Collaborative Documents and Folders

OneDrive Logo
“OneDrive” by Microsoft. Retrieved from WikiMedia Commons, Aug 14th, 2019.

A hallmark of modern technology, cloud based and collaborative document storage, like that in the OneDrive, might just redefine how you facilitate collaborative work in your classroom.

Shared folders and documents are a great way to:

  • facilitate collaboration among students,
  • monitor progress through drafts of assignments, and
  • offer comments and formative feedback to further work.

Using the OneDrive

If you’re new to the OneDrive, or to cloud based storage in general, check out the OneDrive support website. This one-stop shop will help you get comfortable with using it.

Facilitate Group Collaboration

Below are a few examples of how you could facilitate group collaborative work among students.

Highly Structured

Set up a shared folder for using your course code and section. Post an editable link to this folder in your course. In there, create a sign up sheet. Ask students to sign up for their topic or group there, and use this to build group work folders.

Set up folders for groups, using a chosen group name, or number. Restrict access to group folders to group members, and ask them to add in their working documents, presentations or links. This structure allows you to:

Version history option in the ellipses in OneDrive
  • Use the version history to monitor individual contributions, and consistency of work.
  • Use commenting features to offer feedback at regular intervals.
  • Intervene in any collaboration challenges.
  • Monitor groups who may need more support.

This approach could benefit learners who are new to this method of working, or who are newer in their program and may need structured facilitation of group work behaviours until such time as they can begin to replicate behaviours with increasing independence.

Less Structured

To allow more choice and flexibility, encourage learners to set up their own folders, and create their own resources, or use resources you’ve posted in the course shell.

At regular intervals, require groups to share their progress. This could look like posting a view only link in a discussion thread. Students could solicit peer feedback or reflect on their learning by:

  • summarizing their progress since the last update;
  • requesting feedback (in the form of comments within the presentation or document) on one or more key components;
  • reflecting on the current project task, identifying key learning or challenges, and how their group managed this;
  • considering how their progress has differed from their original plan;
  • recommending a workflow or process, based on their experiences.

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