It’s very likely that your students are using technology to collaborate in their college courses. If they aren’t using it today, they’ll soon be doing so in their future careers. You, too, may be using tech tools to collaborate with your colleagues.

When collaborating within a group or team, it pays to adopt the communication skills that enable you to work together effectively. However, due to its very nature, online collaboration requires some extra finesse.

In the Enhanced Edition of Microsoft® Office 2013: Introductory, Enhanced Edition from the Shelly Cashman Series, Misty E. Vermaat shares three key things to remember when you’re using technology to collaborate with others. We’ve presented them below.

 Three Key Things to Remember When You’re Using Technology to Collaborate with Others

  • When planning group projects, look for tools that allow you to create, edit, and share documents, spreadsheets, drawings, presentations, and other files. You can find a growing list of applications for these purposes, including Office Online, which includes an online version of OneNote.
  • When using collaborative technology, your people skills are as important as your technology skills. Set up a process to make sure that everyone’s voice is heard during a virtual meeting. People who are silenced will probably tune out.
  • Function as a professional whenever you’re online. Team members might get to know you mainly through emails and instant messages. Consider the impression you’re making with your online presence. Avoid slang, idioms, sarcastic humor, and other expressions that can create misunderstanding. A small dose of civility can make a big difference in the quality of your virtual team experience. (Vermaat, SSG 12)


Reference: Vermaat, Misty E. 2016. Microsoft® Office 2013: Introductory, Enhanced Edition. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
© 2016, Cengage Learning.

What are your top “to-do’s” when using technology to collaborate? Any other tips you’d pass along to students? Share your ideas in the comments.