Four ways to collaborate in online classes
You took an online class because it’s flexible. You don’t have to rearrange your schedule for class, and you don’t have to waste your time driving to campus. But what happens when your professor for your online class assigns a group project?
This defeats the whole purpose of why you took the class – because it was convenient for you. Now, you have to rearrange your schedule around your teammates’ and waste your time driving to wherever the group decides.
Fortunately, there’s a better solution – using online collaboration tools for group projects. Here’s a list of six tools that I find the most helpful.
1. Online Flash drives
Why would you carry around a flash drive when you could store all of your files and access them anywhere online? You wouldn’t. You would use Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive or some other similar tool.
The great thing about these is that they let you create and share folders.
For your online project ask the group leader to create a folder on one of these websites and then share the folder with the team.
2. Facebook groups
Facebook groups are a great way to collaborate online. It’s free, easy and everyone knows how to use it.
The group can be open (Anyone can see the group and who’s in it), closed (Anyone can see the group and who’s in it. Only members can see posts) and secret (Only members see the group, who’s in it and what members post).
A Facebook group would be a great place for everyone to post their schedules and find a time to meet that is convenient.
I love Bitly. It’s an amazing website that not only shortens long urls but it also allows you to bookmark your links, create groups of links and share the links with others.
Let’s say you have to do some research for online project. Bitly is the organized way to keep track of your sources.
Screencasts offer users a way to record their screens and their voices. If someone doesn’t know how to do something then take a quick screencast, and send it their way.
I prefer Skype because your group can chat all at once, and it has a team viewer, which allows you to share your screen as well.