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During a webinar you can invite participants to collaborate using other tools, for example recording the results of breakout group discussions or if you are running a hybrid workshop with participants in the classroom and online. Using collaborative spaces like those listed below you can add an extra dimension to your webinar as well as having a permanent record of the discussions.
Collaborate on text documents
When you want to offer interactivity during a webinar, you might want to offer participants to edit a document together. They can write results of their discussions in order to save them for later use or to present during a later part of the webinar. You might also want to structure the document participants are working on, and have them answer specific question. Perhaps the best known type of such a structured discussion is the SWOT analysis. But other useful structures might be a bi-polar brainstorm: For and Against an issue, or analysing an idea with three perspectives: Positive, Interesting and Negative traits of an idea.
TitanPad is a simple, easy-to-use collaborative writing tool that enables you to quickly share a common document with a group. You can set up a new page in seconds and everyone who gets the link can then write on the document. Each user is automatically assigned a text colour so it’s easy to see who wrote what. You can easily “rewind” to earlier versions if necessary and the final document can then be saved as a Word document.
In a webinar TitanPad can be used for collaborative note-taking in a breakout group but preferably not with more than ten people writing on the same document.
Here is a short introduction film explaining the main features of TitanPad.
Embed code for introduction video
Google Drive offers users the possibility to collaborate on Documents, Spreadsheets and Presentations… A webinar host can post the link to a document on the webinar chat allowing all participants to start editing a common document in real time.
Microsoft offers online access to the office suite and its major tools, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote allow real time online collaboration. As of 2016 this is true both for the online versions of the software, which run in browser windows as well as through the programs installed on the user’s computer. However using the programme on the user’s computer changes only appear online when the user has saved his/her changes. Thus it is more efficient to use the online versions when collaborating in real-time.
The three most popular Microsoft programs (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) allow real time collaboration online. OneNote also allows real time collaboration, but with the drawback that updates are not visible in real time as with the other documents, they take a few seconds to update.
With Microsoft Word (as with Google docs) it is possible to share a document with any number collaborators simply by distributing a link to the document. Webinar participants do not need to login or register to change the document, they can start editing as soon as the document opens in their browser window. A small colored flag shows where each participant is editing. If participants do login, their name (and photo) will also be associated with the flag.
The spreadsheet program Excel also allows for collaborative real time editing. This might be interesting for structured discussions as well as for collaboration on spreadsheets.
OneNote is a very versatile note taking service. Documents are organized in notebooks, notebook sections and pages. Text, pictures, handwriting and other media can be easily moved around on each page, thus it is also interesting to use as a whiteboard. Both for presentation purposes as for collaboration. The drawbacks are that updates take some time to be updated, and thus the programme is not suitable for group discussions
More info on the web
Zoho is a third suite of productivity programmes – wordprocessing, spreadsheets and presenting software – that offers online editing and collaborative writing.
See more on Zoho