As we worked together, we realized that some differences in our approaches were independent of our disciplinary perspectives and simply had to do with personality. Joe tends to look at the big picture while Rachel is more detail-oriented. The difference in our approaches to the projects was evident in the ways we respectively constructed them for our students, scaffolded students' work on them, and evaluated them, as well as in what we brought to our collaborative analysis of them. Students who do successful projects end up with a big picture but they construct that big picture through thoughtful accumulation of details. Both of us look for students' gestalt understanding and detailed understanding; both of us want students to have the big picture and get the details in order; but we realized that we have different emphases in accord with our personal differences.
Our alternative ways of looking enable us to inform one another's analysis of projects. For instance, looking at a digital poetry project, Joe commented on the big picture and Rachel zeroed in on a detail. These opposing approaches led us to richer discussion and more challenging questions.