Guide: Collaborating online with other students

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?