Guide: Collaborating online with other students

working online university project

How to manage school projects online

Let's face it, we're in the digital age. And that means that when you have a group project to do, most of the work is going to be done online. How do you work efficiently with other group members? And how do you keep everyone working together well? Here’s our guide.

1.     Use a time scheduler like trello

Trello is a godsend for students and self-employed individuals. It’s a great time management tool which allows you to divide work, check on each other’s progress, and manage large scale projects with ease.

2.     Create a personal website where you store useful information

It’s always good to have a backup. A personal website can be used to collaborate with others, but it also works very well for courses that involve an online presence. For example, if you are in journalism, you will most likely be expected to have your own website which showcases your work. Student’s on a budget can utilize free website hosting options.

Starting your online presence early can be crucial for later in your life when you are marketing yourself. But remember – anything you put up on your website could be viewed later on in your life, so keep it professional. Having a mature website that showcases your portfolio can help you later in life, and it also helps to keep you organized and on track while in school.

3.     Keep your tone overly polite, and if appropriate use emoticons

Never use sarcasm online. Guess what? Your witty joke doesn’t convey that you are joking, and you just appear like you are rude. Most of communication is non-verbal. So when you are online, you need to be extra careful that you are putting your best foot forward. If it is appropriate, consider using emoticons to convey your emotions. It is so easy for someone to misconstrue what you are saying online.

4.     Have at least one in person meeting

This is a guide to working online, but we do want to press the issue that it can be incredibly important to have a face to face meeting. You will find that although most of the work can be done on the computer from home, having at least one meeting in person can be crucial to success. You realize just how much of communication is done in person, and how much more nuance you can get when you hear people’s opinions live.

5.     Keep backups – of everything!

Accidents happen. Document’s mysteriously disappear, and it can be so easy to knock that glass of water onto your laptop that has over a hundred hours of hard work on it. Working online means that you have no excuse not to back up your information. Use a cloud based system, or Microsoft Onedrive which is a free version of Microsoft’s popular office suite of products.

You have no excuse for having work disappear. In fact, we recommend that you be extra diligent in protecting your work to the point of paranoia! Every hour or two, make sure you have saved your hard work, especially if a deadline is coming up. The extra ten seconds you spend can save you a lot of headache in the future.

We hope that you find these tips useful. We are committed to helping students out in every walk of life. Up next – are you managing your time properly as a student?

 

 

Managing Your Time

One important aspect to student life is of course being able to manage your time to the fullest. Whilst you will need to spend time studying part of your student life will be socialising, and getting the correct mix is something that you are going to have to master.

Make sure that you do not become something of a hermit in your first few weeks of life away from home for the first time for you will need to have a way of letting your hair down occasionally and you will certainly have plenty of ways of doing just that as a student.

The weekend is when you will find you have the most spare-time and whilst going out on thetown is what many students like doing, and whilst there is nothing wrong with doing that never forget that there are a range of other activities that you can get actively involved in.

If you are into sports then you will find all manner of different teams sports and activities available to you, and if you have any special interests then there will be plenty of those available to you no matter what your states.

However, do keep in mind your budget, as it is all too easy to overspend or live beyond your means, and that is why we would suggest you land a weekly spending limit and try to stick to it, leaving enough spare funds for you to occasionally go out and party.

Many students will use the time they have available at the weekend to perform a part time job, and if that is something you are interested in doing then make sure you plan ahead, for there will of course be lots of competition during term time for any part time jobs in the local area, however you are going to be twice as better off working if you can do rather than spending by going out all foot the time.

If at any time you need help or support or just general advice, then you always have a huge range of help and support services at your disposal as a strand so never be afraid of asking for help if you require it as people and organisations have been set up to support students and any type of problems they have.

Ifyou are gay, then you are going to find averactive LGBT scene at all collegesanduniversities and there will often be plenty of special activates for you to take part in if you fancy meeting other gay or lesbian students.

One thing you may be invested in doing if you would rather not do things in your spare time that involve spending money is to do some volunteering work in your local area, you will find charities and organisations are always inrested in getting new people on board to help with a range of different activates on a voluntary basis, so do look into the possibility of doing just that.

In fact, it maybe beneficial for you to look at volunteering for some for or activity that is related to what you are studying for, and that can only help you get hands on training in regards to your future career. Take for example if you are studying for a medical career then St John’s Ambulance Brigade are always looking for volunteers, and a lot of the activates they are involved with take place over the weekend.

Take a look around our website for we have lots of other practical advice in regards to what you can do with your spare time, doing something you enjoy which is not always partying or drinking!

Managing Your Money

The very first thing that you are going to have to do as a student is make sure you have the finances in place to last you through your student years. That is going to mean spending a lot of time putting together a securing a source of income and then also putting together a strict budget in regards to spending the money you have got.

With that at the forefront of your mind we have put together the easy to follow guide that will pass onto you some valuable hints and tips in regards to managing your finances, so please do spend some time reading through it and then sit down and put together your own personal spending budget for the year ahead!

Student Loans – Obviously the one thing that may prey heavily on any student’s mind is their student loan, however that loan does have to cover you for every aspect of your student life and as such please do not look at it as a sudden windfall!

As student loans will eventually need paying back then you should get lots of advice in regards to the best way to use those funds, and there are of course lots of resources you will be able to make use of throughout this website and the blog postings we have put together for you.

Woking as a Student – There can be some benefits of you getting a part time job when you are a student, however keep in mind that there will be lots of other students also looking for part time jobs in the area you will be studying in.

So if you know which college or university you will be studying at then the sooner you apply for any vacancies that may be available in those areas the more chance you will have securing a job in that area!

You will find that there are also tax breaks for anyone who is studying and as such you will not find that you have to pay as much tax or in fact any tax on any income you derive from taking a job, which really will come in handy if you are surviving on a very strict budget.

Bank Accounts – One thing you will have to get if you do not already have one is a bank account, and all banks in the UK will have some form of specialized student bank account in the offering, and as such you should spend some time researching just which types of bank accounts are available to you as a student.

You will often find that most student based banks accounts will give you access to a free overdraft or a loan, however that extra source of funds should not be looked as free money as by drawing on an overdraft will ofcourse see you having to pay that money back at some time in the future!

There will also be a range of additional extras attached to most student based banks accounts, and as such make list of what is being offered by all of the major banks and then opt for the one that is going to be best suited to you.

Food Costs – You will of course need to eat as a student living away from home, and one way that you can dramatically reduce the cost of your weekly shop is for you to pool your resources together with other students and then take advantage of any special promotions local supermarkets are offering.

With buy one get one free deals and a gaggle of additional promotions it will be possible for the savviest groups of students to pool their resources and make some tremendous savings on the items they do wish to buy each week, and do make sure that is something you do instigate doing with any people you are living with!

Socialising Costs – Now one aspect of you becoming a student who is living away from home for the very first time is that you will of course want to get out and about and socialize with your fellow students, and being able to afford to do so can be quite costly at times!

Do consider joining up to any clubs or social groups that may appeal to you at the college or university that you are studying at as they often have student discounts available and always carry your student card around with you as you will never know when that card will be coming in handy for getting discounts!

Travel Costs – There are plenty of special discounts that are going to be available to you as a student, much more so in regards to travel costs, so if you do plan to use public transport whether on a bus or train then there will always be plenty of offers available to you.

Make sure that you always consider buying a student travel card if you are required to or will be travelling about a lot as they can massively reduce the overall cost of your travel! In fact, many colleges and universities also lay on a range of complimentary vehicles in certain circumstances too.

Avoid High Cots Finance – One thing that we would strongly advise you to steer well clear of are payday type loans, the amount of interest you will be required to pay when you take out such a loan will be huge and many students have got themselvesinto severe financial difficulty when taking out such loans.

You will find that you are going to be best off using a free overdraft facility that your bank may have offered you. Also if you are tempted to apply for a credit card then the only time you should use the funds available to you on that card is when you can comfortably afford to pay them off when the next bill comes in, as you will then avoid paying interest on any funds you have used on a credit card if you pay the bill off each month.

Course Work and Writing Essays

One thing that you are going to have to very quickly master is the art of writing essays and allocating your spare time effectively in such a way that you can get all ofyour course work done.

Now, that does come perfectly naturally to a lot of students, however there are some students who cannot manage their time effectively or in such a way that they know when they should be working and when they have their leisure time. There are even courses on how to manage your time

With that in mind if you do feel you struggle when doing course work or writing essays when you are away from the class room so to speak, then you should put together a time table which you should stick to rigidly.

If you know that you can afford to spare several hours over the weekend when you will not be disturbed or when you will not have other things planned, then you should pencil those in as guaranteed study times each week.

It can be way too easy to get drawn into a wide range of differentactivates as a student, and with that in mind plan your schedule during the working week when you know you can set aside enough time to complete your course work or research may not be easy but it is something you do need to do.

If you do have a circle of friends who you always seem to be hanging out with then one good idea as a group would be to plan your study time together and that will ensure that you all have quality time together having performed all ofyour easy, research and course work at the same time.

Essay writing can be one of the most daunting of tasks for most people, for they just cannot seem to get the words to flow. However, what many people will do is to write late at night when it is dark and quiet as that is when their writing abilities do seem to be at the best.

However, at the other end of the scale some people tend to write their essays more or less when they wake up in morning when their mind is clear and more alert and sharp, but what is good for one student is not usually good for another student, and as such it will be a case of trial and error in regards to when you are best off studying and writing essays.

Student World

They say that as a student you are going to be having the time of your life, and as such if you are about to start a course or are working your way through doing so then there are going to be lots of valuable articles and guides throughout the Student World website we know you will enjoy reading.

We have put together below an overview of the main topics which many of our blog and website visitors find the most interesting, however please do feel free to have a good look around as there will be bound to be several topics covered that you will find of interest.

The Art of Studying – One thing that you will need to do as a student, and something you will need to do very quickly is master the very fine art of studying. For there are many pitfalls a student can fall into when trying to juggle their private lives with their student and studying lives.

With that in mind take a look at our range of guides and articles written and compiled by other students who have manages to successfully balance their studying and their private lives and have now got in place a well-balanced life style and one they love.

Student Grants and Loans – One thing that you are going to need as a student is some financial support through your entire college or university courses, and there are plenty of places you can turn to for financial help.

 

Also there are benefits to be had if you can take a part time job also instead of having to take out loans, and as such we will be investigating ways that you can do just that whilst not affecting your studying. Financial help and advice is always available to students and you are best off putting into place a budget and stick to that budget too.

Student Support Groups – Getting the correct help, support and advice exactly when you need it as a student is something which fortunately you are readily going to be able to do these days as three really are lots of places that have been set up to help and support students.

We have listed some in fact possibly all of the most often utilized support groups and support services that you should take a look over if at any time during your student life you do need absolutely any type of support, guidance or just need someone to talk things over with.

Choosing Your Courses – Choosing just which courses are going to be suited to you will either be a breeze if you know what career path you want to take through your life, or if can be a quite a time consuming and confusing task if you are unsure as to what you want to do after leaving college.

Have a look though our choosing you course set of guides for there is lots of practical help and support in them which should be able you to find the answers you are looking for.

Help and Advice – There is of course a lot of help and support available for anyone in the education system, and as such if you feel that you would like to seek help or guidance on absolutely any aspect of your student life then the best place to visit is this section of our website.

You will find listed a large range of different support groups and organisations that are going to be offering free and completely confidential support, and as such student you are always best advised to seek help rather than try and go it alone.

Long Term Career Options – If you are looking for a specific career or have yet to make up your mind of your long term career goals then please do take a look at this section of the website.

We will be taking a look at several different people and see how they chose their career paths, including several people who chose to change their career after only a short period of time and how they handled those changes and how they had to start afresh with a new set of education courses to allow them to follow their new career path and goals in life.