Here is a quick list of our top 5 collaborative tools that can be used to integrate social learning experiences into your online course from outside of the LMS
1. Mindmeister – this is a great, mind mapping tool. Using Mindmeister, learners can collaborate and brainstorm outside of their LMS based online course in real-time. Once created, they can then post their findings in a course discussion board or export their maps in a variety of formats which can then be submitted into the LMS. Students can even prioritize tasks and set due dates for each mapped item. Basic accounts are free and allow a good amount of functionality, but are limited to the number of mind maps that can be created and do not feature the export function.
2. Typewith.me – Its free just like Google Docs except with no logins and an unbelievably simple interface. Applying it to e-Learning, picture many students jumping into a digital paper online and brainstorming ideas together within one sheet. To make collaboration easy and so that each user’s contributions are organized, each user automatically receives a different font color. Once the session is completed, tying it into the LMS couldn’t be easier. Everything is synchronized and can be exported into a PDF or a Microsoft Word document at the end of the session enabling a quick upload into the online course.
3. Prezi – Using Prezi, learners can create amazing, modern looking presentations that feature a unique zooming navigation functionality (you have to see and try it to truly understand what we mean). Students can embed videos, graphics, text, and even collaborate on their presentations in real-time when building it. Prezi is the way to go if you want your learners to exercise their creative abilities and create eye-catching presentations that stand out from the status-quo Powerpoint.
4. Dropbox – Share files and folder easily and directly on your computer on everything from Android, Blackberry, and iPhone to Windows, Linux, Tablets, and Mac. Dropbox has truly revolutionized collaborative file sharing and using it, your students can easily collaborate on complex projects while having all revisions and changes synced automatically on everyone’s computer. Dropbox can even recover files and maintains a log of revisions giving them that extra protection needed in case someone accidentally deletes or overwrites a file. Install Dropbox and users can access their files as if they were local folders on their computer or mobile device. Dropbox can also be accessed online to retrieve and store files with no installation if needed. Couple this with shared folders with individual invites and Dropbox becomes the best file sharing tool for e-Learning projects hands down. Simply, Dropbox has it all and does it all (did we mention its free for 2GB of storage? What’s not to love) .
5. Twiddla – Twiddla is a collaborative white board software that will allow your learners to draw, paint, and share images in real-time. Using Twiddla, users can interact with each other to make visual creations together online and then save and export that drawing quickly into their online course when completed. Twiddla also features the ability to add images and even collaborate live on Excel, Word, and Powerpoint files making it an amazing tool for group work assignments. With a simple sharing setup and interface, Twiddla is a great way to make your e-Learning courses for engaging.
If you would like to learn more about how your organization can successfully integrate these and other great collaborative tools into your course’s instructional design, visit our website or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to give you some ideas and suggestions that are right for your audience.