Just as there is a process of Instructional Design for developing instructional experiences, we believe that there is a parallel process of Collaborative Design to create the best uses of digital collaboration technology. We need to learn how to assess the needs of the groups involved and select media that is appropriate to the outcome objectives. And, we envision the development of collaboration templates that will embody a design for ideal use of tools in a given situation (e.g. A template that walks the group through a highly interactive video conference for an employment interview, including application sharing of resume and job description documents.)
Finally, there are new roles that we must invent and perfect to make Digital Collaboration really soar. Facilitators, community builders, virtual coaches and other roles will evolve that will make Digital Collaboration work effectively and naturally.
This is a great time to start the experimentation process. We should find teams within our organizations to lead pilots for leveraging existing and new technologies for effective collaboration. It would be great if the “owners” of collaboration technology were not techies but rather process-oriented folks in the HR, Training or Business areas.