Work smarter with cloud collaboration software

How collaboration software can help universities increase efficiency and productivity

Cloud collaboration software allows for increased productivity and more efficient communication. In the higher education sector, in particular, there is a constant need for students to collaborate on group coursework and for academics to put up their research for peer review. Collaboration software can also be utilised for these purposes, but you will find that leading collaboration software is also highly secure, and strictly compliant with data protection requirements.

Collaboration in universities

Collaboration is a necessity for almost all stakeholders of university life. It is a concept that benefits students, lecturers, faculty and industry links. With the increasing demand for the ability to access files remotely, and multiple tasks being set on a daily basis, collaboration software allows there to be a streamlined solution based on one platform.

Over the years, university teaching processes have been restructured. In the traditional sense, the university learning experience primarily consisted of reading from a textbook, listening to lecturers give their presentation and taking notes. Although some of these elements are still fundamental, there has been a shift to allow greater interaction between students and academics, and students and their peers. Another change has been the focus on applying theory to real-world applications. Simulations and group work have now become common practice to encourage collaboration and participation.

What is cloud collaboration?

Cloud collaboration eliminates any restrictions related to time, distance and resources (ie lack of suitable memory capacity). It permits people to work together as if they were in the same room, even if they are all in different locations. Individuals have access to files and can work on documents in real-time, as it is saved to a remote database and hosted in the cloud. The Internet provides the connection and access between the user’s device and the cloud, and they can view, share and modify files and share this with their team members.

Greater efficiency

Most universities expect students and faculties to utilise tools such as Google-drive, Dropbox or OneDrive to file share, conduct collaborative work, or to store files. Often, more than one of these tools is required by different people, and this can cause friction in the workflow as different files are in different locations. This can eventually be problematic as it can create duplication, lost files, and time being wasted trying to find the correct folder. Ultimately, having these data silos hinders effective collaboration and reduces efficiency.

When using cloud collaboration software, any changes made on the files are synced in real-time. This enables the participating users to constantly see the updated live version. Being able to work on a document simultaneously allows for a lot of time to be saved – significantly reducing the completion time, and making it a more efficient way to work.

Greater productivity

One of the most significant benefits of using cloud collaboration is the fact that you can access the required files from any device and any location. There is no longer a limit of where and when you can do the work, as you are not constricted to only using a specific computer to access files. That said, productivity is increased as the work can be completed anytime and anywhere.

The ease of access and communication with using collaborative software ensures that productivity levels are high from each endpoint. As everything is updated in real-time, your team members can make you accountable as they can see if you are contributing your required work. Feedback can be given instantaneously, allowing changes to be made effectively and efficiently.

Additional features:

Collaboration software isn’t solely used for file sharing; in fact, there are many features which would be beneficial for students and faculty alike. One of the leading collaboration software vendors in the market, Kahootz, includes features such as:

  • Surveys: This is extremely beneficial for students if they are conducting primary research for a report or their dissertation. Academics can also use this to gain feedback about their students’ experience throughout their module. All surveys are conducted on a private online environment, ensuring that all the data is secure and personal details are protected.
  • Task List: For students who have a big project, this can be a highly useful feature to organise specific task assignments to each group member. Lecturers may also potentially use this by sharing their to-do list, allowing others to see and offer any help or contribute.
  • Calendars: The calendar interface is a useful feature for creating separate calendars for meeting room bookings, personal schedules, or to monitor team activities.
  • Forums: Creating forums encourages discussion and can be a good way for academics doing research to exchange best practices and knowledge with their peers.

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