Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Collaborative Documents

Today I experimented with using a collaborative spreadsheet with my Extended Diploma students.  They were given the task of detailing software on a shared spreadsheet, set up using Google Docs.

I made the same mistake initially that I did with Wallwisher when I used that, which was forgetting to log in first, so that I was able to quickly delete any unwanted comments.  I did, however, remember to give out some posting rules before we started (no swearing, nothing inappropriate, blah blah blah).

After an initial flurry of inappropriate comments, mainly along the lines of song lyrics, I gave a warning, and then locked all the students out.  I said that instead, as they hadn't followed the rules, they would have to discuss their comments in groups instead.  They weren't happy with that, so we agreed that we'd have another go.  This was more successful, and almost all of the students took part and seemed to enjoy it.

I repeated the same task with a second group later today.  We came across similar issues with posting at first, and with this group I had the opportunity to discuss whether they enjoyed the activity.  The feedback was interesting - they felt that there was not enough focus (this could have been easily rectified with clearer guidance from myself and perhaps a more challenging task for this group), and that they found it annoying that other students could delete or modify their entries, which I agree was an annoying feature.

I think I'll use this again, but it needs to be more than just filling in a spreadsheet to make it a worthwhile learning experience.

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