Higher Education

5 Online Collaboration Tools for Remote Instructors

5 Online Collaboration Tools for Remote Instructors

The first day of school is just a few weeks away. But this year’s back-to-school festivities will look different than they have in the past. 

As campuses plan for another semester of remote and hybrid learning, instructors are wondering how to keep students engaged without face-to-face instruction. 

One solution? Include online collaboration tools.

But with so many tools out there, it’s hard to know which will be most effective. Below are five stellar online collaboration tools to consider using in your courses.

Download our free guide: 5 Strategies for Interactive Learning in Hybrid and Online Courses 

1. Google Drive

Google Drive includes a variety of fantastic online collaboration tools—Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Sheets, and Google Forms. It’s likely you’re already familiar with GoogleDrive, but it’s always good to reevaluate how you’ll use it in hybrid and online courses.

Collaboration is simple in Google Drive, as students and instructors can simultaneously edit projects. This means you can enhance collaboration during group writing assignments, brainstorming, and presentations. There’s also a chat window in the corner to clear up any questions about the assignment.

Also, if you’re specifically looking to incorporate collaborative peer review, Google Docs is a perfect tool. Students can seamlessly track changes and add comments to other students’ work. 

2. Kahoot

Kahoot provides an engaging and collaborative method to test students’ knowledge in a particular area. This makes Kahoot an excellent tool to gather instant feedback on student understanding and adjust your lecture in real-time. 

To play Kahoot with your students, share your screen with the class. Then have them join at www.kahoot.it and enter the game pin on their own devices.

If you want to facilitate additional collaboration, pair your students up and have them create their own Kahoots as a group assignment. Then they can answer other groups’ Kahoot questions as a team. 

3. GoReact

GoReact allows you to capture student skills and presentations on video for feedback, grading, and critique. Giving feedback may seem like an isolating task, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it can be extremely engaging and collaborative.

If you don’t want to write your feedback, show it! GoReact lets you leave feedback through text, audio, or video. Students and peers can respond to your feedback in a chat, facilitating conversation and collaboration.

You can also use GoReact’s multiple cameras feature for collaborative projects and tasks. Students can meet in small groups of up to nine participants to discuss various topics, work on class assignments, conduct mock interviews, or give presentations. All comments are still time-coded when using multiple cameras, letting students collaborate in real-time. 

4. Zoom Breakout Rooms

Zoom breakout rooms are a great way to facilitate online collaboration. You’re probably already familiar with using Zoom to present your lectures to students. But Zoom breakout rooms also allow instructors to break students into up to 50 separate sessions for a smaller discussion. This is particularly effective for group discussions in large courses, as not everybody gets a chance to voice their opinion. Use breakout rooms to discuss class topics, review assignments, roleplay a scenario, work on group projects, and more. 

As an instructor, you can choose how long each session should last. You also have the option to send out mass messages to students while they’re in their breakout rooms. If you’d like to have multiple discussions during a class period, you can either keep the same breakout rooms or select the “Recreate Rooms” button to shuffle participants. 

5. Loop

Loop lets instructors ask questions to collect anonymous student feedback. Questions may range from a student’s engagement in the course to overall wellbeing. Loop facilitates collaboration by allowing every student to be heard—no matter how shy. Use Loop to ask course questions, gauge understanding, and engage with your students one-on-one.

Create your own or choose from a variety of pre-written questions in Loop. After gathering student responses, you can choose to favorite or reply to individual answers. This will help you better understand needs and concerns and help your students feel heard.  

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Collaboration may seem impossible from your computer at home, but it can be done. And there’s no need to get lost in a long list of tools. Just try one of these five online collaboration tools and you’ll see a sense of community build in your online courses.