Communicate and collaborate online

4. Collaboration tools

There are many great online tools that can help you collaborate on assignments and projects. Check the privacy settings of any tool that you use so that you limit the availability of your data. Try to lock access so that only your group can see any activity.

A particular tool may not suit all members of your group due to accessibility issues or other concerns. Work together to choose a tool that everyone can use.

 

Email

Use your UQ email for any collaboration you do as part of your university course.

Messaging and discussions

Some tools have extra features for group messaging, that tools like Messenger, Whatsapp or WeChat don't have.

Set up messaging or discussions for your group

Tool Discussion threads for organised conversations Free account available App for use on mobile devices File sharing File storage Other useful features Limitations Tutorials
Slack Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Secure; integrates with Google Drive and many other apps;  searchable message archives; configure notifications

  Intro to Slack
Facebook group Yes Yes Yes Yes No   Must edit settings to keep it private Facebook group features
Google Groups Yes Yes Yes Yes Available on Google Drive

 

Users must have a Google account to set up and join Google Groups Get started with Google Groups

Discussion tools used on Learn.UQ (Blackboard)

These tools may be used in your Learn.UQ (Blackboard) courses:

Tool Discussion threads for organised conversations App for use on mobile devices File sharing Other useful features Limitations Tutorials
Piazza Yes Yes Yes Poll tool Only instructors can set up a Piazza discussion Getting started
Discussion Boards Yes No No   Only instructors can set up group discussions Using the discussion board
ePortfolio collaborative workspace Yes No Yes (has a Check a File Out/In feature)

Secure; To-do list

Can't work on documents at the same time Create a Workspace

Online meetings and video conferencing

Tool Upgraded account available via UQ Free account available App for mobile devices File sharing Screen sharing Whiteboard tools Group messaging Limitations Tutorials
Zoom Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Zoom video tutorials
Skype No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Meet with up to 10 members with free version How to use Skype (YouTube, 4m19s)
Google Hangouts No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Meet with up to 15 members with free version Get started with Hangouts

Collaborative documents

Tool Upgraded account available via UQ Free account available Limitations Simultaneous editing Version control File storage Export function Tutorials
Google Drive - Docs, Sheets, Slides etc No Yes   Yes Yes Yes Yes Get started with Google Drive
Office 365 - Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc Yes No You need a free personal Microsoft account to get OneDrive (for cloud storage). OneDrive is NOT included in Office 365 for UQ students. Yes Yes Yes (on One Drive) Yes Office Help & Training
Overleaf Yes Yes   Yes Yes It is not a cloud storage system but you can upload multiple files. Yes How do I use Overleaf?

See the working with files module for other cloud storage options.

Other useful online tools for collaborating

Tool Purpose Upgraded account available via UQ Free account available Useful features Tutorials
Trello

Organise your project tasks 

No Yes Upload files, link to Google Drive, create checklists Getting started with Trello
Padlet Share ideas and information Yes Yes Post comments, upload files (video, music, images etc), embed content, attach links Using Padlet
Tricider For easy group decision making  No Yes, don't need to register to use it Ask a question, ask others to submit their ideas and then vote on responses. Takes away the need for back and forth discussion via messaging or meeting up. Can be anonymous Online voting and decision making demo (YouTube, 1m27s)
Bubbl.us Brainstorming and mindmapping No Yes Can share link and export as an image Video tutorials