim of WIT as mentioned is to help students leverage Professional Development Opportunities. My thought on why DMs are not encouraged is:
- It is not a professional way. When we step on to job or to any professional networks, personal or direct messages are not encouraged. I feel it is to equip us with that.
- Asking in open forums may clear doubts of many, as many would have the same doubt and also saves time.
- Many of us lack the confidence to ask questions or doubts in public which is no way going to help us. I used to think what if i may ask a stupid doubt and everyone else would already know it but that will not allow you to grow. Inorder to tackle the fear and to speak to people with confidence this is a stepping stone.
- Multiple opinions on the same topic arises which provides better solution .- Brainstorming works well here.
- We get more comfortable and we get the sense of belongingness in the group.
My take on why DMs aren’t encouraged in case of any doubt in the Rethink Collective may be because of the following reasons :
If someone else had the same doubt, they get their answers.
If a person has to answer the same question’s answer to different people it would take a toll on him/her.
Rethink’s main aim is collective success of everyone, when peers help out each other there is a positive competition spirit.
When queries are answered in group, if there is a mistake it can be easily corrected.
There are several reasons as to why the Rethink Collective discourages the use of DMs as a means of establishing contact. One of the primary intentions behind the establishment of this collective is to enable the process of peer to peer learning, a process that is facilitated by discussing the matter as a group, rather than through just DMs. Furthermore, interacting with each other and engaging in problem solving as a group acts as a rather effective team building exercise, enabling students to form new alliances and assisting in networking, an essential aspect of this field. This also assists in dealing with problems that may recur, as in the case of certain common problems, the availability of the solution on a public arena, rather than just in the DMs of the temporarily aggrieved prevents situations wherein the admin would have to redress the same problem multiple times.
WIT tries to develop a professionalism in all of us. DM’s are not encouraged in formal communications.
When the number of participants increases the number of queries may increase.Many will have the same doubts.If DM’s are encouraged it will waste a lot of time and the mentors will have to repeat the same thing.
We will depend on others even for small things which we can figure out on our own.Therefore by not encouraging DM’s we learn a lot on our own and figure out things on our own.
Rethink is a platform which encourages collective learning. Through direct messaging , we will be just messaging to our guides. just staying under comfort zones. So it is always good to stay in groups. so we get connected to more people. Anyone will be always available. so there will not be any wastage of time.Everyone can face same issues, so it will be solved in just one group message.
Rethink is a golden platform for one to build a professional behaviour in them. One should make use of this opportunity completely and successfully. Direct messaging is not a good method to be followed as it destroys our growth. One practice it to stay in their comfort zone and to inhibit it Rethink have made it a collective programme.