Collaborative Tools for On-line Learning

Collaboration in learning means we learn something together, by working in groups on tasks, projects, or concepts. When we collaborate, our ideas complement each other, so it helps to break down information silos and enhance the experience of every single learner.

Online collaboration is the process in which digital technologies help us work together when we are apart. For the delivery of Blended Learning programmes, remote learning and for supported self-directed learning, it is important to bring learners together and engage them in group activities. There is a wide variety of online learning collaboration tools to choose from to facilitate this.

The following online learning collaboration tools will support you in establishing a truly collaborative eLearning environment. They are divided into categories to match the purpose and tasks you wish to achieve.


Collaborative Content Curation Tools


Online Discussion Tools

Discussion tends to be a driver for learner-centered learning. Educators/L&D Professionals facilitate discussions to let learners generate ideas, organize, and summarise them. Actually, getting learners to talk and share ideas can be challenging, especially when it comes to remote learning. To make it easier, online tools with functions like visual brainstorming or short video responding are at your service. With their help, you can engage your shy learners or those who resist participating in class.


Tools for Virtual Classroom Activities

What can you do if you strive to get online learners to interact with each other, but they only interact with their devices? You can take advantage of that! There are online collaboration tools that provide you with pre-made yet customizable templates for interactive assignments, games, and quizzes on any device. They will help you stimulate learner activity in classes and boost social engagement while learning online.


Collaborative Authoring Tools

An authoring tool is a software for creating digital educational content (courses, video lectures, quizzes, etc.) and then sharing it with learners via a learning management system or on the Web. While working on courses in teams, instructional designers need to exchange emails 100 times a day. No wonder they often find collaboration time consuming and messy! It’s much more convenient to have a common space for building, editing, and reviewing courses together. We’ve enlisted some authoring tools below that have strong collaborative potential.


Other Tools for Collaborative Content Development

Apart from online courses, you may want to collaborate on multimedia training materials like an interactive book, presentation or a podcast. These tools can be helpful in this case.


LMSs for Collaboration

When running online courses, collaboration, as well as the training process itself, will be more effective if conducted on a single platform – an LMS. Learning management systems are cloud-based software for storing and assigning online courses and training materials, managing learners, and giving grades. In terms of collaboration, LMSs can provide user-role management, discussion forums, embedded chats, liking and sharing, and more. Let’s consider them one by one.



As you can see, there are versatile online learning collaboration tools that provide us with opportunities for team brainstorming, multiple co-authoring, learner interactions and their impact on the course, and much more. Some tools are more focused on the needs of Educators/L&D Professionals and administrators, while others are more about learning activities. Either way, when choosing a tool, consider your needs and current tasks for a start.

Of course, the effective use of a tool depends on the task you have. That’s why we’ve listed the online learning collaboration tools separately. We hope they will help you motivate your learners and/or colleagues to do something wonderful together. What would you add to this list? Please use the “Suggest a tool” option in the Cur8 Toolbox.


Download OER resource: “Collaborative Tools for On-line Learning” (English, CC BY NC SA @ The Cur8 Consortium)

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