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Collaborative working

Tools for collaborative working Tools for sharing/exchanging files
wiki FTP
Moodle Web pages
Shared data (S: drive) UCL drop box


Tools for collaborative working

Wiki

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When would I use this?

When you want to:

  • create structures of articles on subjects à la Wikipedia
  • build a knowledge base for a course, research group or project
  • create simple, flexible group-authored Web pages
  • increase student engagement using a safe online wiki
  • showcase your students' work online and to have their peers read their work
  • encourage any kind of collaborative work in teaching and learning
  • store committee agendas, minutes, papers and comments in a shared area
  • share technical notes in a small group

When you want a:

  • central place for your group to collaborate
  • shared area for research groups to put documents under discussion etc
  • shared area for a project-related to do lists, minutes etc.
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When wouldn't I use this?

  • A wiki would not be a good place to store a large number of files. The S: drive may be a better solution.
  • If I want to upload files larger than 10Mb.
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Top tip!

UCL staff and students can use it


External people can view content but need to apply for an account via the Services System if they want to add it.

Learn more about the Wiki

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Moodle

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When would I use this?


When you want to:

  • provide a wide range of online resources, communication and activities for participants (who may be students or staff)
  • make existing materials (such as handbooks or lecture notes in Word, lecture slides in PowerPoint, PDF, Excel, graphs, HTML, images, audio, video) available in a range of formats such as direct links to files, external links to webpages, html pages, or books containing a number of chapters within each book.
  • make materials and activities available to others (including non-UCL users) if you wish through guest access
  • allow one-to-one and one-to many communication between participants and facilitators/tutors, in groups if appropriate
  • allow tutors to contact all participants by email without needing to maintain email lists
  • allow participants to develop simple group-authored web pages (wikis) within the framework of a Moodle course
  • showcase participants’ work online and have their peers read and comment on their work
  • allow group work
  • allow participants to keep journals (blogs)
  • allow participants to develop glossaries
  • allow online submission of work for assessment (document upload, online quizzes)
  • provide online feedback on assessed work
  • monitor participants’ engagement, uptake and achievement
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When wouldn't I use this?

  • if you simply want to make available online resources to anyone without any , with no need for communication, sharing, collaboration or assessment, then a website might be a simpler option
  • if you want participants to work on collaborative documents without needing the other facilities offered by Moodle then a wiki might be more appropriate
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Top tip!

  Look at the Moodle Features Demo course for ideas about what is possible in Moodle
  Keep file sizes under control – remember not all users have unlimited or fast access to the internet

Learn more about Moodle


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Shared Data Area (S: drive)

The Shared Data Area is a shared drive which allows a group of people to share files such as common Word documents that the whole office need to use or a database file that is relevant to a number of people. It makes it easier to manage files, rather than everyone having a separate copy on their local machine.

Information for ADS users
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When would I use this?

  • To share documents with colleagues in the same department/faculty as you.
  • If you want to restrict access to documents to only certain individuals within a department/faculty.
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When wouldn't I use this?

  • The S: drive is only available to UCL Staff. You therefore would not use this method to share files with students or external contacts. For sharing with students, Moodle may be a better option. For external users, either the Wiki or perhaps Drop box may better suit your needs.
  • You can only use this tool to share files with colleagues in the same section as you e.g. Library Services. You would not use this method to share files with colleagues in a different department or faculty to the one you are in.
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Top tip!

  Use Track Changes. It's an option in Microsoft Word which can be used to keep track of any changes you or others make to a documents. For example, Jane may create a document, and put it on the S: drive for others to comment. John then edits the document with Track Changes switched on and saves it back to the S: drive. When Jane re-opens the document, she will see the original text plus changes that John has made to it. You can learn how to use Track Changes in Word by doing through the documentation for MS Word. See the Documents page for more details.
  Make documents Read Only. Documents can be accidentally modified or deleted! If you would like people to view a document but not modify it, you can restrict it by making the file Read Only. The documentation for MS Word will explain how to do this. See the Documents page for more details.

Learn more about the S: drive

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Tools for sharing/exchanging files

FTP

FTP allows you to transfer files to and from a remote server but please note that this is NOT A SECURE WAY TO TRANSFER FILES.

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When would I use this?

  • If you want to access your files held on the UCL file servers (Central Windows Filestore) from outside the college, be it from home or another institution.
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When wouldn't I use this?

  • You would not use FTP as a means of working collaboratively with others. It useful for uploading and downloading data from your own area on the Central Windows Filestore, which only you have access to.
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Top tip!


  The easiest way to FTP is using a web browser.

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Web pages

Web pages gives you the flexibility to publishing documents to a remote web server for a number of different people to access and download.

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When would I use this?

  • If you want to share files with a number of different people.
  • If some of the people you want to share files with are non-UCL members
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When wouldn't I use this?


    You would not use web pages as a means of working collaboratively with others.
    It's great for disseminating lots of information, but not so good for working
    interactively.

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Top tip!

  You can edit web pages via Dreamweaver or the Content Management System.
  You can restrict access to your web pages so that only UCL members can access the page. Or you can even restrict access to only certain individuals within UCL.

Learn more about Website creation & maintenance

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UCL Drop box

Drop box is a tool which replaces the need to send an attachment via email, or even faxing or mailing a document. You simply upload a file from your computer to a central location, and the recipient(s) are simultaneously notified by email that you wish to share a file with them.

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When would I use this?

  • Anytime you want to share a file by sending an attachment! It's particularly useful for sending large files, which if sent by email, takes up space on the recipients accounts and can potentially affect general performance of central systems.
  • You can also use Drop box for sending and receiving files to and from external contacts.
  • It's also useful if students have assignments to send you. Rather than receive dozens of assignments in your Inbox and in turn use up your allocated email allowance, you can log in to Drop box and save the files to your N: drive on the central system.
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When wouldn't I use this?

  • Drop box is useful in many different ways. You might choose not to use Drop box however as a long-term means of storage as files are only held on the system for 14 days.
  • You wouldn't use Drop box when changes to a master document need to be seen and tracked by more than one person.
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Top tip!

  When sending large files you need to bear in mind the following:
  1.  The larger the file the longer it will take to drop off the file.

2.  Does the recipient have enough space to receive the file? If you are
sending a large file, ensure that the recipient will have sufficient disk space to to download it either on their hard drive or USB key.

Learn more about Drop box

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