Collaborative tools

There are many tools to help you communicate and collaborate effectively. Which tool you choose depends on a range of factors:

  • video conferencing or text-based communication — video conferencing may be a more effective means of collaborating at the beginning of your project in order, for instance, to build rapport with unfamiliar team members
  • course requirements — your course coordinator may require you to use particular tools
  • integration with other productivity tools — some messaging and conferencing tools will integrate closely with collaborative writing and presentation tools.

Remember, the Library has bookable group rooms available for collaborative work.

Group discussion tools

Tool Useful features or limitations In-person training Online tutorial Cost
Slack is a secure application where teams can collaborate, search message archives and configure notifications. It integrates with Google Drive and many other apps.
No Intro to Slack


Facebook group Facebook groups are a community that are hosted on Facebook. These groups can be made private or public. In order to make the group private, you need to edit settings. No Facebook group features


Google Groups
Google account holders can collaborate by joining or setting up Google Groups. It incorporates a lot of features of Google such as automatic translations, access to your Google Photos and Drive files.
No Get started with Google Groups


Discussion tools used on Learn.UQ (Blackboard)

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

Tool Useful features or limitations In-person training Online tutorial Cost
Piazza Piazza is a Q&A tool that allows students to ask questions and receive answers from academics and professors. Only instructors can set up a Piazza discussion for particular courses. No Getting started


Discussion Boards Discussion boards are the collaboration feature of UQ Learn.UQ (Blackboard). Only instructors can set up group discussions. No Using the discussion board


ePortfolio collaborative workspace The UQ ePortfolio has a collaborative tool that can be set up and used by any UQ student.
It allows you to work on documents as a group.
No Create a Workspace


Online meetings and video conferencing

Tool Useful features or limitations In-person training Online tutorial Cost

Zoom is a tool that allows you to create meetings online for chat, video and audio communication for anyone who has the link or meeting ID. UQ provides access to an upgraded version of Zoom for students and staff.

No Zoom video tutorials


Skype Skype is a video communication tool from Microsoft that allows up to 10 members with the free version to video conference. No Learning Skype (LinkedIn Learning, 1h4m)


Google Hangouts Google Hangouts is a video communication tool that allows up to 15 members with the free version to video conference. No Get started with Hangouts


Icon key

 Free tools are completely free to use with all features.

 Freeware tools include basic functionality for free. Additional features may need to be paid for.

 Open source tools are developed in a collaborative manner and can be used, modified or shared openly. This software can be used for free and often includes a lot of support documentation.

 Paid tools can only be used after purchasing, and agreeing to, a product licence.