Online Collaboration in E-learning: Tips and Tools

Online-Collaboration

 

All around the globe we are witnessing a transition towards collaborative learning. Our idea of collaborative learning arises from problem-based, case-based learning, team work, discussions, and other ways in which student is an active part in the learning process. Communities, also known as the wave of the future, are one of the top three most important components of e-Learning portals.  This post will tell you about the ten tips for using collaboration tools in e-Learning.

The benefits of collaborative learning are immense. It lets the learners gain from the experience of their peers and help them acquire and retain information in a more involved and engaged way. Therefore collaboration tools deserve special attention as an e-learning professional. But how do you use them?

The first requirement is to put focus on usability and accessibility when making the choice of collaboration tools for your eLearning course. In addition, you should also consider how the collaboration tool will serve your learning goals. In ideal conditions, your collaboration tool should be user friendly and can be accessed from a number of smart devices, which includes mobile phones and tablets.

  1. In order to motivate learners for using collaboration tools, the learners must always be made aware of the benefits associated with them. Without this awareness they won’t see any real value in using collaboration tools.
  2. If there are any current activities in your eLearning course that can go through some improvisation using the collaboration tools then do so.
  3. Whenever you perform any collaborative activity, it is necessary to understand that smooth working depends on the clarity of instructions and objectives.  As an instructor, you need to explain the purpose of the activity, and other necessary instructions should be delivered in a very clear and concise manner.
  4. Instructors should perform activities which are relevant and specific to the topic. Stuffing these activities with general information will make students lose interest and get bored. Infuse life in the activities through improving engagement, and relate with real life examples will invoke a much better response from the students.

Choosing the right tools for Online Collaboration Tools

For ensuring the best e-learning, it’s necessary to choose the best online collaboration tools. Here are some of the best tools that enable smooth collaboration amongst learners:

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MindMeister

This is a web based tool that makes it possible for groups to do planning or brainstorming during the early phases of collaboration. It offers mind map, various templates, SWOT analysis and project planning for collaborating during the course of a project as per the nature of their assignment. With live chat feature, it can offer direct and fast communication. You can also use MindMeister asynchronously.

Uzity LMS

Uzity

Uzity Learning Management System is the easy-to-use, and powerful online learning platform for education and online training. It offers interactive, engaging, and connected learning experience for all learners and instructors in your organization. By using Uzity, the instructor can deliver material to the students, administer tests and other assignments, track student progress, and manage record-keeping. It fits everywhere whether it is the classroom, in the workplace or at home.

proofhub

 ProofHub

ProofHub is an online collaboration software that helps organizations improve communication and collaboration among distantly located members in learning projects. Using the features of ProofHub, one can communicate through group chat, raise issues and these get resolved without wasting much time. This rapid communication ensures that all the members are at the same page in a learning project.

Sharing of files, documents and information becomes an effortless affair with ProofHub. Through Notes functionality, group members can collaborate and write some amazing content together. Sharing of ideas becomes very easy with ProofHub. The software takes care of the mobile world as it lets you connect with your projects on the go from their mobile. This way missing or delaying of tasks can be significantly reduced.

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SlideRocket

SlideRocket deserves special mention as it lets people create attractive and engaging presentations through its web based tools and features that can be accessed from anywhere. A single document can be accessed and modified by different members in a learning group. These random URL can be generated against each document which can be be submitted to an instructor for easy viewing. All multimedia features can be embedded in a presentation. You can pull data in real time from Google Spreadsheets, Twitter live feeds and Yahoo. It also offers you analytics feature which helps measure a presentation’s effectiveness. You can find through analytics about the audience who viewed it and their actions that followed.

googledocs

Google Docs

Google Docs is one of the most popular and common online collaboration tools available today.  Whether you want to create documents, powerpoint presentations or spreadsheets, Google Docs offer all these facilities. Due to its always connected feature, one can write, edit, and collaborate upon these documents from any remote location at any time and from various devices. Google docs automatically save the changes being made to the documents and it also keeps the previous versions of the doc in case you want to revert back. By referring revision history of a document, its old versions can be seen and can be sorted by date. Chat and commenting options are also there.

E learning is the order of the day and it’s going to grow in a bigger way in the future. The benefits are not limited to students. It’s advantages extend to a larger section of society, including the working population. Job oriented courses help you acquire new skills that make you more employable.  If you want to be a significant part of this revolution then effective online collaboration is the key to it.

The article is written by:

Saurabh Tyagi is a career author with niche in the upcoming technologies like Edtech, Big Data and Social Media. His article range from general career advice to expert opinion like the one above. These resources are useful for all sorts of professionals right from those searching for resume samples for freshers to experienced professionals at higher level.

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  • Colvin Warner

    Great list. I use proofhub and google docs for my work.