Pleasant Surprise

Recently, we started exploring ways to use our learning management system to facilitate greater collaboration, particularly asynchronous communication. Today I was pleasantly surprised to see that a faculty member had opened a discussion post that inspired feedback from other members. With faculty being so over committed, being open to virtual discussion and collaboration will create so many more opportunities for interaction. It’s only the tip of the iceberg, but imagining the potential is very exciting!!

Co-Authoring Documents

The everchanging schedule of approved textbooks would be perfect for co-authoring by multiple authors. All responsible parties could take ownership of their curriculum’s textbooks and have the capability of making revisions to their portion of the document as needed. This would allow for version control and we would have a record of any revisions.

Plan B

Looks like SharePoint is a no go for collaboration right now. Switching focus to temporarily using Blackboard LMS for document management. It’s not ideal because the features we have implemented don’t really facilitate document sharing and collaboration using a wiki platform, but for now it will do.

There are multiple cloud-based web 2.0 tools, but there are privacy concerns that would limit the scope of discussion, and they don’t support the goal of finding a centralized location for collaboration. Besides, the one feature that is really needed is the ability for multiple users to edit a single document (Word, PowerPoint, Excel). So far, I haven’t really found a web 2.0 tool that not only allows multiple editors, but tracks changes, and maintains several versions on file for reference. Looks like we may just have to wait for that capability.

SharePoint Site Development

Starting to consider content to include in a division/team site. Curious to see how long it will take to get a skeleton platform up and running in order to house content for multiple projects requiring collaboration from various team members. Having a centralized document management location readily accessible by the entire division will allow for much more accurate document revision throughout the collaboration process.