Collaboration tools are tools that can be used to help groups (teams) to complete learning activities together - for synchronous tools, check out the Web Meeting Tools page.
Please follow the example on the "How to contribute tools" page. Add as many tools as you like!

Remember: Contribute only tools that you have tried. Report on features you liked and ones you struggled with. If possible, share a brief statement of what you created or how you used the tool.

coggle.jpgCoggle -

a free brower-based collaborative mind-mapping tool (also listed under Engagement, Mapping)
BethCB and SylviaR used to summarize last week of FLO Apr2016
  • free accounts - can share (or embed)
  • NOTE: tracking of user information may concern some users. Check terms.
  • collaborate by sending link
  • download diagrams as image or pdf (export as .mm or text)
  • 3 private diagrams (unlimited public diagrams)
  • unlimited image uploads
  • can arrange the mindmap branches
  • easiest mind-mapping program to use (IMHO - sr)
  • attractive, visually appealing, did I mention easy to use? (>1600 icons)
  • you can search the parts of your mind map - very useful
  • the blog is called "bloggle" - a little cutesy but whatever
  • only $5/month for basic membership Types of accounts

Google Docs -
Create and share documents, spreadsheets, presentations, surveys, and forms
  • free account - create or upload documents to store online
  • 1 GB free storage - individual file upload up to 250 MB file size
  • share privately to other Google account members, share with public link (no sign-up for participants)
  • set privileges for people you share files with
SylviaR Comments: used throughout FLOs / ISWos for planning, for collaborative knowledge development docs


Linoit -

free, open board to post notes, images - called a "webbased sticky note service"
used by DonnaD in FLO-Design Pilot 2017
  • can use without signup (like Padlet?) but full features requires login; three access levels, Public, Friends, Private
  • can set email reminders
  • provides different backgrounds and layouts
  • claims to be mobile friendly but haven't tested?

Note: During the September 2015 Section B FLO Workshop, the Week 3 mini-session activity included a task that involved analyzing communication tools.

Microsoft Office 356

Microsoft Office 365 is a communications platform offered free for students and faculty at most Universities. It allows students and teachers to communicate and collaborate in real time on any device installed with office 365. It offers a bundle of tools designed for education, but the most relevant for communication is "OneNote Class" and "Skype"

Instructor Presence
  • Using the "OneNote Class" instructors can interact with students as a group in real time collaborative spaces and individually in students notebooks.
  • Within Office 365 there are a variety of tools that support communication between instructors and students. For example, SharePoint works like GoogleDocs, giving students and instructors a place to work on documents collaboratively. This collaborative space enables instructors to observe students as well as engage with them. Another tool is Lync Online which supplements traditional email and enables instant messaging, audio/video calls and online meetings between students and instructors. Lync enables students and instructors to see who is online ("Oh look, my prof is here I'm going to instant message them with my query about next week's quiz").
  • Each program in Office 365 uses a feature called "presence" that shows each person that is online and the best way to contact them at any given moment. The presence feature can be
  • connected to your calendar which will automatically change your presence based on your appointments.

Supporting Student Learning
  • Since programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are already familiar to many people, there is less of a learning curve when used to facilitate online learning. For this reason students can focus on content instead of navigating the technology.
  • Supports diverse needs of learners as it allows instructors to upload readings, post video and video demonstrations, meet f2f with individually with students and as a group, and can accommodate learning through collaboration though discussion (IM, video, audio, and co-authoring).
  • May be particularly useful for adult learners as many work places use Microsoft office providing students with a marketable still that is relevant to their professional lives.

Community Building
  • There are a variety of tools that support interactive and collaborative activities.

Potential Challenges
  • Some smaller colleges may not offer Microsoft office for free.
  • Will take some time/support for instructors to determine how to best incorporate which tools into their teaching. Will take some time/support for students to understand how to use some of the tools that they might not be familiar with. Instructors might have to create/provide troubleshooting guides for their learners to help them navigate some of the tools.

Padlet - http://padlet.compadlet_300.png

a collaborative whiteboard / bulletin board tool
  • free account - education accounts available
  • use for collaborative planning, sharing content, collections
  • allows title, text, upload files (images, video, pdfs, documents, spreadsheets, link to web pages, take a webcam photo & add - 25 MB limit per file
  • no limits on number of people who can post to a shared wall; you don't need an account to post; you can set different privacy levels
  • you can publish a wall on social media, share a link with participants, embed in a web site or course page, or export as a PDF
SylviaR Comments: I can see all kinds of uses for a semi-private wall during a course - a way for students to post feedback on in-class or online synchronous sessions or learning activities; a way to share current events relevant to a topic in your course, a way to host class introductions?

Prezi_logo.pngPrezi -

build a Prezi - invite others to help (also listed under Presentation)
  • free online presentation tool
  • use for collaborative construction of a presentation
  • allows audio, embed video, PPts,
SylviaR comments: discovered Prezi is easy to use collaboratively. Choose Your Tools mini-session used as an example

Note: During the September 2015 Section B FLO Workshop, the Week 3 mini-session activity included a task that involved analyzing a collaborative tool - this is the contribution from the Purple Team

Realtimeboard - https://realtimeboard.comRealtimeboard_logo.jpg

reviewed by JessicaC
Brief "Getting Started" video on Vimeo -
  1. endless whiteboard canvas (lets you see the big picture)
  2. collaborative tool (is an extension you turn on/off; invite collaborators)
  3. super simple and user-friendly!!! that says a lot coming from a tech cringer like me
  4. several templates to choose from with descriptions for each template and in depth demos for some...lots of guidance tools
  5. can be used to store post-it notes, images, documents, videos, spreadsheets, etc.
  6. Google Drive integration and Google Chrome extensions (bonus for me)
  7. can export as image or pdf
  1. Freemium account gives you only 3 boards and only 3 collaborators per board, 100MB of storage space
  2. Lacks summary/analysis tools of Stormboard
Although it seems like a fun tool, the cost makes it unsuitable for me to use for student projects so I cannot recommend. I will explore some of its features for designing lessons and group projects but may have to stick to programs like stormboard and webposter wizard for group projects.



  • Slack is an online app that can be used on your desktop or mobile application to collaborate with various individuals in various departments/teams. Slack has everything you need to stay in touch, all on one screen.
  • We recommend that the instructor set up the ‘team’ – it could be called XYZ Class, (thus being able to create and invite students to their specific group). However, there is the option to allow the students to set up their own teams, inviting the instructor into the groups. This option would only be used if the instructor didn’t need to see or be involved in the planning. Again, in our experience we highly recommend that the instructor set up the ‘Team’.
  • Slack is easy and user friendly, allowing ‘tech savvy’ and ‘tech newbies’ to be able to use the program with little problems. Students are able to upload their assignments to the screen for one stop learning, thus allowing students and instructors to showcase various assignments, webpages, documents, etc. all in one spot.
  • Some students, or instructors need reminders; with Slackbot (the direct messaging intelligent ‘robot’) it can help you with reminders…just ask it to. Another great thing about Slack is that there are integrated apps (too many to mention, but as an example, Google drive/hangouts/calendar, Dropbox, Blue Jeans, GoToMeeting, Screenhero, MailChimp, etc.). Allowing students/instructors to effortlessly jump between various platforms (ie: the instructor is able to use Blue Jeans for a video conference, or google hangouts to voice chat).

Scrumbler by alisaria - logo.jpg
Contributed by SylviaC - she's been playing with it since 2011
Scrumblr is designed by Ali Asaria from Ottawa (website no longer active as of Nov 2014) -
An brief tutorial on how to use scrumblr in the classroom: a more recent post (2012) about the tool and some alternative free collaborative whiteboard apps to try:
Scrumblr is an open bulletin board that you can fill with different post it notes
  • different coloured, lined post-it notes
  • collaborative - you can set one up and email the link to others and they can add or move post-it notes without signing up for memberships
  • distinct URL but no login or password protections
  • some issues in use with different sized screens (people found it hard to read the post-its if they had smaller screens
  • Canadian - very nice!

Stormboard -

Online brainstorming tool allows you to create and categorize stickies collaboratively.
  • synchronous or asynchronous
  • can accommodate pictures or other files
  • comment, chat,
  • great reporting tools
  • free version only allows 5 users per board; paid versions offer 30-day free trials

AndreaK comments: I used this in FLO Sept2015B, and was impressed at how fun and easy this tool was to use. I ran a mini-session using a 30-day free trial.

Tricider.jpgTricider -

Online decision-making "social voting" tool
Contributed by CheriM, Sept2016 FLO - used for Week 4 Activity.
  • asynchronous
  • flexible - allows discussion/debate through posting arguments for and against
  • people participate by being invited to your board
  • if you sign up for free account, you can subscribe to updates
  • you can post and share open questions (share to Facebook, create as a contest)
  • see features for more ideas -