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6 Useful Online Collaboration Tools for Group Projects

Group projects can cause a lot of stress for everyone involved. For some people, the idea that a portion of their grade is dependent upon the work of others can be agonizing. Between trying to coordinate work and make sure deadlines are being met, group projects can be a real headache. Luckily, several useful online tools are available to help you keep your group project running smoothly. Here are a few of the most useful.

Remember the Milk

Once of the challenges to group work is making sure everybody completes their assigned tasks in a timely manner. Remember the Milk is an online to-do list program that allows group members to complete and share task lists, so everyone can see what work is completed and hold group members accountable if they are not meeting deadlines.

Google Docs

When working on a group assignment, you need to be sure to share what work has been done. Google Docs permits you to upload documents that other group members can then download, view online, and offer commentary. The application also keeps all working documents in a safe place so that computer crashes and carelessness do not derail the group project. Other alternatives include ZohoDocs and Office Live.

Diigo

Being able to share sources and references while working on projects can help keep everyone on the same page regarding the work. Diigo lets you collect and organize documents, audio and video files. There is also a function that allows users to highlight text and add sticky notes, even to websites, to show clearly where information was pulled from.

Backpack

This web tool offers a lot of utility in just one program. Not only does Backpack store important documents, but group members can also use the calendar to lay out important deadlines, send information via the messaging system and create alerts to warn other team members when deadlines are approaching.

Wridea

Meeting for brainstorming sessions can be difficult for students with busy schedules or online classes. Wridea is a space where you can list and share ideas with your group members without having to try to organize schedules to make a face-to-face meeting possible. The application also features a tool called Idea Rain to help expand and refine your ideas.

Grou.ps

Communication is the key to avoiding stress and frustration while working on a group project. Depending on the schedules of the other group members involved, keeping up with them can be difficult. Grou.ps is an application that allows for chatting and other sharing utilities that create an open environment for maximum communication.

Don't let the fear of a group project or presentation overwhelm you. Your fellow classmates want to earn a good grade as much as you do. The key to working well together is to maintain good communication and clearly state goals and deadlines. The above online tools can make it easier for your group to work together, no matter what obstacles in scheduling that you might face.

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