Skip to Main Content

Online Learning Resource: Collaborating Online

Online Learning Resource home

University standards of Netiquette

In this highly unusual year, engagement with staff and peers online will be an important part of your educational experience, so please carefully read the University’s approach to netiquette (PDF 281k) so you know what to expect from staff and what good online behaviour means.


We're currently spending more time than ever online so its important to be aware of the potential dangers of online use and what we can do to keep ourselves protected.

Get Safe Online logo

Get Safe Online is a resource providing practical advice on how to protect yourself, your computers and mobiles device and your business against fraud, identity theft, viruses and many other problems encountered online. It contains guidance on many other related subjects too – including performing backups and how to avoid theft or loss of your computer, smartphone or tablet. Every conceivable topic is included on the site – including safe online shopping, gaming and dating.

Digital collaboration tools

There are many ways you can collaborate and share online with others. You can share and develop ideas and research and co-create documents, presentation slides and other digital outputs.

Web apps are very fluid and are constantly being revised and updated.  This information is correct as of June 2020 but in order to save yourself wasted time using an app that ultimately won't be suitable for the task, do check the features and limitations of each app carefully before use.

A collaborative workspace will enable you to work on a task together in groups, either synchronously (groups of people working together on a task in real time) or asynchronously (groups of people working together on a task, but not necessarily at the same time).

Microsoft OneNote logo
Microsoft OneNote enables multi-user collaboration. It gathers users' notes, drawings, screen clippings, and audio commentaries. Notes can be shared with other OneNote users over the Internet or a network.

Microsoft OneNote is available for all UoB students through Office365.


Google Drive logo

Google Drive allows users to store and synchronize files and works across all platforms and devices, with offline capabilities, for Windows and macOS computers, Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. Google Drive encompasses Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides, which are a part of an office suite that permits collaborative editing of documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, forms, and more. Files created and edited through the office suite are saved in Google Drive.

See our LinkedIn Learning collection: Google Docs.

Stay connected

Make use of these chat tools and applications to connect with your friends and peers. They are a great way to check-in with each other and keep in touch. The conversation doesn't just have to be study-related. When studying remotely, it is important to keep socially connected with others. If you have never used one of these tools or applications before, signing up will help you keep in touch with others using the same platform.  

Keep in regular contact with your peers. It is really important to still connect with one another. This will help with your studies too - learning is a social process after all!


Facebook Messenger logo   Facebook Messenger
Pros:  Facebook Messenger offers instant communication between the group. Can also facilitate group video calling. It is very easy to share photographs.
Cons:  Not everyone will want a messenger account. It can be frustrating to find everyone. 


Whatsapp logo
Pros: Offers instant communication between the group. Can also facilitate group audio and video calling. 
Cons: You will need to exchange phone numbers and everyone will need a mobile phone. Not as convenient when sharing files, especially if used on mobile.


Google Hangouts logo   
Pros: Offers messaging, audio and video calling. Can also share your screen with others in the call. 
Cons: Requires everyone to be connected at the same time. 


Make new connections

When studying remotely, it can be hard to get social contact with others. While it is great to rely on friends and family for this, there may also be an opportunity to make new connections.

UoB and the Guild of Students

The University and the Guild of Students are running a number of virtual events and activities. See the Student Services web page for the latest information, and check out the Guild's Virtual Neighbourhood facebook page.

Digital study buddy

If you can't meet up at the library or local coffee shop, then why not partner up with someone as a digital study buddy? You can start your day by setting goals, and check-in with each other regularly to monitor progress.

Study environment

If you find it really difficult to study in silence or by yourself - you're not alone. Research shows background noise can enhance performance on creative tasks.


Blogging provides a fantastic place for you to display your knowledge about a particular subject area that interests you. Writing and sharing your blog also provides a great opportunity to network and meet new people.

Being a Digital Student   Learning Online   Time Management   Further Support

Accessibility statement