Image from wordle.net
As group work becomes more common in our classrooms, how do we support team projects? One way is to educate ourselves about the collaborative features and limitations of some common tools.
I started practicing with the Comments and Track Changes features of Microsoft Word. Thanks to Student Assistant Sonya Clifford for her help. I could see these features as useful for giving and acting upon individual feedback.
Then I tried editing and sharing documents on Google Drive. I thank Professor Dan Stasko and Student Assistant Shikara Nugent for their help. Google Drive would work well for a project with multiple drafts and/or multiple participants. Outside of class you could use it to crowdsource meeting minutes (assuming–of course–that no highly sensitive information is included).
These are not the only tools available (I haven’t even discussed creating a group bibliography with Zotero, for example.), and neither one is right for all situations. Still, they reflect the social nature of information (ACRL, 2014, p. 23). After all, information literacy is not a solo act.
Association of College & Research Libraries (2014). Framework for information literacy for higher education: Revised draft. Retrieved from http://acrl.ala.org/ilstandards/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Framework-for-IL-for-HE-Draft-2.pdf