Tools for Google Drive Productivity

Google Drive Productivity

We use Google Drive quite a bit in our course and curriculum development. It is a favorite tool for collaborating with stakeholders and subject matter experts from all over the world. Meetings are difficult to schedule when design partners belong to four separate time zones, but Drive allows us to keep track of who is doing what, when, and where we are in that process. One of the first things I do, at the start of any project, is create a Drive folder in which that project is going to live. Then I try to remember to check it regularly. As I tackle more and more of these types of projects, however, it becomes easier for me to get lost in one project folder and leave others in neglect. Enter Folder Notifications for Google Drive, a tool that allows me to tend multiple projects and not forget (as I’m apt to do) that one is progressing without me. The tool functions by sending regular… Read More >

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Webinar: Google Drive for Course Development

Laptop and hands

Hey all, as promised here is the recording from today’s webinar, Using Google Drive for Online Course Development. Here, too, is the handout we attached and the link to a support for how permissions in Google Docs work. Enjoy!

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Collaboration in Online Courses: Group Work

putting together a jigsaw

We often use group work in our online courses, and success varies among courses, projects, and students. Overall, our ultimate goal is organic learning, fostering an online community of learners and stimulating active participation in it. This, however, is not always achieved with a stellar consistency. Reflecting on our use of groups in courses, a few issues become apparent. Recognizing and addressing these issues is an important part of the course design process. This article examines some of the things you commonly find in a course with groups and group project, and some factors that can either make or break or improve the user experience, and offers suggestions on what to include in order to ensure collaboration opportunities and go beyond basic cooperation. https://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/how-to-make-group-work-collaborative-in-online-courses-four-strategies/  While a facilitator plays an enormous role in student overall experience, the key is to design tasks that are truly collaborative, meaning the students will benefit more from doing the activity as a group than doing… Read More >

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Using Google Forms

Google Forms

Hey everyone, We’re back again this week with a quick overview of how to get started with Google Forms. I was surprised to find that we hadn’t covered Google Forms before, so consider this post an introduction to some of its basic features. Because Google Forms does merit much more attention, expect that we’ll return to the tool in the future with deeper treatment of the different ways in which you can USE Google Forms, either as student, staff or faculty. Suffice to say, Forms is an excellent option for collecting and organizing information from large numbers of people. And, because it automatically stores the information in the Excel-like Google Sheets, the resulting data is immediately ready for treatment and study. First, let’s look at how to create a Google form. Doing so is easy: Go to Google Drive, click “New” and then click “Google Forms.” There is something to consider when you create a form, however, and that has to… Read More >

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How to Work with Google Drive Folder Shared with You

In your course click on Course Documents in the navigation menu

We have been trying to streamline the process of storing and sharing files, especially in document-intense courses like Field Seminars and Practica. While there are a number of advantages to setting up our system this way, there has been some difficulty navigating around the shared folders as they don’t always feel intuitive for a particular task. All of the course documents are shared to allow anyone who has the link to view the contents of the folder. You can also download certain types of files without as much as logging into Google. 1. In the Course Navigation Menu on your left, click on Course Documents 2. You will be able to view documents all at once either as a grid or a list. You can click on any of the documents and get an instant preview. 3. Close the file preview, and add documents to your Drive. If you are not signed in already, click on the blue [SIGN IN]… Read More >

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Using Google Docs as Online Student

Among the things that online students point out as the most important to success are time management and staying motivated (see all the seven factors listed in this Educause article). Clearly, it’s easy to get side-tracked if you don’t have to go to a class at a particular scheduled time – remember this was actually the best thing about asynchronous classes when you signed up? – or have a particular place to go to study. If your time management strategy is using a few minutes here and there between meetings or work, or chores, or while the pasta is cooking for dinner, then it’s possible there may be some headwinds to the overall success in your chosen online program. Define your strategy You can create a more robust environment though, if you have a more or less defined strategy which doesn’t necessarily involve carrying all of your books and laptop around all the time. Here are some ideas for managing your studies… Read More >

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Types of Cloud Storage Tools Pt. 2

icloud

(This is Part 2 of a 2-part survey of the various cloud storage tools you can utilize in the classroom. For Part 1, looking at Dropbox, Box and Copy, click here.) Some cloud storage tools have evolved beyond offering storage on their own. The advantage of using the same tool to create your media as you use to store it is obvious, and has contributed to the success of such tools in the last few years – especially Drive. Media-creation functionality adds a significant dimension for assessing which of these you’d prefer to use. Additionally, here at UNE we have accounts with both Microsoft and Google which should also be considered. Google Drive is the most established of the tools covered here. OWL is utilizing Drive more and more within the courses we help design, and we find it incredibly useful as both a cloud storage and a media (documents, slideshows, spreadsheets, etc.) creation tool. Perhaps the greatest advantage of using Drive, though, is… Read More >

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Using Google Documents to Allow for Inline Commenting

Google Doc Inline Commenting Permissions

When the Blackboard was updated, many instructors were thrilled to see the inline commenting feature which allowed them to pinpoint their comments to a particular line or even word when grading an assignment. Did you know that Google Docs has a similar feature and it’s one of the best uses of Google Docs for collaboration? How it can be used: One idea is to use the Google Docs for commenting on a reading assignment. This is a common task in a number of courses, where students have to express their thoughts on a particular article. This won’t replace the practice of properly citing and critiquing a scholarly article, but can definitely be used for a more engaging, collaborative commenting. See instructions below. It makes sense to unshare the article after the assignment has been completed. Another idea: you can also reuse it in subsequent courses, you can have students revisit their previous comments later in the same course to see… Read More >

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