Working with a group of people, or just another person, using technology has many advantages. Modern tools let users share drafts, comments and publish results. With the advent of cloud services, students and teachers can work together more effectively.
Collaborating on documents
All bConnected users can use Google Drive to share and edit Google Docs in the cloud. While it may not have all the features of Microsoft Word, Google Docs excels at online collaboration. People from all over the world can view and edit a single document that is stored on Google Drive.
Video conferencingVideo conferencing enables people from all over the world to meet and present together by video, audio or chat. Available tools offer features like sharing your desktop, presenting a document, or uploading a video, allowing for collaboration online.
Share files and folders
bDrive (Google Drive), Box and Research Hub all offer great ways to store and share files with others in the cloud. Users simply upload their files into these tools and share a link with their collaborators. It is easier than keeping track of countless emails with attached documents and versions of documents, and makes your files available anywhere you have internet access. Many tools also allow you to store files on your device if you know that you won't have internet. Each of these tools provide free storage, making it possible to share videos from class or an entire semester's worth of Powerpoint files and readings for free.
bDrive is our recommended option for non-sensitive materials. You can use Google Docs to work on the same file at the same time with collaborators, so you always have the most resent version of a document. You can also easily go back in time to view previous version and create track changes.
Using student groups in bCourses
bCourses is a secure place for students to work together by sharing documents, online discussions and even video conferences. If you have students working in groups on a large project, or throughout the semester, you can create groups in bCourses. A group will get their own bCourse site to send announcements, share documents and use the collaboration tools. If you are assigning groups for a short term project, consider having students use Collaborations (Google Docs) from within bCourses, so you can keep track of everyones’ progress.
Using a Wiki to create a collective knowledge base
Wikis allow students to work collaboratively on website together and this can be leveraged to make a collective knowledgebase . bCourses has a wiki tool called “Pages” and it makes it easy for students to make updates to pages and for faculty to track changes made by students. More importantly though, wikis are living, breathing documents that over time can be a useful resource for future students.
As students research topics in your course they can work together to build and refine a wiki page/resource. Posts created in a wiki can be a starting point for discussions about a topics between students both in and out of the classroom. Since it is all private in bCourses, you can keep track of all of the changes being made, so that it becomes a reliable source of information as well a learning experience. Students can get experience writing in legal form and since everyone in class can read the wiki updates, they will likely put forth high quality work. Pages in bCourses can also be transferred from one semester to the next, creating a consistently updated resource for students.