Let's Share Best Practices

Tools Overview

The following guidelines should be considered when choosing tools for online collaboration:

  • Agree on which tools will be required as part of the collaboration
    Ensure that all participants have access to the agreed upon tools.

  • Select the appropriate tool for the task
    For example, sharing information from a written report is best done via email or web publishing, and is not an appropriate task for live video conferencing.

  • Select synchronous and/or asynchronous tools
    Decide whether the project or task requires participants to use the tool during "real time" or if the same result can be achieved asynchronously. Examples of synchronous tools, requiring participants to be present during "real time," include chat, instant messaging and video conferencing. Examples of asynchronous tools include calendars, discussion lists, email, and surveys.

  • Select the appropriate tool for each participant's equipment and bandwidth
    For example, multi-point video conferencing or graphic intensive applications do not work well on dial-up connections.

  • Install and test the tools prior to beginning the project
    Or, include ample time during the project for participants to test the tools.

  • Designate how technical trouble-shooting will be handled
    For example, who will provide assistance to participants who have trouble using specific tools?