Hands up if you LOVE group work and student collaboration? Thought not! However, for some reason known only to the professors, teachers, and lecturers of the world, universities and schools everywhere seem to fall back on peer-to-peer learning whenever the opportunity presents itself. Maybe it’s just a way for educators to put their feet up for a while, or perhaps it’s designed to prepare you for the demands of collaboration in the workplace—either way, you need to find a way to make it work, regardless of whether or not you end up with a collection of academic misfits.
However, even if you dread those occasions when you’re asked to leave your hard-earned grades in the hands of someone else, we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, student collaboration through technology can make the whole process slick, streamlined, and actually very rewarding—and the best bit is, you don’t even need to be on campus to get some quality work done.
So, if your next assignment means working together with your peers, we think that our student collaboration tools can help keep everyone focused and on the same page. Read on to discover how Spike can streamline collaboration by bringing all the tools you need together in one place. It’s the ideal way to connect students with busy schedules and maintain those stellar GPAs at the same time!
Bring Your Group Together
Getting everyone together in the same room is fraught with difficulty. Everyone has different lectures to attend, impending deadlines, maybe even a jam-packed social life. However, why do it IRL when you can do it online? Spike Groups makes online student collaboration simple, and you can bring your peers together using both email and instant chat.
Set up a Group for your collaborative project, give it a name, invite your fellow students and start the passionate “discussions” over who’s right! Combining both synchronous and asynchronous communication gives you the best of both worlds, allowing you to drum up ideas on instant chat and fill in the details using email.
Set up Your Deadlines
When it comes to student collaboration, setting up deadlines and milestones is the best way to keep the group on track and make sure everyone is pulling their weight. Luckily, with the Spike Calendar you can do just that, entering specific dates and times on your calendar and then sharing them with the rest of your group.
All you need to do is add a milestone, deadline, or any other kind of schedule reminder on your chosen date and time. You can add notes or other supporting materials and then invite your peers using an email address. Now, everyone knows exactly what needs to be done and when.
Assign Tasks and To-Dos
One of the biggest challenges when organizing student collaboration projects is assigning tasks and to-dos fairly. Invariably, when working together in a group, certain individuals are likely to be more motivated than others. However, a clear plan and democratically distributed tasks can make a big difference.
Using tick-boxes, tables, and other useful tools combined with your calendar, you can clearly and definitively mark which tasks should be completed by which group member. When a task is completed, it can be ticked off the list, or the associated results and conclusions can be added directly within the shared student collaboration app.
Gather Resources and Ideas with Notes
Once everyone is on the same page with deadlines and to-dos, it’s time to start gathering your individual and collective ideas. Today, the lion’s share of research for student collaboration is online, and so you’re going to need a space to share links, images, videos, academic papers, quotes, and any other resources you might need. Spike Notes is the perfect place to do this, giving you a single, centralized online location to collect your thoughts.
What’s more, you can easily share files directly within the Note itself and chat about your discoveries, discuss your stats and figures, thrash out plans and outlines, and generally find a consensus on what your final presentation or paper should look like. The beauty of Notes is that all your work and research is stored in one place, meaning you don’t have to keep sending individual files back and forth. All current and historical versions of your files are there, and all your discussions too—giving you the ability to trace the origin of any idea or double-check those facts and figures.
Share Working Documents
At some point on your student collaboration journey, you’ll need to decide on what makes the cut and what doesn’t—honing everything you’ve gathered to date into a finished product. Here, online student collaboration excels, allowing you to work together using Google Docs or on any other cloud-based platform.
Spike makes it easy to share cloud documents with your Group—simply link your Google Drive, One Drive, or Dropbox account and then you can search and add links for the relevant files directly within your email. It’s quick, simple, and beautifully streamlined, giving you more time to concentrate on the actual work itself.
However, Spike’s document sharing capabilities don’t end there, and student collaboration tools also include intuitive file management and powerful Advanced Search features. With File Manager, any file you send within your Group can be previewed directly within your email and chat, giving you an instant overview of whether everyone is on the right track.
Advanced Search, on the other hand, makes finding those files quick and simple, even if you can’t remember the name. Whatever you are searching for, just type a keyword, file name, or even contact into the search field and everything will be displayed in an easy-to-navigate list.
Spike – The Student Collaboration Tool for Distance Learning
Whether you’re always on campus, or your lectures are delivered purely digitally, Spike gives you the chance to work collaboratively from afar. For distance learners or anyone who can’t regularly make group meetings, it’s the perfect student collaboration tool, allowing you to contribute from anywhere in the world.
To help you do this, Spike offers both voice and video calls to other Spike users directly within the app. However, if you’re working with a bunch of non-Spikers, you can still jump on a conference call using our video conferencing platform—it’s completely free, available to everyone, and there are no time limits (unlike some of those other platforms)!
So, whether you’re a bright and optimistic freshman or a wizened old Ph.D. student, check our Spike’s student collaboration features today and discover group work made easy.