This project was interesting as it was the first team project out of class. My team managed to work almost entirely online, with very little in-person communication, a feat that can often be hard to achieve when doing a collaborative project. During the initial class time, we set up our basic idea and community that we wanted to study. At the end, we set up a Google Doc and worked on from there.
The collaborative process wasn’t all that difficult online, surprisingly. With Google Docs, we were able to live-update the document and make comments on sections in real time to discuss our views on the direction the project was headed. Our finished product is very different from the original draft we had at the end of class. We added items to our kit that we thought would work and deleted items that we did not like. The overall process was still very fluid even though we did not have that face-to-face collaboration that is generally seen as more effective.
The final kit we created should provide a lot of interesting perspectives from the competitive eating community. We created several activities to try and see how different competitive eaters think without asking them direct questions. Possible flaws of these activities are that they may provide us with no good conclusion. The main purpose of many of our activities is to see trends among competitive eaters, but it may turn out that no trend exists. These activities could provide us with data that tells us nothing more about this community and does not set them apart from any other person.
This, however, is a common flaw in many kits. There is no way to know if the items and activities surrounding the kit will actually provide useful information. Often, however, these items lead to a totally different insight into the community that was never expected. This is the benefit of a kit. There may be no valuable insight gained, but sometimes there is insight that was not even expected.