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Choosing your collaboration tools


Understanding the tools available will help you and your group choose the best way to collaborate online.

When getting started, remember that the best option is the one which suits the whole group. Keep in mind that not everyone has used these tools before, so you might need to assist some group members in setting up collaboration spaces and documents, or you might need to ask them to help you - that’s all part of group work!

You and your group members can also contact RMIT’s IT Service and Support Centre to help you with some of these tools.

Read the information below to learn more about the tools available and how they can make group collaboration more effective.

You are probably familiar with Microsoft Word, a word processing application, which is part of the Microsoft Office Suite. Other Microsoft applications include Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, and SharePoint. All of these applications, and more, have been packaged together to create Microsoft 365, to which RMIT students have free access and live tech support.

If you haven’t already set up your student Microsoft account, you can find out how to access your free account on the Software and Apps page

RMIT students using Microsoft 365 can also receive technical support by contacting the IT Support Centre.

Online applications like Microsoft Word and PowerPoint allow you and your group members to co-author documents and edit in real time. Rather than emailing updates back and forth to each other, which is a slow process, you and your group members can work simultaneously on the same document and leave comments for later changes.

Learn more about using Office applications to collaborate on your work:

OneDrive gives you 1TB (that’s a lot!) of personal cloud storage space. You can store photos, videos, and documents on the cloud without using up local space on your computer. You can make your documents in OneDrive private or share access with other people. For example, you could share a Word document from OneDrive and allow your group members to view or co-edit it.

Learn more about using OneDrive tool: Get started with OneDrive.

SharePoint is a collaborative platform where online teams can keep shared work. It has many similarities to OneDrive, but the main difference is that OneDrive is for personal files, and nothing is shared unless you choose to share it. On the other hand, SharePoint folders are collaborative and everything is shared, unless you choose to make it private. SharePoint is good for long group work projects, or multiple group work projects, as it allows you to keep things well organised within your group.

Learn more about using this tool: Get started with SharePoint 

There are many other online tools (outside of Microsoft 365) which can be used to facilitate online collaboration, such as the ones below. However, please be aware that specialised tech support is not available for these tools through RMIT.

Google Drive is a cloud storage platform which offers 15GB of free storage for users with a Google account. From Google Drive you can create, store, and share documents made using the G Suite of Office applications, including Google Docs and Google Slides. 

Dropbox is another cloud storage platform which allows users to create, store, and share both Microsoft Office documents and G Suite documents. Their basic plan, which is free, offers 2GB of space. Consider whether this will be enough storage space for your group before choosing Dropbox as your collaboration platform.