Online Projects & Collaboration Tools

Online tools provide many new options.  Students can collaborate on projects, collect and synthesize information, and write for different types of audiences.  Here are some examples.

Online Collaboration Generally

Teaching in the Cloud: Using Online Collaboration Tools to Enhance Student Engagement (discusses jointly edited Google Docs, Google Sites, wikis, cloud storage of video projects, crowdsourced research, Google Spreedsheets for data aggregation, Piazza, and class blogs; also considers issues of IT support, ease of use, and student privacy).


Vanderbilt's Center for Teaching provides this helpful overview.

Wikis in Higher Education (Westfield State University)

Wikify Your Course: Designing & Implementing a Wiki for Your Learning Environment (advice from Educause)

50 Ways to Use Wikis for a More Collaborative and Interactive Classroom (an imaginative list from

Andri Ioannou & Anthony R. Artino, Jr., Wiki and Threaded Discussion for Online Collaborative Activities: Student Perceptions and Use, Journal of Emerging Technologies in Web Intelligence (report on a case study in a graduate class) 

Wikimedia Outreach, Education/For Educators (advice, forms, and help from Wikipedia itself)


Student Expectations for Technology and Uses of Blogs (Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy)

Eight Strategies for Using Blogs in a Course (Chris Clark at Notre Dame's teaching center writes a really useful teaching with technology blog. This is one example)

Class Blogs:  Options & Three Strategies (discusses learning goals, ways to use blogs, need for student training, ways to assess student blog-writing) 

Blogging 101 ("The Buzz," the blog of the Vancouver Learning Network, compares 4 platforms)

Pedagogy and the Class Blog (reflections on grading and assessing blog posts from "Sample Reality," the blog of an English professor at George Mason)


Professors Use Twitter to Increase Student Engagement and Grades (from Faculty Focus)

The Twitter Experiment: Twitter in the Classroom (reporting on and demonstrating Twitter experiment in a class at UT Dallas)

Educause, 7 Things You Should Know About Backchannel Communications 

Other Online Collaboration Tools

Piazza ("Piazza is a free online gathering place where students can come together to ask, answer, and explore under the guidance of their instructors. With Piazza, you can easily answer questions, manage course materials, and track student participation.”)

Using Xtranormal Against Straw Men (a professor describes assigning students to make Xtranormal videos to demonstrate the ability to realistically grapple with counterarguments).

Jeffrey R. Young, Students Endlessly Email Professors for Help. A New Service Hopes to Organize the Answers (Chronicle of Higher Education's Technology blog)

Google Drive